city water

Is Bottled Water the Best Option?

The office water cooler has become a staple appliance in the office environment. You will hardly watch an office TV sitcom without seeing it in the background. The familiar blue plastic jugs neatly placed beside the cooler in a neat row with their shiny stickers facing outwards. Pictures of mountains with water running down the side of them assure you that the water inside is fresh, clean and pure. So you drink without giving it any thought, happy that you are not drinking that disgusting water from the tap.

But is this the best option? Are there better options? Let’s consider a few facts about bottled water and bottled water coolers.

1.       Bottled Water Source: In most cases, bottled water is simply filtered city water or well water. It usually isn’t being collected from a stream at the bottom of a mountain! Surprised? Don’t be. There are only so many ways to collect water and most plants are nowheres near a mountain.

2.       Filtration Used: The filtration techniques used to filter the water before its bottled are usually the very same types of filtration you can buy for your home or office: Carbon block, Reverse Osmosis (RO), Ultraviolet (UV) Sterilization. Why pay someone else to filter your water and deliver it?

3.       The Coolers: Greater than 95% of coolers used are reservoir style coolers. What does that mean? It means the water is cooled inside an open reservoir which is air vented. Whatever is in the air ends up inside the water cooler. YUK! Algae growth, dirt, dust, chemicals and other nasty contaminants will find their way inside the cooler and here is where they stay until you pour a glass.

4.       Safety: Bottled water is becoming a concern from a safety perspective in the work place. For some, lifting a large jug (40 Lbs!) is simply dangerous. Injuries to backs have been reported and employers are becoming increasingly aware of the costs of workplace injuries.

5.       Cost: The cost of your water program doesn’t stop with the cost of the water itself. Count up the additional costs that are tagged onto the bill: Bottle Deposit Fees, Semi Annual Sanitation, Cooler Rentals and so on. What an expense!

These are just a few factors to consider before signing a contract for bottled water. But what are the other options? Look at Point of Use (POU) solutions like:

·         Bottleless Water Coolers (ie: The ION by Natural Choice)

·         Under Sink Filtration

·         Portable Filtration (ie: Lifesaver water bottle)

Bottled water does have its place. There are many locations where water is not suitable for drinking and filtration is too costly. Also, lack of available plumbing or high cost of installation make filtration a non-viable option. If bottled water is your only option, ensure your cooler placement is not near or susceptible to contamination and always maintain a good sanitation program.

To find out what drinking water options are suited well for your business or home, call National Water to discuss you needs.

Boil Orders and Drinking Water

We don’t realize how convenient it is to open a tap and pour a glass of water until we have a boil order put in place. It can be a nuisance to have to boil our water or purchase bottled water but don’t forget how fortunate we are to have municipal water supplies that are closely monitored and a warning system put in place to protect us from contamination in the rare event this happens.

Here are a few reminders to keep in mind in the event your water supply is under  a boil order:

·         Don’t take risks! There is a reason why the boil order is on. Don’t assume it is ok.

·         Do not use the water for washing fruits and vegetables.

·         Use bleach with no fragrance or additional chemicals to sterilize water. 1/8 teaspoon per gallon of water will provide you with safe water for washing and other uses.

·         When washing hands, it is good practice to use alcohol based hand sanitizer after washing.

·         Once the boil order is lifted, flush your lines adequately to ensure any potentially contaminated water is purged out of the system.

Bacteria Filtration

With advances in filtration and the proven disinfection technology of Ultraviolet Sterilization, homeowners and renter alike have more options than ever before for protecting their water supply from bacterial contamination. These technologies can bring peace of mind and convenience when a boil order is in place. With NSF approvals for bacteria, virus’ and cysts, we would all do well to at least explore these options to ensure safe drinking water for ourselves and our families.

Ultrafiltration (UF) – Uses hollow fiber technology to mechanically filter out dirt, sediment, bacteria, virus’ and many other contaminants. Filters as low as 0.01 microns. Some units are NSF or WQA approved.

Ultraviolet Light (UV) – Uses a high dose of UV rays to scramble the DNA of the bacteria preventing it from reproducing.  The bacteria eventually dies off on its own and poses no threat.

Microbiological Barrier (MB) Carbon Blocks – Using advanced technology, these point of use filters (typically installed under the sink) are extremely effective at bacteria removal. Boasting a 99.9999% reduction of bacteria, 99.99% viral reduction and 99.95% protozoan cyst reduction, MB block technology will be a technology of choice for those wanting a hybrid filter. Not only will it give you sediment, chlorine, taste and odor claims, but it will ultimately give you safe water.