Bottled Water A Growing Trend with a Growing Cost by xyh75214


									Spring 2008                                                                            Vol. 6 No. 1

               Bottled Water: A Growing Trend
                     with a Growing Cost
W           ith skyrocketing sales and extensive
            marketing, bottled water is big business in
            the United States and around the world.
Bottled water sales have quadrupled in the past 20
years, and continue to grow by about 10% each year.
                                                          The environmental
                                                          costs of bottled
                                                          water also are
                                                          emerging, with
                                                          billions of plastic
Global sales of bottled water amount to more than         bottles showing up
$50 billion a year, according to a recent report by the   in landfills every
Pacific Institute.                                        year. In 2005, 2
More than half of all Americans drink bottled water       million tons of
occasionally, and about one-third say they drink it       plastic water bottles ended up in landfills instead of
regularly. Depending on the brand, bottled water can      getting recycled, according to the Natural Resources
cost 1,000 times more per gallon than the high-quality    Defense Council (NRDC).
tap water available in most communities. Some             This article provides a look at bottled water and some
imported brands cost more than 10,000 times more          important facts to consider in deciding whether
per gallon than tap water; much of that cost goes for     bottled water or tap water is your drink of choice.
bottling, packaging, shipping, marketing, retailing       Is Bottled Water Safer?
and profit.                                               The NRDC conducted a four-year study of bottled
So what’s driving the growing demand for bottled          water that included a comparison of safety standards
water? Experts say some people choose bottled water       for bottled water and tap water and independent
because they perceive it to be safer than tap water.      testing of over 1,000 bottles of water. The conclusion?
For some, the choice is based on taste or convenience.    There is no assurance that water from a bottle is any
But several studies have shown bottled water is not       cleaner or safer than water from the tap. In fact, the
necessarily purer or safer than water from the faucet.    study found, an estimated 25% to 40% of bottled
Federal standards for bottled water safety are            water is actually tap water in a bottle. Though
generally less stringent than those governing tap         sometimes it is filtered or further treated before
water, and it can be difficult to find out exactly what   bottling, often it is not. One brand of “spring” water
is in bottled water.                                                                “Bottled Water” continued on page 3

Board of
                                                 Make a Difference
Directors                 Refillable Bottles – SSWD Offers Convenient Alternative
David J. Githens        Refillable plastic water bottles from Sacramento Suburban Water District
President, Division 1   are a great alternative to single-use bottles that more often than not end
Neil W. Schild          up in landfills.
Vice President,
Division 2              Everyday actions can make a difference when it comes to supporting
Ken R. Decio            sustainability. Pick up a free, refillable water bottle at:
Division 3                     The next SSWD Community Outreach Day (see page 2).
Thomas C. Fellenz              SSWD’s Administrative Office during the month of May
Division 5                     (while supplies lasts).
Stephen R. Hanson
Division 4
                        Thank you for your conservation efforts!

     Make it                                              Outdoor Watering
      Easy!                                               Schedule

                                                                SWD is committed to providing a high

    J    oin the
         hundreds of
    who pay their
                                                                quality, reliable water supply to customers.
                                                                To achieve this goal, the Board of Directors
                                                          adopted a regulation that incorporates enforced
                                                          water conservation measures. Water abuse will
                                                          result in a fine or penalty. A crucial element of this
    water bills the easy                                  regulation involves customer cooperation in
                                                          managing water use. SSWD adheres to an
    way with on-line bill payment or Direct               odd/even watering schedule as follows:
    Payment Service. These payment options
    make bill paying simple and convenient.                ; Addresses ending in odd numbers water
                                                               Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
    Go to or call 916.972.7171
    to learn more.                                         ; Addresses ending in even numbers water
                                                               Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday.

