Gut Rumbles

February 10, 2006

Bottled water

If I had to choose a symbol of just how absurd people are today, I'd pick a plastic bottle of designer water. I can't think of anything else that so perfectly represents new-age, self-indulgent, feel-good delusion in modern society.

I might think differently if tap water were of dubious quality and people risked developing cholera, typhoid, dysentery or some other nasty disease from drinking it. That's not the case here. I've been to places in the USA where the tap water was so sulfurous that it smelled and tasted foul (made a pot of coffee undrinkable, too), but that rotten-egg stench didn't mean that it was unsafe to drink. It might make you gag, but it wasn't going to kill you.

I bought bottled water in those places for cooking, brewing coffee and making ice for mixed drinks. I paid less than a dollar a gallon for it, too. And I've been to very FEW places where I had that problem.

Bottled designer water does have certain benefits. It is portable and potable. But its convenience doesn't explain its popularity. I believe that most people who drink bottled water do so because they are convinced that somehow it is better than tap water. Maybe it is, to some people, bit I have to ask one question: Is it 10,000 times better-tasting than tap water? If not, you're an idiot to buy it at that price.

Plus, bottled water ain't exactly environmentally friendly:

"Making bottles to meet Americans' demand for bottled water requires more than 1.5 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel some 100,000 US cars for a year," according to the study. "Worldwide, some 2.7 million tons of plastic are used to bottle water each year."

Once the water is consumed, disposing the plastic bottles poses an environmental risk.

The study, citing the Container Recycling Institute, said that 86 percent of plastic water bottles in the United States end up as garbage and those buried can take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade.

But bottled water is healthier than tap water, right?

It said that while consumers tend to link bottled water with healthy living, tap water can be just as healthy and is subject to more stringent regulations than bottled water in many regions, including Europe and the United States.

Considering the facts about bottled water, people would have to be incredibly wasteful, foolishly extravagant, woefully ignorant and downright delusional to buy it. Sales are skyrocketing.

See why it's the perfect symbol of the New Millineum?


People are paying $8 + a gallon for designer water (but bitching about $2 a gallon gas) and if the truth was known, a rip off is around the corner filling the water bottles out of the same tap water that comes into your home, the water fountain or anywhere else water is available. Makes sense if you are an idiot.

Posted by: scrapiron on February 10, 2006 01:11 PM

If you never want to spend another dime on bottled water go check this out.

I have one and it is the best appliance you can ever spend money on.

It makes WATER out of AIR, up to 5 gallons a day. Plus cleans the air.

Fuck bottled water.

Posted by: gravdigr on February 10, 2006 01:44 PM

The funny thing about bottled water vs. tap water and the way some americans view bottled water as being healthier is this:

If people would read the statement right on the majority of these bottles: NATURAL SPRING WATER
what does that tell you? It's water drawn from a natural spring. I have a natural; spring behind my house and I'd be damned if I'd drink form it. I trust my good ole chlorinated, flourinated, treated for bacteria tap water.
Screw that natural spring.

Posted by: Dawn on February 10, 2006 03:10 PM

Go to Publix, read the fine print on their jug water.
"Filtered Lakeland, Fl. Municipal Water".
Then, it says it was "ozonated".

Is that where an Ethiopian Hebrew Rastafarian flatulates over it in a regal manner?

Posted by: dc on February 10, 2006 03:25 PM

Yea, let those bottle drinking yuppies complain when they have OUTRAGEOUS dental bills from lack of flouride...Srves 'em right...

Posted by: Steph on February 10, 2006 03:56 PM

Put regular water in a designer bottle (can't let them see you before you pretend to open) and give it to them and ask if they think it's good.

Posted by: MAXNNR on February 10, 2006 04:43 PM

Hey y'all, I design water treatment plants in Texas, and let me tell you, I DON'T DRINK TAP WATER.

The FDA established water standards decades ago, and today we have exceptions for Texas in general, in addition to area-specific exceptions. (the Waco area has more solids allowed, Midland has more salts) For instance, the FDA allows a certain level of dissolved mineral salts (bad stuff) in the parts per billion range. In Texas these are relaxed by a factor of 1000. For Texas, the FDA also allows 10,000 times the suspended solids. In the Waco area in the summer, a glass of tap water left standing overnight leaves a hazy, cloudy residue floating at the bottom. This is due to the algae that flourish in Lake Waco. Prohibitively expensive to remove, not dangerous in any way (they say) except aesthetically, they are working on it.

Other states I have visited have much, much better water; most have acceptable H2O, Colorado and New Mexico among the best. The tap water craze is hype in most parts of the world, but here in Texas I would be cornholed without it.

Posted by: JebTexas on February 10, 2006 04:45 PM

"...people would have to be incredibly wasteful, foolishly extravagant, woefully ignorant and downright delusional to buy it."

Thought you were talking about cigarettes there for a moment.

Posted by: rightisright on February 10, 2006 05:11 PM

If you're driving and need a sip of water, it's tough to find tap water. I have a case of bottled water (Sam's choice from Walmart) in each car. Does that make me a Yuppie?

