Saturday, June 19, 2010

Drink up: SF Tap Water "Safer" Than Bottled Water

Describes the source quality of San Francisco's city water as superior to many bottled waters which have questionable sources, even before it is put into plastic.

From SF Weekly:
Take a long, cool drink of the Hetch Hetchy the next time someone hands you a bottle of Fiji: city officials have long said that the imported mountain water which provides San Franciscans' tap water is better than bottled H20, and now they have a study to prove it.

The water is so good, in fact, that it doesn't need to be filtered before it is piped into homes. Yum!

Fish and bears do their business in and around mountain water, of course, but that doesn't at all mean that we bathe in bear piss in San Francisco: that the Environmental Protection Agency does not require the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to filter our drinking water is a measure of exactly how good the Hetch-Hetchy water is, according to SFPUC General Manager Ed Harrington.

In addition to providing fodder for a giant island of plastic in the Pacific Ocean, bottled water is sketchy. There's the polycarbons in the containers, there's the shady sources -- some of which are municipal water supplies far dirtier than San Francisco's. Who knows what's in bottled water? Nobody, Harrington said: "When was the last time a bottled water company issued a comprehensive water quality report?"

A good question. Probably a long time ago if ever, mostly because the law doesn't mandate bottled water companies to perform exhaustive tests like it does to the SFPUC. Last year, the SFPUC conducted 105,000 tests along the 167-mile long Hetch Hetchy aqueduct system to collect the data used in the report.

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