                                                           ; No watering on Monday.
    Community Outreach Day                                To avoid peak energy hours and minimize
                                                          evaporation set your automatic landscape
           Recycle Your E-Waste                           sprinkler timers to operate during periods of low

      lectronic waste (e-waste) is one of the fastest     consumption between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.
      growing waste streams in the world. Most e-         Watering during this time reduces water loss due
      waste products contain high levels of toxic         to evaporation. Avoid water use during the peak
elements that are prohibited for disposal in landfills.   energy demand hours of 11:00 a.m. through
If not properly disposed of, the toxins e-waste           7:00 p.m.
products contain, such as lead and mercury, can seep
into the groundwater supply. This event promotes to       If you have manual sprinklers, water in the cool
safely and environmentally recycle obsolete               morning or evening hours. Set a timer to help you
electronics, which helps keep our groundwater clean.      remember when to turn off your water.
Join SSWD in reducing our impact on the                   Need a little help remembering which days to
environment. Bring your e-waste (see below for            water? Pick up your outdoor watering schedule
items accepted) to SSWD’s Community Outreach Day          magnet at the administrative office at 3701 Marconi
on Saturday, May 3, 2008 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.       Ave, Suite 100, Sacramento during business
at Antelope Gardens, 7800 Antelope North Road,            hours. Put the magnet on your refrigerator as a
Antelope (see “Feature News” at for          helpful reminder.
location map).
Items accepted: computers, monitors, computer
mouse/mice, computer components, keyboards,
coaxial cables, power cables, miscellaneous computer
peripherals, digital cameras, printers, toner
cartridges, scanners, palm pilots, DVD players, MP3
players, walkmans, video game systems, audio/visual
equipment, projectors, stereo equipment, speakers,
                                                                      “If you think you’re too small to
TVs, VCR wireless devices, cell phones, pagers,                       make a difference, then you’ve
telephone equipment, copiers, fax machines,
household batteries.
                                                                      never spent the night in a tent
Items NOT accepted: car batteries, tires, household
                                                                      with a mosquito.”
chemicals, household appliances, light fixtures,                                    Canadian First Nations Elder
furniture, lamps, and smoke detectors.

2                   Sacramento Suburban Water District
                                                                 5. Having an ample supply of _________ is a top priority
Kids’ Corner Water Fun Contest                                      in an emergency such as an earthquake.
Win a goodie bag full of cool stuff! SSWD is having a water
fun contest for ages 4-12. The first 50 kids to answer all       6. Just _______(hint: a number) leaky faucet can waste
10 questions correctly and mail or drop off the responses to        up to 100 gallons of water a day.
the address below by May 16, 2008, will win a Water              7. Kids and adults can save water by turning off the faucet
Efficiency Goodie Bag which includes a SSWD Water Bottle            when _______ ________, washing hands, and shaving.
and a Water-Wise Gardening CD for Mom and Dad.
Hint: Answers can be found at                      8. Adapting to climate change and promoting sustainability in
                                                                    our operations and business decisions will be top priorities
1. The next SSWD Community Outreach event is on                     for ____________ in the coming years.
   Saturday, May 3, 2008 at ______ _______ from
   9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.                                         9. Every home should have a supply of water stored for at
2. By replacing your high flush toilet with a 1.6-gallon Ultra      least ______ days of emergency use.
   Low Flush Toilet you can save up to ________ gallons          10. During a Water-Wise House Call you can learn about
   of water per person per day.                                     your landscape watering requirements, your irrigation
3. SSWD staff is available to give ____________                     system and receive a personal watering schedule, and
   regarding water conservation, water supply, water quality        avoid future problems with your __________ system.
   and many other water topics to clubs, schools,                Be sure drop off or mail your answers by May 16, 2008 to
   organizations and community groups.                           SSWD Attn: Kids Corner Contest, 3701 Marconi Ave, Ste
4. It is recommended that people drink at least two quarts (64   100, Sacramento, CA 95821. Hurry, only the first 50
   ounces), which is equal to _____ cups, of water each day.     correctly answered entries win!

