Archive for the 'Bottled Water' Category
As consumer awareness of contaminated tap water increases, many are looking for water filtration solutions. With many to choose from, it is important to understand the benefits and limitations of the different types of water filtration solutions available.
Here at Aquasana, we are often asked about the difference between reverse osmosis purification systems and selective filtration systems. While both are effective at removing contaminants, the filtration processes are indeed different and there are things you need to know about making an informed decision before your final purchase.
Reverse osmosis (RO) is a process of separation that uses water pressure to force the source water through a semi-pervious membrane that retains the solid contaminants on one side while allowing water to pass on to the other side. This membrane is effective at removing anything that is bigger than a water molecule. This process takes place through ion exclusion, where a concentration of ions emerges from a barrier at the membrane to allow water molecules to pass through without letting the contaminants do so. A typical reverse osmosis system will provide approximately 10% purified water, leaving the other 90% as wastewater. Because of this, reverse osmosis systems require a drain. In practical terms, this means it takes 10 gallons of water to make 1 gallon of filtered water. The remaining 9 gallons is wastewater.
The reverse osmosis process removes fluoride, sodium, sulfate, nitrate, iron, zinc, mercury, lead, arsenic, chloride, and cyanide, along with a few other water contaminants. Because RO systems are effective at removing solids from water, they also demineralize the treated water. RO systems remove healthy minerals such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Without these minerals present, the water can become acidic. Some reverse osmosis systems can be equipped with a re-mineralization system to add back in healthy minerals and balance pH.
Many filters use carbon filtration technology to retain contaminants inside the carbon substrate preventing them from flowing through for consumption. Through the process of absorption, contaminants collect on a large surface area where molecules exert force for other molecules to attract to. The longer the water stays in contact with the carbon, the more contaminants can be absorbed from the water.
Aquasana’s Claryum selective filtration technology uses 4 different filtration technologies to tackle contaminants in unfiltered water. Activated carbon, catalytic carbon, ion exchange and 0.5 micron mechanical filtration technologies combine to form Aquasana’s Claryum Selective Filtration. The activated carbon reduces organic chemicals while the catalytic carbon targets chlorine and chloramines specifically. The ion exchange process filters heavy metals like lead and mercury and the 0.5 micron mechanical filter captures asbestos and chlorine resistant cysts like cryptosporidium and giardia, making the water safe to drink.
Aquasana selective filtration is effective at removing over 96% of chlorine and chloramines, and over 99% of lead and mercury. Additional contaminants the system is tested and certified to reduce include: herbicides, pesticides, cysts, asbestos, volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), pharmaceuticals, and a long list of additional water contaminants from the water while leaving in beneficial minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These filters also minimize water waste on the environment.
Before making a purchase, it is important to know the health benefits of any drinking water system. It should pass NSF/ANSI standards including NSF #42 for aesthetic effects and NSF #53 for health effects. NSF standard 42 establishes a minimum requirement for the point-of-use systems to reduce aesthetic contaminants such as chlorine, chlorine taste, odor, and particulates that may be present in drinking water. NSF standard 53 sets the parameters for POU systems designed to remove health-related contaminants such as lead, mercury, Cryptosporidium, Giardia, volatile organic chemicals, methyl tertiary-butyl ether, and other harmful contaminants from drinking water. Note that the NSF 53 certification does not mean that all of these contaminants are tested – manufacturers can choose any of them to test to get this certification, so be sure the list includes VOCs, lead, mercury and any other elements you want to ensure your filter tackles.
System Pros vs. Cons
Drainage system required
Results in acidic water
No VOC reduction
Claryum Selective Filtration
Chorine & chloramine reduction
50+ other contaminants removed
No fluoride reduction
No nitrate reduction
If you notice that you are going through three liters of water at work alone, you may think that you are drinking too much water, but you are nowhere near a level that is dangerous to your health. It’s great that you are drinking a generous amount of water throughout the work day. Staying hydrated at work is one of the best things you can do for your health.
