Everyone needs and deserves clean drinking water. There are some groups that believe the idea of “selling” it is immoral. Environmental groups are concerned that the bottled water industry is wasting too much of our freshwater and other natural resources.
What you get in a bottle is not the purest drinking water anyway. The chemicals used to make the plastic bottle are one problem. Another is the purification methods used by the big companies. They can never compare to what people can do with a point-of-use purification system in their homes.
Why is point-of-use better? Large scale facilities have production demands. That includes public treatment facilities and bottling companies. They simply cannot remove all of the contaminants known to be a problem today. To do so would reduce production.
Point-of-use filtration devices can filter down to a half micron, which means they can remove parasitic cysts that cannot be removed through other means. But, that also reduces the flow rate.
The flow rate from the kitchen units is still satisfactory for home use. It would not be satisfactory for a company that needs to produce hundreds or thousands of gallons per hour.
What passes as clean drinking water for public treatment facilities is determined by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The standards are not that high, but they are better than those set by the Food and Drug Administration for bottling companies, in many ways.
First, the FDA allows for a higher bacterial level than the EPA. Second, manufacturers are not required to test bottled beverages that are not shipped out of state.
Many bottling companies use the local tap water as their sources anyway. The brands that come from springs are labeled accordingly and the location of the spring is listed on the back of the bottle.
At one time, springs provided some of the purest drinking water. But today, even springs should be tested before drinking from them. Hikers run into the problem all of the time, if they drink from an untested spring. As the human and animal populations have increased, the number of parasitic cysts has too. They cause a nasty intestinal illness if they are consumed.
Children, the elderly, people recovering from other illnesses, and those with dysfunctional immune systems are most susceptible to the cysts present in public supplies. The EPA warns that point-of-use purification systems should be used by all at-risk individuals.
Cysts are not the only thing that these systems can remove. They can provide the purest drinking water by removing chlorine and other chemicals and by exchanging particles of lead and copper for sodium and potassium ions.
It takes several purification stages to do all of those things. Not every system includes all of them. Therefore, it is important to do a little comparative shopping, before you buy.
Everyone has the ability to have clean drinking water in their home, regardless of the contaminants present in the source. All it takes to provide it is a good home purifier.