The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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New research adds to the bottled vs. tap water debate

Bottled water has become a billion-dollar industry in the past five years, but research shows that tap water may be a more reliable way to quench thirst.

?Throughout America there has been a surge in the consumption of bottled water. Many out there reach for bottled water as a safer source of water as opposed to tap water. Experts have concluded that tap water may actually be a safer choice.

CSUN’s John Schillinger, associate professor in the environmental and occupational health department, has studied water and wastewater. Schillinger said he believes that tap water in some ways may be safer than bottled, however.

“Tap water is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, bottled water is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration,” Schillinger said. “Each has different regulations.”

This is a key element when it comes to which water is better. Experts believe that the EPA has stricter standards of regulation as it relates to the production of water. The EPA requires that the public have access to knowledge of what goes into filtrating drinking water. The EPA also uses a different type of filtration process that focuses on removing harmful minerals. The EPA monitors all chemicals that are found in drinking water and ensures that there are safe levels of each chemical. The EPA also requires that all drinking water sources be tested and must follow the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations. The NPDWR lists what types of minerals are found in drinking water and the safe level of each mineral.

The FDA doesn’t monitor bottled water as much as the EPA monitors tap water. The FDA is considered, first and foremost, an administration that regulates standards of health within food and drugs. The FDA website indicates, inspection of bottled water plants are not inspected as often as other organizations because bottled water is not seen as a priority. The FDA only collects samples of water for inspection if there has been a customer complaint made. The FDA has regulations on labeling and mineral content. But some bottled water companies haven’t complied with regulations.

Aquafina was the subject of controversy this past July, when a spokesperson from PepsiCo. revealed that Aquafina was filtered tap water. PepsiCo. officials decided? to create new labels that would show consumers the water source. ?Aquafina’s new labels would display that the water came from a public water source, but there seems to be no sign of the new label on bottled water. Other bottled waters that are considered bottled from a public water source are Dasani and Deja Blue. Aquafina took a blow financially when consumers learned of the deception.

?”It is deceiving when it is presented to you as something different. You assume it is something it is not,” said Kenya Parham, a political science and communications major. “It is almost like false advertisement.”

The financial blow that Aquafina received came from consumers’ reaction that tap water is bad. The water in Aquafina was the same as common tap water, but it was filtered differently.

“Most bottled water plants use ultra filtration or reverse osmosis,” said Schillinger. “This filtration is similar to what people put under their own sinks. Tap water is filtered with gravel, sand and coal.”

Tap water filtration is safe and just as effective as bottled water filtration. Some experts suggest letting water run for a bit before filling a glass of water. This allows the water to filter allowing for better taste. Some actually prefer tap, including CSUN’s Marlon Briggs, a freshman sociology major.

“I like tap water. I guess it’s because I grew up drinking it,” Briggs said. “If I want water I just go to the tap, and I like the taste of Aquafina and Dasani.”

The Department of Water and Power performed a blind taste test and found that people preferred tap water to bottled. The same can’t be said for most CSUN students who prefer bottled water.

“I like the taste and the look of it,” said Nikki Demirchyan, junior accounting major. “Bottled water looks so clean. I am used to it. Ever since I was little it was always ‘don’t drink out of the tap water.'”

“I like bottled water. It just tastes better,” Parham said. “Not all bottled water is good.”

Ironically, Arrowhead water is bottled water that’s actually bottled at spring sources and then de-chlorinated. The same can be said for Crystal Geyser, Evian and Sparkletts. Bottled water Fiji comes from an artesian well in the Nakauvadra Mountains.

Consumers typically reach for the bottle of water they find most appealing and popular. The rise in bottled water advertisement is fueling the increasing demand for bottled water.

“Bottled water companies are out advertising, but it is one sided,” said Schillinger.

Most students aren’t able to clearly define what’s better for them when it comes to tap or bottled water because only one side of the story is out there.

“I look at the bottle water shape, like the square bottled water Fiji,” Demirchyan said. “I like that Smart Water that Jennifer Anniston is advertising.”

Whether it’s bottled or tap, the rise water consumption can be seen as a good thing. The rise in the consumption of bottled water has led many to improve their health.

“Water is a far better alternative no matter what and benefits people who are drinking more water and less soft drinks,” Schillinger said.

There’s an alternative to bottled water in the form of water filters that attach to faucets. Brita, Culligan, and PUR are just some of the brands of filters that consumers can look at as an alternative. These filters should be cleaned and changed regularly. Bottled water alternatives cut down on the environmental impact that bottle water has. Bottled water contributes to an increase in solid waste and strains on water sources. ?Consumers should look at what works best for them economically and physically.??

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