There is no recommended daily allowance (RDA) for water, but there is an adequate intake level (AI). For example, the AI for women is approximately 2.2 liters, which is more than the eight 8-ounce glasses that many health experts recommend. Whether you decide to drink the 2.2 liters or eight glasses, you will be making an excellent decision regarding your health.
The amount of water you need to drink every day is very individualized due to how much physical activity you do on a daily basis, or how hot it is where you live, but there are five easy tips to follow in order to make sure you’re getting the right amount of water for you.
1. Avoid being thirsty!
You feel thirsty for a reason. It’s your body’s way of telling you that you need more water to function properly and avoid being dehydrated. Don’t ignore it. Research from as early as the 1960’s tells us that people underestimate the amount of fluid they need to re-hydrate, so it’s always safe to drink a little more than you think you need.
2. Don’t drink it all at once!
The old trick that says if you drink a glass of water before you eat so you get full faster… doesn’t work. You should also not drink so much water that you feel full. That much water at once is overkill, and the full feeling is telling you so. If you drink too much water in a short period of time, that’s when water toxicity occurs. Spreading out your water over the course of the day is the only good way to keep yourself constantly hydrated.
3. Aim to wake up feeling hydrated!
Waking up thirsty is a good sign that you aren’t getting enough water during the day, and that you should consume more fluids. Also, pay attention when you step on the scale in the morning. Your weight can fluctuate due to the fact that you aren’t getting enough fluids during the day.
4. Bottle your own!
You are much more likely to drink water if you carry it with you. If you don’t have to go to the vending machine to buy a bottle or wait to get one on your lunch break, you’re more likely to keep yourself hydrated. Also, if you want to avoid all of the waste that comes with drinking bottled water, grab your own reusable bottle and fill it at home.
5. Filter it!
What is one of the best ways to get yourself to drink enough water? Make sure to drink water that is refreshing and tastes good. Installing a drinking water filter in your home is a great way to make sure your water is healthy and delicious! Aquasana drinking water systems are a great way to take out more than 60 contaminants and leave in the good stuff such as magnesium and calcium. Find them at aquasana.com.
Today marks day 12 of drinking nothing but Aquasana filtered water, and I have to say, it has been quite a challenge indeed. Last week was rough. Starting the day without my morning cup of jo – rough. No relief for my mid-afternoon crash at work – rough. And forget about that evening or weekend libation – tough.
Now we are on week two of the Water Challenge here at the Aquasana office and everyone is already adjusting and feeling much better. The biggest change I’ve noticed so far is how well I sleep at night – like a baby! My body’s natural clock has kicked in and now I hit the sack by 10pm and wake up refreshed at 6am. I honestly can’t remember the last time I slept so well. It’s pretty interesting how much I used to rely on caffeine to get me going, but once cut out completely from my diet, I realize it’s really not a necessity at all.
In summary, I’m feeling great after just 12 days, so I know once I hit 21 days I’ll noticing other great benefits of healthy hydration. I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely looking forward to week three of the water challenge. How is everyone else feeling out there?
1. You’ll drink more water: It’s easier to drink filtered than unfiltered water. Unfiltered water often tastes kind of funny, depending on where you live and what your water source is. So you drink soda or bottled water (which we will discuss in a minute), or possibly turn to tea and coffee as an alternative. Filtering does two things: it removes contamination that makes your water taste funny and maintains the healthy minerals (calcium, potassium and magnesium) that your body craves along with its water. If you’ve ever tasted distilled water or water from a reverse osmosis system, you may notice that it tastes kind of flat. Drab. Almost dry. That’s the lack of minerals. Often drinking this water fails to quench your thirst, so even if you’re full, you still have a craving for something wet. Why do people turn to sports drinks and soda? They both contain minerals your body needs—that’s both their value proposition and the mechanism that satisfies your thirst when you drink. By drinking filtered water that maintains healthy minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium, you feel more satisfied and less thirsty, and won’t hanker so much for a soda, either.
