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4 Avenue De L'amandier
Bordeaux, CENTRE 33000
France *******

Bottled water is everywhere these days and has become a multibillion dollar business. You can't escape their presence anywhere, whether at a grocery store, convenience store, the beach, work place, home, etc, bottled water is there. The overall success that the bottled water industry has experienced, and the enormous profits from the sale of its water to the general public can probably be attributed to two factors. They provide convenience, and give the perception that drinking bottled water is much healthier. Nevertheless, you really have to look past the enticing pretty little label on the front of the bottle or 5 gallon water jug, and ask the question, is bottled water more beneficial to my health? Are there other sources of water that is better for my health? What is the cost of bottled water to the environment? Each and every hour Americans discard an alarming 1.5 million plastic water bottles, which if they aren't recycled properly end up in a landfill somewhere for the next 100 years.

This figure applies only as long as they are discarded properly. I often have the pleasure of seeing plastic water bottles on the side of many sidewalks, streets, and highways where they have been casually tossed by the previous owner; I guess that is another convenience for some bottled water drinkers. Then of course located in offices and homes around the country are water dispensers/coolers with the 3 or 5 gallon water jugs on top of them. The people using these have to take delivery of the jugs, store the jugs, lift the jugs, and replace the jugs each time one runs out. The bottled water you drink is considered by the Federal Government to be a food. This means that according to federal guidelines bottled water falls under the authority of the Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.). However, tap water falls under the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.) which has much stricter guidelines regarding water purity and contaminant levels than the F.D.A. The E.P.A. requires that water plants provide the public with reports on the water source, testing conducted, and contaminant levels (violations) if any are found.

The bottled water industry does not have to adhere to these standards. You may find, depending on the particular brand of bottled water you drink, that your tap water is actually cleaner. Not to mention that many bottled water companies are misleading consumers by selling reconstituted tap water; not the refreshing spring water like the label would suggest. Your local municipal water source is also required to test several times per day for microbiological impurities in the water. Bottled water companies are only required to test for this once a week. Local tap water also has to be tested much more often for chemicals than is required for bottled water companies. We then throw in the fact that the F.D.A. The numerous problems associated with bottled water and regulation of its quality should become self-evident. Does All This Let Tap Water Off-the-Hook? Unfortunately, tap water doesn't get off either. A National assessment of tap water quality conducted by the Environmental Working Group, dated December 20, 2005, concluded the following in their summary.

Recently, in Montgomery County, Maryland an estimated 440,000 households were without tap water due to a major main break that took eight hours to locate because it was in a wooded area. This left many residents and businesses without water for days. Some businesses were shut down altogether until this problem was resolved. Initially, the resident's who finally got their water flowing again were strenuously encouraged to boil the water before drinking it because of the tremendous concern by local authorities over impurities and contaminants that may still be present in the water. In the national news you can see impending threats, or occurrences of problems to municipal tap water sources by way of natural disasters such as hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes, earthquakes, etc, almost every week. States all over the nation are vying for water resources, and many of them have fresh water resources that are dwindling. Some states that are otherwise friendly neighbors are locked in disputes now over water rights. The cost of municipal tap water appears to be on the rise as well. Just do a comparison of your water bill today vs. 3 years ago and I am sure you will see a noticeable increase.