Drinking water is a multi-billion-dollar industry that spans from your local water utility (Chester Water Authority) to the companies who bottle water (Chester Water Authority).

A lot of people drink bottled water and don’t realize a lot of it comes directly from water utility companies across the county. Usually, the bottle water companies receive the water from the utility then filter the water one more time to remove or reduce the chorine taste and smell, but otherwise, a lot of bottled water is right from the tap that most folks are trying to avoid.

Recently, Nestle has been in some hot water because of their claim that their Poland Spring water is actually coming from the Poland Spring they picture on their label. Someone is suing them because everyone agrees the water isn’t coming from the spring, but Nestle argues that it comes from the place underground that feeds the spring and that complies to the FDA rules.

That’s why the water business is so conflicting. The rules governing the safety and source of water can be very broad and extremely confusing. As a result, a lot of people have turned to botted water not realize the confusion that lurks in that industry, too.

I often hear people complain that water in Flint is still not safe. Actually, the water is fine. It’s the pipes that are not safe. Once the safe water goes through the unsafe pipes, the water becomes unsafe. Okay, maybe I’m spitting hairs, but it’s good to know the real cause of unsafe water in Flint.

For those who can take their eyes off of Flint for a moment, you may have noticed a big issue with PFOS & PFOA. These are chemicals that are being found in water systems across the country which have health effects as bad or worse than consuming lead. The bigger problem is PFOS & PSOA aren’t regulated like lead and the EPA has just started thinking about putting some regulation around these chemicals.

If you read the local papers lately, you may have read where the Pennsylvania department of environmental protection isn’t waiting for the EPA and is starting their own efforts to see how bad the PFOS & PFOA problem is around the state in hopes of limiting these 2 chemicals to below the EPA guidelines within the next 2 to 3 years.

I said all that to say this…

You can wait 2 to 3 years for the state to begin to do something about PFOA & PFOA or you can do something today. It really is up to you. And beware, the work the state is doing only applies to drinking water utilities that are found to have PFOS & PFOAs in their water supply. It still doesn’t have any effect on your bottled water.

I’m a huge believer there’s a lot more in the tap water than folks are ready to admit. Utilities aren’t required to test for stuff the EPA knows is likely in the water and they don’t even have the equipment to test it if they were required to. That’s why it takes so long to get new elements included in the testing and reduction at the utility level.

Bottled water is no better, and in most cases much worse. Since most bottle water companies simply improve on the water they receive from the tap, their improvements are mostly improving the taste and smell and have nothing to do with reducing contaminants. Even worse, water sitting in plastic bottles that sits in warehouses, travels across the road in hot trucks, sits on store shelves and sometimes out in the sunlight, only gets worse each day it sits in that bottle. Water does not like to sit still and anything alive in the bottle continues to grow (microorganisms).

Home water filters is your answer. A good water filter removes more stuff than you can imagine could be in your water.

A basic filter works on taste and smell. The next level goes after stuff that improve health effects. From there, water filters are specialized in removing/reducing specific impurities.

The only way to know if a water filter is really doing what it claims to do is to look for the NSF Certification. All major filter manufacturers will pay the high cost to have their filters tested by NSF because they can’t make a claim on their box or post the NSF seal unless NSF determines the filter meets those claims.

In the last few months, NSF have come up with a new standard for testing PFOA and PFOS and filter manufacturers are going back to NSF to determine if their water filters also reduce PFOA and PFOS below what the EPA labels as an acceptable level so they can add that their filter works on those chemicals, too.

I’ve been using the E-Spring filter for years because it’s NSF certified on far more things than any other filter I’ve researched. Every time something new comes down the pike (like microcystin or PFAS) the E-Spring was already on it before NSF made a category for it. Let me know if you’d like to know more about the E-Spring (610.453.6501 news@chestermatters.news).

You shouldn’t buy a home water filter without comparing spec sheets and if it’s not NSF Certified, you’re taking a big chance.

Here are two spec sheets from two manufactures that are NSF Certified and remove PFOS & PSOA. Because the filters are of different technologies, they don’t remove the same impurities.

  • Aquasana is a kitchen unit that uses reverse osmosis. It’s NSF Standard ratings: 42 – Taste and Smell; 53 – Health Contaminants; 58 – Health contaminants reduced from reverse osmosis; 401 – Emerging contaminants; and p473 – PFOS/PFOA.
  • E-Spring is a kitchen unit that uses a carbon block filter and UV light. It’s NSF ratings: 42; 53; 55 – ultraviolet light for microbiological reduction; 401; p473; and p477 – microcystin from algae.

 

When you compare the two fact sheets side by side, you’ll see how many more ‘things’ the E-Spring remove even under that same NSF Standard. Aquasana’s reverse osmosis technology has the advantage of removing heavy metals including arsenic. E-Spring has the UV light advantage of ‘killing’ those harmful microorganisms that are likely swimming in the water. It doesn’t take much to find microorganisms in the water under a microscope. Only few areas risk having arsenic in their water.

Hope this information helps somebody.

The last line of defense for clean drinking water is you!

I’d be happy to come out and speak to you or your group on safe drinking water. I used to do the Dirty Water Dude podcast speaking on drinking water issues. You still might find those 12 episodes out there somewhere on the Internets.