2. Your water will be cleaner: Filtration gets rid of the majority of your water’s contamination while preserving the healthy minerals that hydrate you better and relieve thirst better than some of your other options. Tap water is all right: It generally contains all the minerals in it you need, along with a good dose of contamination that you don’t. Some cities are better than others—get your local water report to learn where your city ranks—but even after treatment, the city pipes and water delivery system most likely contains some kind of contamination that gets back into the water before it gets to you. Heck, the pipes in your house are probably not all that clean, either! To be sure, a point-of-use system that attaches to your faucet goes a long way to easing your mind about the quality of water you consume.
3. You’ll have more control: Filtration gives you more control and insight into what’s in your water. It’s just always better to KNOW what you’re eating or drinking. Look no further than the spate of governmental rules and regulations food and beverage manufacturers must comply with to see that not only is it good to know what’s in there, but you have the legal right to know what’s in there. Filtering your own water once it enters your house offers a fine level of control over the quality of your drinking, cooking and bathing water.
4. It’s convenient: Really, what all the above reasons amount to is a higher level of convenience in your life. One more thing you don’t have to worry about, you don’t have to think about or wonder when you’re shopping in the grocery store. “Do I need to stock up on bottled water? Oh, no—I have better at home!”
5. It’s cheaper: Filtering is cheaper than bottled water by a mile. It’s even cheaper than pitcher filters. With Aquasana drinking filters specifically, you get almost twice as much bang for your buck than many pitcher filters, and over thirty times more than from bottled water. If you’re looking to save money in 2012, quitting the bottled water habit and choosing to filter is a long step in the right direction.
6. It’s green/sustainable: Going along with cheaper, filtering is also a very sustainable method of treating your water. Reverse osmosis wastes quite a bit of water, especially as a household solution (as opposed to a larger scale operation). Basically, you get a bit of clean water, but concentrate the contaminated water and send it back into the environment. Distillation requires electricity and also wastes water. Bottled water, aside from its health concerns, fills landfills with tons of plastic waste each day. Most bottles are not recycled (up to 80% are simply tossed in the garbage), despite their eligibility for recycling, and end up clogging rivers and land when they’re not actually disposed of “properly” in a landfill. Filtering can remove up to 4,000 bottles a year from landfills. Also, filtering is removing contamination from water—meaning less ambient contamination in general (not just for your drinking pleasure). And carbon—the chief material used in filtration—is good for the environment even once you’re done with using it to filter your water.
Have another great reason to filter your water? Let us know in the comments!
It’s not JUST water
We can all remember the days of high school chemistry class and learning the basic components of water, H2O: 2 hydrogen molecules attached to 1 oxygen molecule. You may also remember that our bodies are composed of 70%-80% water and we must drink enough of it to survive. Today we face major problems regarding safe drinking water, not only because of mass contamination from environmental and synthetic chemicals, but an even bigger problem is growing due to corporate and governmental control of our bottled water system. We are being forced to buy more bottled water than ever and the only people who benefit are the big corporations who mass produce this highly consumed product. It’s not easy to find clean, affordable drinking water but there are things that we can do.
The EPA has set standards for more than 80 contaminants that may occur in drinking water and pose a risk to human health. The EPA claims its standards protect the health of everybody, including vulnerable groups like children. Is there really a safe standard when it comes to drinking toxins? And, what happened to the countless other contaminants found in our drinking water? According to the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG’s) two-and-a-half year investigation, tap water in 42 states is contaminated with more than 140 unregulated chemicals that lack safety standards. In an analysis of more than 22 million tap water quality tests, most of which were required under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, EWG found that water suppliers across the U.S. detected 260 contaminants in water served to the public. One hundred forty-one (141) of these detected chemicals — more than half — are unregulated; public health officials have not set safety standards for these chemicals, even though millions drink them every day.
