Long-term side effects
Drinking from the tap without any purification may be riskier than you think. Even in modern cities, water infrastructure can be easily decades old. It should not be surprising that contaminants may infiltrate the storage facilities or the kilometres of piping between the source and your home. Rust, copper, algae, mould, and potentially other harmful organic matters are some common contaminants.
Chlorine is commonly used to disinfect city water. A known group of these disinfection by-products are called Trihalomethanes (THM), which are believed to be cancer causing. It is to our benefit to remove all traces of chlorine before consumption. Ill effects on the human body take years before they surface.
Boiling vs Filtering
While boiling is a good way to kill germs, there are downsides that are often overlooked.
Iron / Rust – Invisible to the eye and often, knowingly ignored in many homes. Even a basic faucet filter, eventually turns brown due to rust from the pipes that bring water to your home.
Chlorine – To fully remove chlorine from water requires a gentle boil over 15 minutes, an inefficient and costly use of energy.
Heavy Metals – If your water source is from a well or groundwater, there is a risk of natural toxic contaminants such as mercury, cadmium, arsenic, chromium, thallium or lead. Boiling does not remove these harmful elements.
Inefficiency of RO UV Technology
Reverse Osmosis (RO) technology is inefficient. For every one litre of drinking water produced, 3-4 litres of waste is created. RO requires high pressure to push feed water through the membranes, calling for an additional electrical pump for some households. The process also strips away essential minerals and makes the water acidic.
Ultra Violet (UV) is a popular purification technique using UV radiations from a mercury lamp to kill germs, viruses, and bacteria in the feed water. UV is often combined with RO to eliminate suspended impurities, hence, incorporating the inefficiencies of RO. It also requires electricity to operate.
Efficiency of Reverse Osmosis (RO)
Essential minerals removed
Costs of drinking bottled water
The environmental and economical cost of bottled water has been on debate for the longest time. However, there is a real health risk that comes from a bottled water leaching plastic toxins (from the bottles) while waiting for us to drink them. Prolonged heat may cause many chemicals, some of which interfere with hormones in the body to leak into the water. These chemicals include bisphenol-A, or BPA, and phthalates, among others.
You will unfortunately, never know where the source water is from, how long the bottle has been out in the sun or whether it has been stored in unfavorable conditions before it gets to the chiller.