Must be something in the water

    Do you drink water from the tap? Considering the environmental impact of all that plastic, is it worth eschewing city water in favor of bottled? Or do you just like the peace of mind you get from home filtration?

    Do you drink water from the tap, or do you feel safer filtering it or drinking bottled water?

    Tell us in the comments below.

    Studies in 2004 found minor traces of more than a dozen painkillers, antibiotics, antidepressants and other pharmaceuticals, as well as estrogen and DEET, in insecet repellent, in the Philadelphia water supply. Recently elevated levels of radioactive iodine-131 have been detected in waste-water treatment centers that serve Northwest, West, and Center City neighborhoods.

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    Yesterday, WHYY’s Carolyn Beeler reported that city officials have discovered the source of the iodine.

    Treatment facilities cannot remove iodine once it’s in the water, and home filtration techniques won’t help either. But city officials say that the iodine, and the other chemicals measuring in the parts per trillion, pose no health threat to residents.

    Still, drawing attention to water “contaminents” in any measure has a tendency to raise panic among residents.

    A WebMD report states that roughly 45% of the water sold in single-serve bottles comes from a municipal water source. If it’s labeled as “purified water,” the original source is probably tap water.

    According to the city’s water department, carbon filtering of city water may remove some chlorine flavor (chlorine is used to control bacteria growth) and may soften the water by removing calcium and magnesium carbonates, but it doesn’t necessarily make the water any safer.

    In a Daily News taste test in 2007, the majority of participants mistook Philly water for bottled water. Only soon-to-be Mayor Nutter recognized it as tap water. Would you be able to tell the difference?

    Considering the environmental impact of all those plastic bottles, and the expense of buying a commodity that comes cheap or free from the kitchen faucet, is it worth eschewing city water? Do you only buy spring water? Or do you just like the peace of mind you get from home filtration?

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