According to the EPA, contaminants fall into two groups based on the health effects that they cause. Acute effects occur within hours or days of the time that a person consumes a contaminant. Chronic effects occur after people consume a contaminant at levels over EPA’s safety standards for many years. The drinking water contaminants that can have chronic effects are chemicals (such as disinfection by-products, solvents, and pesticides), radionuclides (such as radium), and minerals (such as arsenic). Examples of the chronic effects of drinking water contaminants are cancer, liver or kidney problems, or reproductive difficulties.
Go here for more information.
The bottled water scam
With so many of us becoming aware of our contaminated tap water, the world is embracing the bottled water industry like never before. In 1999 the sales of bottled water in the US was around $6 billion in one year. By 2007 the sales of bottled water jumped to over $11 billion. Some believe that drinking bottled water is no more pure or better for your health, nor is it safer than community or municipal water. The purity standards for bottled water are no higher than those applied to tap water — in some instances they are lower or less rigorous. Studies have shown that chemicals called phthalates, which are known to disrupt testosterone and other hormones, can leach into bottled water over time. There are no regulatory standards limiting phthalates in bottled water. The bottled water industry waged a successful campaign opposing the FDA proposal to set a legal limit for these chemicals.
Go here for more information.
What can you do?
The majority of the contaminants found in our drinking water can be traced back to improper or excessive use of ordinary compounds like lawn chemicals, gasoline, cleaning products and even prescription drugs. As a consumer, you might consider buying eco-friendly cleaners, avoid using toxic toiletries, and dispose of your medications properly. By doing your part in creating a less toxic environment, we will be able to create safer water for generations to come.
The benefits of bottled water are convenience and novelty. Instead of buying bottled water you can carry a canteen or a reusable athletic bottle. My personal favorite is to use a glass bottle and filter the water at home using a water filter. It is good for the environment and lowers the risk of chemical exposure such as BPA, a common toxic chemical in plastics. This change will save you a lot of money and will help the environment because water bottles are one of the major sources of plastic going into landfills today. Shipping billions of gallons of water every year also uses a lot of fuel.
Lastly, recycle empty water bottles, EVERYTIME! And don’t WASTE your water by letting the shower or faucet run. Use old water for things like watering plants and invest in water saving devices for you home. Be a responsible and conscious water consumer. We will all benefit from it.
—Dr. Wendy Norman, D.C.
And for more information on how to dispose of your pharmaceuticals:
You recycle. You turn off the water while brushing your teeth. You started doing the laundry in cold water. But despite taking steps to reduce your family’s carbon footprint and save the planet, you still feel slightly guilty about not doing enough.
Sound familiar? It’s called Green Guilt: the anxiety and self-doubt that we are not doing enough (or that our efforts mean nothing) to reduce our carbon footprint and preserve global resources. Green Guilt is becoming less of a problem in today’s tighter and more stressful economy, since the overriding concern is “Will I have a job in three months?” not “How can I reduce my environmental impact?”, but it still occurs and adds unnecessarily to your stress level.
Don’t beat yourself up
What can you do to avoid feeling this way? Well, for starters, understanding goes a long way. Do your part, do more when you can, and don’t beat yourself up too much if you choose paper towels over cloth for the sake of convenience once in a while. To help you along, I’ve gathered a few extra tips to help you save time and money and get a little greener at the same time:
1) Use a water filter and refillable water bottles. You know how we feel about disposable plastic water bottles. They aren’t really that much safer than tap water in a lot of instances, water leaches plastic molecules, and when we’re done with them they often as not pollute landfills and oceans. Not a lot to love there. But there is an upside to drinking filtered water: not as many of those bottles. I know it’s often a quick decision to make your life easier to just grab some water bottles to toss in the cooler when you go camping, but during the rest of your life, make a concerted effort to use refillable bottles and fill them with filtered water.
