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Tap, bottled water both have benefits

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By Kay Kennedy

Water is a vital part of our lives; so it’s no surprise that it is also a big business.  The big debate is whether tap or bottled water is better for you.  The short answer is each has benefits.

However, sales of bottled water have tripled over the last 10 years. Some believe this is due to marketing ploys; it’s hard to tell if it really is better for you than just plain tap water.  In fact, 25 percent of bottled water is taken directly from the same reservoirs where we get our tap water.

There are three different kinds of bottled water: natural mineral water, spring water, and purified water, each having different characteristics.  Natural mineral water is drawn from water tables underground and has healthy minerals in it. Spring water is similar to mineral water but does not have the constant mineral composition.  Purified water is taken from lakes, rivers, or underground springs and has been treated to rid it of minerals and contaminants, which makes it almost identical to tap water. As a result, the Food and Drug Administration is considering placing more restrictions on bottled water.

If you purchase bottled water there are several things you can do to help the environment. Cut down on the amount of plastic in landfills by saving and refilling your bottles, but be sure to wash and rinse your bottles between each use.  After you are finished with the bottles, recycle them. Recycling eliminates landfill waste and the plastic can be used to make a variety of byproducts, including clothing.

When purchasing bottled spring water, look on the label and choose the one whose source is located closest to you. The farther away the source of water, the more non-renewable fuel was used to transport it. This not only increases our dependency on oil, but also pollutes our environment. Some brands of spring water bottled in or near Kentucky include Highbridge Spring Water, English Mountain Spring Water, Appalachian Springs and Sparkles Bottled Water.

Every person has a right to safe, good-tasting water from the tap. If we choose to buy bottled water, we deserve assurances that it too is safe. In addition, whether our water comes from a tap or a bottle, we have a right to know what’s in it.