H20

13 Dec

I finished my latest book this afternoon; Bottlemania, by Elizabeth Royte. A far cry from my book club’s latest choice of chick lit I was excited to read this hotly anticipated book that sat on my library waiting list for 3 months. The book is about water supplies, bottled water and well all you will ever want to know – and in some cases didn’t want to know – about the life sustaining and precious commodity we all require. 

I learned that my lovely town of Portland, Oregon has one of the best tap waters available – water so good that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) who oversees tap water doesn’t require the city to filter it’s water. Only Boston, San Francisco, Seattle and (shockingly) New York have water this good. Also, Portland owns its watershed so there is more protection over the water supply. 

I’m not going to pretend that I don’t drink or haven’t purchased bottled water but learning more about the full environmental impact of bottled water, it’s basic non-existent regulations for quality control regarding purification and the impacts of big business on small communities will have me thinking twice next time I reach out to spend money on water. Even the idea of spending these high prices for bottled water when the liquid that comes to me for a much lower cost out of my faucet will have me thinking twice.

That is not to say I didn’t learn some terrifying things about water cleaning and purification plus all the ramifications of the chemicals used to treat groundwater through our public utilities. I think my head is still spinning from running all the what if scenarios of what lives in my water. And while I at times really wondered what Elizabeth Royte’s recommendation was going to be at the end of the book I feel satisfied with her conclusion.

I highly recommend this read – a little scary, very eye opening and while at times hard to follow I found it to overall be a good blend of educational and entertaining.

Oh, and if you want to get me something for the holidays I would be interested in getting my water lab tested for chemical levels. Just FYI.

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One Response to “H20”

  1. Elizabeth Royte April 16, 2010 at 8:43 am #

    I just wanted to say thank you for reading my book, and for your thoughts (sorry parts were confusing!), and also thanks for that excellent idea — giving a water test as a gift. It beats buying someone something they don’t need or really want (read my previous book, Garbage Land, for more on that particular issue…), and it will empower the recipient to make better choices. If you find there ARE contaminants of concern in the water that comes into your house, your next step will be to find the right filter (I think Consumer Reports for April has a big story on water filters) and then remember to bring your reusable water bottle with you when you leave the house. I’m going to use your suggestion (the test) when I speak about these issues. Such a great idea.

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