There has been an alarming trend among both the mainstream and alternative press to attempt to portray ordinary tap water as being safe to drink. One of the vehicles used in recent months to convince Americans that ordinary tap water is as good as bottled water are the claims that restaurants are making the switch from bottled water to tap.
In an article entitled "Tapping into greener dining, eateries table bottled water" The Boston Globe reports:
Small Plates in Harvard Square menu lists ‘‘Individual Bottled Water,’’ but instead of a price you’ll find this message: ‘‘Not sold here because plastic bottles are BAD BAD BAD for the environment & that water is really no better than tap water.’’
Seattle's MyNorthwest also touts the claim that some restaurants have moved from bottled water to tap:
Jane Lukatah joins famous restaurateurs like Alice Waters and Mario Batali in a pledge to waste less and save customers money. She says, "The impact to the environment, the cost of transporting, it's totally not necessary. It's such and easy thing to drop."
Even the New York Times got in on the act with an article entitled "Fighting the Tide, a Few Restaurants Tilt to Tap Water:
“Filling cargo ships with water and sending it hundreds and thousands of miles to get it around the world seems ridiculous,” said Joseph Bastianich, an upscale restaurant owner. “With all the other things we do for sustainability, it makes sense.”
Now I could be wrong, but as long as I have been going to restaurants, I've always had the option to get tap water if I wanted, so I find these articles suspect, a bit misleading and even dishonest in some respects.
There was at least one article that I came across which seemed to get it at least half right. It was a fairly balanced and lengthy article entitled "Houston Turns Back to Tap," by the free, widely distributed Houston Press. It went so far as to pit local tap water against Ozarka and Dasani and compared the samples to EPA standards.
Aside from that, the recurring theme in all of these articles are environmental concerns and the unnecessary energy used to transport bottled water across the United States. These are certainly noble causes; probably spearheaded by well-meaning individuals. But like most of the trendy "going green" global warming movement, they fail to address real concerns while infusing straw men-type arguments into environmental debates.
Of course, anyone with two brain cells to rub together, and half the sense to read past such propaganda will realize that there are many, many problems with tap water, no matter where you live in the US.
In a recent AP article, investigative reporters found that trace amounts of pharmaceuticals have been found in the tap water supplied to at least 41 million Americans.
"Water providers rarely disclose results of pharmaceutical screenings, unless pressed, the AP found. For example, the head of a group representing major California suppliers said the public "doesn't know how to interpret the information" and might be unduly alarmed."
An even more recent AP article finds that some cities performed their own tests, and the overall numbers of municipal water districts found that contaminated drinking water affected at least 6 million more Americans than previously thought.
The findings highlight a dirty, yet open secret: many American's tap water supply is simply filtered sewage, or 'toilet to tap', as it is more commonly known.
If that wasn't bad enough, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has determined that some 82 million Americans do not get fluoridate water, and the US government is initiating steps to make sure they get it, whether they want it or not.
"Most Americans get their water from municipal or regional community water systems. A new CDC report showed that as of 2006, 69 percent of people in the United States who get water from these systems received fluoridated water, up from 65 percent in 2000 and 62 percent in 1992.
That means that while 184 million Americans get fluoridated water from community water systems, 82 million do not. The government's goal is for 75 percent of U.S. residents on community systems to be getting fluoridated water by 2010."
While there is much evidence to back these claims, the shocking truth is that fluoride is a dangerous by-product of aluminum, fertilizer and nuclear production. Adding fluoride to public drinking water is nothing more than a cheap method of disposal of a toxic poison by corporations that wish to cut costs at the expense of the general population.
It seems that the environmental movement prefers to overlook these inconvenient truths when they advocate the safety of tap water, regardless of whether bottled water is environmentally sound or not. The obvious solution to drinking either tap or bottled water is to drink water from a filtration system that uses reverse osmosis, yet this isn't promoted in any of the articles that push the safety of tap water. This begs the question as to why? Could there be some nefarious underlying agenda? I'll leave you make the call on that one.