Water is a controversial topic within the environmental community. Plastic used for bottled water is incomprehensible and unsustainable. However, public drinking water in the US and other developed countries does contain a ton of chlorine as well as unregulated chemicals such as triclosan (which is sort of nasty).
In the UK, it was actually found recently that traces of cocaine are in the British water supply. The infographic below from Pelican Water Systems shows plenty of other things that seep in without regulation in the US, many of which are really not minor chemicals.
As Sandy wrote just last week: The Value of Water Coalition hosted an in-depth conversation at the Newseum in Washington DC on the current condition of water infrastructure in the United States, the consequences of letting leaky and failing systems worsen, and solutions to water challenges of today and tomorrow.
Pelican Water Systems also notes, however, that there are many methods on the market for filtering water from the tap. Have a look, then scroll through the Pelican Water Systems site for more info on water filtration options. (Click on the image for better resolution.)
In developed countries, the issue of water is important, but it is at a different level in most of the developing world.
“More than 80% of sewage in developing countries is discharged untreated, polluting rivers, lakes and coastal areas,” I wrote a few years ago on Eat Drink Better. “80% of all diseases and sicknesses are water borne,” and diarrhea is the “second leading cause of death among children under five globally. Nearly one in five child deaths – about 1.5 million each year – is due to diarrhea. It kills more young children than AIDS, malaria and measles combined.”
I think water filtration is important in the developed world, but it’s a matter of life and death in many parts of the world. Don’t take it for granted.
*This article was sponsored by Pelican Water Systems.