2) Walk your neighborhood, not a treadmill. Gyms are all the rage, but are they really worth it? They’re noisy, crowded at all the wrong times, expensive, and they guzzle energy. Plus, those fancy elliptical machines lie about how many calories you’re burning. Try finding a place to walk near where you live—a trail or park that has some good hills. Or just walk or jog through your neighborhood. Do some pushups and sit-ups when you get home. The world will thank you!
3) Carpool. Seriously. I know it’s hardly appealing and takes trust, coordination and sacrifice, but if you can be one fewer car on the road, even once in a while, then you’ll be responsible for cutting down pollution, fossil fuel addiction and household expenditures. Gold star for you!
4) Ask your boss about telecommuting options. Save fuel altogether and work at home a day or two a week, if your job type allows it. Not all jobs lend themselves to working at home, and I am a staunch believer in the value of a tight-knit team, but since a lot of the work that occurs in an information economy happens in your head regardless of where your bottom is, this is becoming an increasingly viable option for many companies.
Being a parent is a huge responsibility, but it is one of the most rewarding things we can do in our lifetime. Toxins in drinking water are a primary concern for many parents. They don’t want to expose their newborns to dangerous substances in the water. Drinking plain water isn’t something that is typical of infants. Yet when you prepare juice, cereal, or formula you will need to use tap water.
One of the most common contaminants in drinking water that can pose a threat to newborns is lead. It isn’t always possible for a woman to offer breast milk or to buy ready-made formula. When the powder type has to be used, then it is essential for quality drinking water that is free from toxins to be used to mix it. If there is lead contamination in your drinking water, that poses a threat to the health of your infant when you use that water to prepare her formula.
Don’t assume that bottled water is the way to go, either. Many parents use it for mixing baby formula. Unfortunately, the marketing of bottled water gives us the false impression that it is pure. However, independent testing frequently shows bottled water contains the same contaminants as can be found in tap water.
One way that parents of newborns can protect their child from toxins in drinking water is to boil it. This should be done in a pot for at least 20 minutes before mixing it with the formula. Make sure that the water has cooled before giving the baby the formula. You never want to risk the baby being burned.
A baby needs to maintain a healthy immune system so it can thrive. As a child gets older, he or she will consume more formula. That means more water will be consumed, so it has to be purified. The exposure to various chemicals that might be in your tap water can significantly reduce the chances of them developing healthy teeth and gums.
Many children are diagnosed with serious health problems while in infancy. There are studies that indicate that these problems could be due to toxins in drinking water. There isn’t a parent in the world that wants to see such an outcome for their children. Increased numbers of infants are being diagnosed with heart problems, circulatory problems, central nervous system disorders, and even cancer so we all need to take extra precautions.
Do everything you can to prevent toxins in drinking water from affecting your newborn. Your entire family can be adversely affected due to various toxins in drinking water. A home filtering system is essential in order for you to be able to ensure that such forms of contamination cannot adversely affect anyone in your family.
Such a filtering system can remove from 90% to 99% of the contaminants in the tap water. If you want to be extra cautious, you can use a reliable water filter system and boil the water. Do all within your power to give your baby a great start for a healthy life. The quality of the water you give to your infant can have a significant impact, giving that child a good start on a happy and productive life.
If your family uses a lot of bottled water, you are well aware of the costs. You may also be aware that bottled water is often full of water contamination and that the bottles represent a serious environmental problem. It is one challenge to give up the bottled water challenge yourself but if you have children, getting them to switch to filtered water that you make at home is a bigger job. Kids and teenagers in particular seem to just love buying and throwing away bottles of water. So how do you convince them?
If there is one thing that kids like even more than bottled water, it is the internet. So use their love of blogs and videos to get the word out to them that the bottled water habit must go. You can direct them to blogs that discuss how bottled water is the same as tap water. That alone is a compelling argument.
