General Question

maudie's avatar

I currently haul reverse-osmosis filtered water from the grocery store to my house in 1-gallon glass jugs. Is there a better way?

Asked by maudie (361 points ) February 28th, 2010

Yeah, so I’m one of those paranoid people who doesn’t love drinking the tap water or drinking water bottled in plastic. I want my pure water in glass only, please. But it’s a lot of work hauling my water from the nice grocery store with the fancy water filter machine. Is there a home filter any of you use that doesn’t contain huge amounts of plastic, or even a glass-bottled-water delivery service? Or do I need to start this business myself?

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16 Answers

CMaz's avatar

Have a system installed in your house. You will find it cleaner and purer then the stuff you are getting at the store.
It does not come cheep. But, how important is your health?

dpworkin's avatar

Look in the yellow pages. Unfortunately, bottled water companies have moved away from glass, but not all of them.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

You can buy a basic filtration/RO unit for about $400–500. The reverse-osmosis process produces a totally demineralized product, which some believe can actually strip minerals from your system. Completely demineralized water is a fairly powerful solvent. You may do better to get your tap water analyzed and install a system that removes only undesirable substances.

CMaz's avatar

Including a micron filter system to get the nasties out.

I have a system in my house. It is great! My dog loves it too.

john65pennington's avatar

I have been buying and tranporting bottled spring water from WalMart for years. it is a drag, but i am use to it. i do not trust the tap water in my city. the chlorine smell and taste ruins a cup of coffee. i barely take a shower in it. i tried bottled water delivery, but their price just kept going up and up and i discovered the water at WalMart. its a hassle, but its still a lot cheaper that home delivery. sorry.

Lightlyseared's avatar

How much hassle is it to maintain an RO unit at home? I used to look after one at work and it was almost a full time job to stop bacteria colonising the damn thing.

CMaz's avatar

Mine is almost no effort. Had it two years now. Just had my water tested. All is good.

PupnTaco's avatar

You trust the water at Walmart?

davidbetterman's avatar

Did you see where the alleged spring water from Walmart is bottled? Often it is Cleveland!

@maudie Get a Brita Filter

UScitizen's avatar

Everything is a trade off. We must make the best all around judgment. Mine is an acitvated charcoal filter. I use city water with an in-line aquasana activated charcoal filter. The product is excellent, and no hauling.

lilikoi's avatar

And what’s in your tap water that causes you not to drink it? Where do you live? Do you know where the tap water comes from? Is it from a surface water source or from groundwater? How does the city treat it and deliver it to you? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you are not making an informed decision about your drinking water.

Where I live, the City will come and test the water for you if you aren’t sure if it is safe. They can tell you exactly what is in your water, and you can determine if you are okay consuming it. They are heavily regulated by the EPA, sometimes unnecessarily.

You do realize that there is little FDA oversight over the filtered/bottled water industry and that independent tests have been done on the water sold (at exorbitant prices compared to municipal water) that have shown it is not uncommon for this water to be more contaminated than municipal water, right?

I doubt there are enough people that would be willing to pay you to deliver them water in glass bottles to make it a viable business.

Do the world a favor and educate yourself on the issues surrounding the bottled water industry and water privatization. Consider watching all of the following documentaries:

Flow: For Love of Water
A World Without Water (here: http://vimeo.com/1327353)
The Water Front

You should also know that reverse osmosis basically removes everything from water, good and bad. If you don’t need to do this level of filtration, it is really better for you both health and energy wise not to do it. There are different types of filtration. I do not recommend any of them to you based on the information you provided. If you can answer the questions above, I could make some recommendations.

maudie's avatar

@lilikoi I live in Alameda, California. My main problem with my tap water is that it tastes bad to me. I drink nothing but water and tea, so that’s a problem. I also don’t like that my teeth get white spots after drinking it. Hence the need for the reverse osmosis filtered stuff—nice taste, no white spots in teeth. The glass is perhaps paranoia, but I figure it’s not much harder to haul glass gallon jugs of water than plastic ones, so why not use the least-likely-to-leach-flavors-and-other-yuckiness jug material?

lilikoi's avatar

Here is a report that you might find interesting. You could contact them about your water.

Taste is an interesting thing. When I was younger, my mom felt the same way as you, and so we’d drink a lot of bottled water. I thought tap water tasted bad back then, too. I live in Hawaii and our tap water is some of the cleanest in the world since it is almost entirely groundwater. I exercise a lot, and found myself stopping at public water fountains often. Eventually, I didn’t like throwing away the plastic that the bottled water is packaged in and quit buying it. Now, when I drink bottled water, it tastes terrible to me.

Moral of story: Taste for filtered water can definitely be an acquired thing.

The water in your area is primarily from surface sources which means it is exposed to the environment and doesn’t get filtered naturally through the ground. It is treated extensively to remove bad stuff, and likely heavily chlorinated due to a new EPA rule that took effect at the end of last year. Your water is fluorinated also.

I can understand wanting to remove both the chlorine and fluorine because neither is good for your health. I know activated carbon is an effective means for removing chlorine and any byproducts of it from your water. This is a simple, inexpensive, and popular technology for water filtration. If you are one of those people that believes fluoride in water is good because it helps prevent cavities, then you can stop there.

If you consider fluoridation an unnecessary health hazard, I am not sure that carbon will remove it. Reverse osmosis most certainly would. And as others have pointed out, you can install a system in your home to do this.

White spots on your teeth sounds incredibly strange to me. I’m not sure if you mean the color of your teeth actually change or if you notice some kind of chalky build up on the surface of the enamel. I’d guess it is from minerals in the water? You should contact the water department and ask them about this.

I have no scientific data to back up this claim, but in my experience I feel like water that has been contained in plastic of any kind, particularly if it is exposed to heat/UV/sunlight tastes awful. It would seem that the plastic leaches something into the water that affects the taste. I don’t like the taste of water that has been in plastic at all. All of the storage containers in my kitchen are glass (albeit w/ plastic lids) – no Tupperware – so I understand where you are coming from. Plus, glass is easily recycled and doesn’t emit harmful toxins when heated like plastic does. Plastic is so much worse for the environment in a number of ways.

Most residential water filtration systems use filter cartridges made of plastic. Even if you go to a supermarket to buy filtered water from a machine, the water may have been in contact with plastic within the machine itself.

Besides all of this, it is becoming more and more popular to design indoor plumbing systems using plastic pipes because plastic is so much easier to transport and work with. If you live in a condo that was built recently, it is very possible that the water piping is PEX. Not sure about piping between water treatment facility/reservoirs and the building…maybe someone else on here knows?

If you want to continue buying filtered water from the store, you may just want to compromise and transport it in plastic (it is much lighter and more durable after all), then store it at home in glass…

PacificRimjob's avatar

Home reverse osmosis systems are available.

Waterman's avatar

White spots on teeth from municipal water is caused by over flouridization of the water. This is NOT good for you.

Waterman's avatar

The most common argument against fluoridation is pretty simple: In excessive doses, fluoride causes health problems—so why risk it? Fluoride can cause discoloration or corrosion of teeth (dental fluorosis) and it can possibly weaken bones (skeletal fluorosis). In the 1990s, the U.S. Public Health Service noted an increase in dental fluorosis in fluoridated areas since the 1940s, when water fluoridation began.
Read the full article @ http://health.howstuffworks.com/fluoride-poisoning2.htm

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