Posted by: Alan on February 10, 2006 05:39 PM

Our water comes from a spring about two hundred yards away. It then is reverse osmosis filtered. Will be glad to ship it to anyone for 8 dollars a gallon + $25. for shipping and handeling.

Posted by: Dave on February 10, 2006 05:47 PM

I've got a couple of water jugs with built in filters, removes almost all solids and gives better tasting water.
Cheap too.

Posted by: robert in england on February 10, 2006 05:48 PM

Maxnnr, One time I served my guests

rotgut whiskey in a Canadian Club bottle.

One of my pals stole the bottle! He thought

that the stuff was damn good, the asshole.

Posted by: TomCat on February 10, 2006 06:46 PM

I have been in the water treatment buisness
going on 30 years now. I only drink bottled
spring water if I can help it. If you knew what
I knew and have seen what I have seen you
probably would not drink tap water either. The
best water I have ever drank came right out of the ground (spring fed) in the North Carolina

Posted by: Captain Harley on February 10, 2006 09:03 PM

All I needed was to see that Evian is naive spelled backwards to know that bottled water is bullshit.
Utter yuppie bullshit.

Posted by: Stevie on February 10, 2006 09:13 PM

Where I grew up the city water supply all came from Artesian wells. The water was so pure that the only reason the city had to filter it was that the state of Ohio insisted that it be charcoal filtered. People used to drive in from all over the area to fill bottles from the fountain in front of the water dept. I have never tasted better water anywhere.

What I think is funny is that where I used to work on Wall St the yuppies would bring their bottles in and drink them and then fill them from the tap in the rest room and drink that for the next couple of weeks.

Posted by: dick on February 10, 2006 09:50 PM

"People are paying $8 + a gallon for designer water (but bitching about $2 a gallon gas)"

This is true!!

BUT! I agree with JebTexas on Texas water. Some cities around here, such as Cleburne, have such bad water that you smell like sewer after taking a shower. SOMETHING BAD is causing the odor, like, bacteria?? I don't want to drink that.

Posted by: Sam on February 10, 2006 10:04 PM

Oh, you'll love this: my cat likes the taste of bottled water better than tap, and she even prefers a specific brand.

Yes, that may sound crazy, but not as crazy as this: the lady I work for insists that her cats get filtered water with ice cubes in it.

And of course, being in CA means stocking up on bottled water as part of our earthquake preparedness kits.


Posted by: DogsDontPurr on February 10, 2006 11:28 PM

I like dasani strawberry water. No calories and it tastes damned good.

I have a built in water filter in my icebox, and otherwise than that I'll drink iced tea.

Posted by: Cythen on February 11, 2006 01:15 AM

It's probably no accident that "Evian" is "naive" backward.

Add this to the list of things that Yuppies have ruined. Fajitas. Used to be, butcher shops would throw or give away those skirt steaks. Not any more. Thanks, Yuppies.

Corona Beer? It's basically the Falstaf of Mexico and now it's considered designer beer. Thanks, Yuppies.

Posted by: joni on February 11, 2006 01:59 AM

Yea, and those same people are paying double for a diet meal that has half the fat, half the sugar, and half the taste of the regular meal. Why not buy the regular and eat half saving 400%?

Posted by: Ivan Ivanovich on February 11, 2006 09:27 AM

I dunno, I drink bottled water most of the time because most places I've lived, tap water tastes bad even when chilled.

But I'll go to Costco or Sam's Club and buy a 35-pack of half-liter bottles for $8 or whatever, as opposed to spending a buck fifty at the store.

And at home I use a filter rather than drink bottled water.

Oh, I do get some fluoridated water for my kids to drink, since I can't get a straight answer out of my city as to whether the water is fluoridated or not, and I'm not sure if the Brita filter removes fluoride.

Posted by: Rick C on February 11, 2006 12:32 PM

Actually, watching the aptly named Baby Boom and the benighted generations educated by them suckling away at their bottles until second toothlessness is a perfect image of our infantile times.

Posted by: Brett on February 12, 2006 09:14 AM

Brita removes flouride, as do home water softeners, reverse osmosis, or other ionic purifiers. Dasani is basically R/O water (removes pretty much everything except the H2O) with specific salts added back for taste.

We buy plenty of the stuff (whatever's on sale) mainly so the kid's have something to drink in the car that doesn't spill easily and won't make a mess. For meals they get tap. For all practical purposes we're buying the package.

Posted by: phwest on February 13, 2006 04:09 PM

I have a Brita filter that screws into my kitchen faucet. I use it for drinking water and coffee. I save plastic bottles to fill up and carry around with me when I'm on the go. I think I spend $15 every two months for the replacement filter.

Fuck bottled water. It's cheaper to get a bottle of Coke. How sad is that? A drink that has to be manufactured costs less than WATER?

You know the water companies understand their target audience rather well, don't you?

Posted by: Raging Dave on February 15, 2006 07:02 AM
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