Bottled Water is the most ubiquitous soft drink on the planet, and it is a major industry here as well, because many people have found out about its great refreshing qualities. And there are a lot of varieties of bottled water being packaged around the world, not because the companies want to exploit nature’s gift for economical reason, but because to make everyone feel the purest essences of spring water and to give access to the best quality water to everyone in the world. The best way to understand the benefits of bottled water is to compare it to tap water, which is a source for a lot of the bottled water and purportedly an equal to bottled water.
Bottled Water and Tap Water are both examined by different authorities, who will have their own different processes for each. The Public Authorities examine the water supplies, and they will make sure that it is absolutely pollutant free by using a step – by- process:
i) First the water is taken from the lake or reservoir and undergoes the coagulation process where dirt and other particles are removed by using a chemical compound known as floc which attracts the dirt particles.
ii) The heavy particles, made of the floc and dirt, sink to the bottom of the plant, during the sedimentation process and the clear water is taken to the next process.
iii) The water passes through layers of sand, gravel and charcoal that remove even the smaller particles in the filtration process.
iv) The disinfection process involves adding chlorine or some other disinfectant to kill any bacteria or microorganisms that maybe present in the water.
v) The final water is stored in a tank or reservoir for the disinfection to take place and then it is pumped through pipes to homes and business communities.
The bottled water treatment used by the several organisations who manufacture it for commercial purposes, uses a slightly different method but a more incisive one that does more in the molecular level of the liquid. Several treatment devices are used to purify the source water:
i) Activated Carbon Filter: Absorbs organic contaminants, remove chlorination by- products, removes cleaning solvents and pesticides.
ii) Microfiltration: Water is passed through a porous membrane and all the microorganisms and suspended are separated from the water.
iii) Ion Exchange unit: Removes minerals, particularly calcium and magnesium, some designs remove radium, barium and fluoride
iv) Reverse Osmosis unit: Removes nitrates, sodium, dissolved inorganic and organic compounds; foul tastes, smells or colours; reduces the level of pesticides, dioxins, chloroform and petrochemicals.
v) Distillation Unit: Removes nitrates, bacteria, sodium, hardness, dissolved solids, most organic compounds, heavy metals, and radionuclides.
vi) Ultraviolet: The UV Radiation will destroy almost all the harmful microorganisms like E.coli, Cryptosporidium and Giardia.
The rationale for the multi-treatment method is the fact that no one unit can remove all the unwanted matter, but going through four separate with their own unique components, it produces the optimum water quality.
Here is one more comparison to illustrate the difference between the public water that you receive from your taps and packaged drinking water, based on the regulation that is enforced upon wither of them:
Public Water System – It specialises in providing quality water service for human consumption and other uses – bathing, washing, cooking, industrial and commercial. The water is delivered through a piped distribution system specific to communities. The public water systems are almost always granted special rights to distribute their products to consumers in a particular geographic or municipal area. The consumers, generally, do not have a choice of over which public water system will provide water to their homes or businesses.
Bottled Water – It is a food commodity, packaged and sealed, and sold in sanitary containers for human consumption. It is sold in several sizes: 3 -5 gallon water bottles for the water coolers and long term usage; 2.5 gallon refrigerator-size containers, 250ml, half-litre, one litre, 1.5 litres – all for convenience and portability. The different brands allow consumers to choose bottled water based on the quality, taste and convenience.
The importance of bottled is best illustrated when the public water system is undergoing a crisis, like during a natural disaster or an emerging situation such as floods. It is when such situations arise, that bottled water is an imperative, providing safe and clean drinking water.
So, to surmise, both the public water and the bottled water are essential for the daily activities of humans and we would not have had such a great world, without them. In the case of bottled water vs. tap water, well I guess it’s up to you to make a decision.