Kids are also environmentally conscious. So blogs that discuss good reasons to give up bottled water to save the earth are very convincing too. By also directing their attention to a few videos outlining why bottled water is bad for everyone, you are using the tools teenagers understand to give them to kick the habit and save you a lot of money leaving bottled water where it belongs which is on the shelves at the store.
Many people think that bottled water is the best way to get pure drinking water. There is something about water sold in a retail setting that makes people keep buying and buying the product. What they don’t know is that they might just be wasting their money on these bottles. They are also contributing greatly to the environmental problem we have right now.
The best option is having a home water filter system and a reusable water bottle that could be brought anywhere. This method has the portability and cleanliness that you seek in those water bottles. What you get that is better than bottled water is an unlimited supply at an economical cost and an assurance that the water you are drinking is clean, healthy, and tastes good.
There are two main types of home water filters for you to consider: point-of-use and point-of-entry. Point-of-use water filter system purifies the water right before it used. This is also done at only one area, such as the kitchen faucet.
There are 3 types of point-of-use water filter systems:
- Faucet-mounted systems. Water filters are connected to the faucet by a hose. If you want filtered water, adjust it and filtered water immediately goes through the filter and comes out purified. This is good for homes that use a lot of water for cooking purposes or homes with lots of people. Faucet-mounted water filter systems are very easy to install.
- Filtering pitchers. These are water pitchers that have a filter attached to it. All you need to do is put water in the pitcher and it immediately goes through the filter to provide you with filtered water. Also, you could put the pitcher in the refrigerator to chill, giving you cold drinking water. This is a convenient option but not recommended for those using a lot of water. You would need to add water to it a lot and even change the filter more often. This could be time-consuming and costly if used a lot. Filtering pitchers also do not give you clean water for cooking, cleaning, or showering.
- Under-the-sink filters. Not everyone can install these filters. They need someone with knowledge in installation, which could cost quite a bit of money. This type of filter does not need to be replaced often, which could be more cost-effective in the long term. With this, the filter is also out of your way and out of sight as well.
On the other hand, point-of-entry water filter systems purify the water before it enters the house. Water that runs through the pipes and comes out of all the faucets is filtered. There are many filtration methods used in point-of-entry water filters, including activated charcoal, ultraviolet light, and reverse osmosis. There are two types of point-of-entry water filter systems: in-basement models and outside-house models.
Point-of-entry and point-of-use water filter systems differ greatly. Your choice should be based on the condition of your water before filtration and the contaminants found in your water. You can find out the details about the level of contamination in your water by having a professional test your water.
No matter what type of water filter system you use, know that Aquasana has some of the most efficient water filter systems available today. By taking some time to get to know the wide selection of Aquasana water filters, you will find that they can accommodate any kind of water filtration need you might have.
With the increased costs of fuel and other necessities, we are all feeling the pinch of rising prices. Between the cost at the pumps, and the higher prices in the supermarket, we are all left wondering where we can save money or cut costs.
One simple and meaningful way to save is by cutting out bottled water. By buying bottled water at the store, you are paying 80 cents to $4 per gallon of water! Why do that if there is a better, more cost effective way? By filtering your own water, you can have not only a better quality of water, but at a much lower cost… and without the harmful impact of plastic bottle pollution.
When you purchase bottled water, you are doing so assuming that what you are buying is healthier than tap water. Fact is, bottled water is only required to be AS GOOD as tap water, no better! By taking matters into your own hands you can ensure the healthy quality of your water, at a fraction of the price. With Aquasana drinking water filters, you can have clean healthy water for only 9.6 cents per gallon, at the touch of a button, in your own home and without the negative environmental impact!
You will have the peace of mind that you and your family are drinking water free from chemical contaminants, and be paying 1/10th the cost of bottled water!
Stop throwing your money away with water in plastic bottles.
Bottle your own, it’s the smart choice!