Sure, we can recycle those bottles and that’s great. But if we stop and think about all of the energy used in production, transportation and recycling throughout a bottle’s life cycle, we have a real problem. There is a better solution that can save you big bucks and is environmentally beneficial. Consider a household water filter straight from your tap. Don’t go get all uppity just yet.
Most folks consider tap water tainted. And in many cases it is. In many municipalities, chlorine is the biggest factor to contend with. As an additive to the water supply, it helps to maintain the sanitation of the system. As one city employee of water and power stated, it is not possible to purify water to the level of drinking, because most people use it to flush toilets, do dishes, take showers and water lawns. It is cost prohibitive to make the general water supply into purified drinking water when it's used for those other purposes. So let’s take a look at the purification options…
Reverse-osmosis devices, usually installed underneath the sink, use a membrane with pores tiny enough to screen out inorganic chemicals such as chloride and sulfate. They can be expensive to purchase and may be difficult to install. In addition, they can waste as much as three gallons of water for every gallon that is drinkable.
Distillers are effective at reducing the levels of most chemicals except organic chemicals. A distiller boils water and then condenses the steam, removing contaminants in the process. A distiller is less expensive to purchase than a reverse-osmosis system, but more expensive to operate since it uses more energy. Ion Exchange Ion exchange devices—such as iron removal, softening, and chlorination systems—are usually installed where the waterline enters the home. However, these types of water treatment devices may also be installed directly to a faucet.
The simplest type of point-of-use devices, filters trap particles in a porous material while allowing water to pass through. They can reduce particles like sand and rust but cannot remove anything dissolved in the water. Filter devices are relatively inexpensive to purchase but do require regular maintenance which adds to the cost.
Activated Carbon Filters
Carbon material—such as coal, charcoal and wood—is used in these filters to reduce organic chemicals, such as those that can cause offensive tastes and odors. They are less expensive to purchase than many other types of treatment units and don't waste water. Some units can enhance bacterial growth, so frequent replacement of the filter cartridge, which adds to the cost of the operation, is necessary.
I have personally used a sink mounted "PUR" filter on my tap and tested the end result. It had a low alkalinity and a significantly reduced level of particulate matter. Go figure that over the last year a $30 sink mount has saved me hundreds in unclaimed CRV alone.