Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What's So Bad About Tap Water?

I'm a water bottle offender. Professionally, I'm an event planner, which requires me to be in three different places all at the same time. We have many break stations set up in these locations, so I find myself grabbing a bottle of water as I run from point A to point B. While I always feel a pang of guilt, I find ways to justify my consumption, like the sticker on the bottle that promotes 30% less plastic. But as I've recently transferred my office to a different building, I'm trying to reuse one bottle a day thanks to the handy faucet located one room over from my desk.

Living in Philadelphia, we're lucky enough to have some of the better-tasting tap water in the country, having recently been given an honorable mention in a recent poll by the country's top mayors. It's treated several times a day and is always at the EPA standard. In fact, the Philadelphia Water Company has been continuously tweaking it's chlorine content to ensure the best taste for the last 20 years.

However, we also apparently live in one of the sickest cities in the country. According to an article on MSNBC, over 70 (!) different types of pharmaceuticals have been found in the main water sources. Philadelphia's Water Co. says they're extra vigilant, which is why it tests for more drugs than other cities, but it's still not a stamp you want on your image, especially in a time where environmental awareness is becoming more common. While this pharma-content may seem scary, it really is only a trace amount. And if you're really concerned, you can get most of these chemical offenders out via a water purifier, which is pretty cheap. You can buy a Brita Pitcher for around $12.oo and a faucet purifier for $25.00.

To find out what the tap water situation is in your location, check out the EWG website.

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