Bottled Water continued from page 1                              are required to publish annual consumer confidence
cited in the study was in fact from a well near an               reports that describe any contaminants found in
industrial facility. The brand’s label pictured a pristine       drinking water and their detection amounts. There is
mountain lake.                                                   no mandatory reporting for water bottlers.
The NRDC study found that while most bottled water               Energy Use: A Growing Concern
appears to be safe, the quality can be inconsistent.             With climate change and sustainability a growing
Some samples were found to contain contaminants                  focus, numerous experts see many environmental
(chemical or bacterial) at levels above those                    downsides to bottled water use.
recommended by the Food and Drug Administration                  Most bottled water is sold in polyethylene
(FDA), which regulates bottled water.                            terephthalate (PET) bottles, which used nearly
                                                                 900,000 tons of plastic in 2006. PET is produced from
Bottled Water vs. Tap Water: Different Rules Apply               fossil fuels, typically natural gas and petroleum.
Bottled water is regulated by the federal FDA. In
California, the state Department of Public Health’s              According to the Pacific Institute, producing the
Food and Drug Branch is responsible for licensing                plastic bottles used by Americans in 2006 required
and regulating bottled water manufacturers.                      the equivalent of more than 17 million barrels of oil.
                                                                 Bottling the water produced more than 2.5 million
Tap water is regulated by the U.S. Environmental                 tons of global-warming carbon dioxide.
Protection Agency (EPA). The California Department
of Public Health’s Drinking Water Program regulates              Filling the bottles with water and shipping them to
public drinking water systems throughout the state.              market requires additional energy. The Pacific
                                                                 Institute estimates the total amount of energy
The NRDC study noted several areas in which the                  “embedded” in bottled water may be equivalent to
FDA’s bottled water rules were less stringent than               filling a plastic bottle one-quarter full of oil.
EPA’s regulations for tap water. Key areas included
requirements that tap water from surface water                   The NRDC and other groups recently reported that in
sources must be filtered and disinfected (no such                2006, the equivalent of 2 billion half-liter bottles of
requirement applies to bottled water at the federal              water were shipped to U.S. ports, adding thousands of
level), more frequent testing for coliform bacteria              tons of global warming emissions to the environment.
(which indicates the possible presence of germs) and             Environmental groups estimate that just 13% of the
other contaminants is required for tap water than for            plastic water bottles used are recycled, leaving millions
bottled water, and stronger enforcement provisions               of bottles destined for landfills or ending up as litter.
apply to tap water than to bottled.                              SSWD recommends filling reusable water bottles at
Another key area is reporting of water quality                   your home, where a gallon of tap water typically costs
sampling and testing results. Public water suppliers             less than a half a penny.

                                                                                         Fall 2006
                                                                                        Spring 2008                                3
          How does your garden grow?                  Orchid Rockrose
                                                      (Cistus x Purpureus)

                                                       F      ound along the pathways at SSWD’s Antelope Gardens,
                                                              Orchid Rockrose is a heat-loving, shrub that is sure to
                                                              be a show stopper in your water-efficient garden. This
                                                        native to the Mediterranean can be found throughout this
                                                        region in rock gardens or softening the edges of walkways. It
                                                        propagates easily by layering or from cuttings.
                                                             Papery, orchid-pink flowers dotted with burgundy eyes at the
                             Orchid Rockrose of GardenSoft. petal base bloom from late spring to summer. Planted in full
                              Photos courtesy               sun for optimal growth and flowers, Orchid Rockrose can
                             tolerate poor soils and is drought tolerant when established. Often seen used as a
                              ground cover because the Rockrose is relatively fast growing and its dark green
                               foliage covers the plant from the top of the plant to its base, close to the ground.
                                The Rockrose is useful as a foundation plant and along fence lines. It is useful as
                                 a bank cover or on a hillside when planted in masses to help control erosion.
                          This shrub can grow 3 to 5 feet tall and wide. Needing little to no fertilizer, but be
                sure to provide good drainage to prevent root rot. Most Rockroses resent pruning, so to keep
    vigorous tip-pinch young plants to thicken growth. To catch a glimpse of this hardy, water-conserving
plant, call for a tour of SSWD’s Antelope Garden at 972.7171.                                                Printed on recycled
                                                                                                                    paper with soy ink.
                                                                                                                Each ton of recycled paper
Visit our website at:                                                                             saves 7,000 gallons of water.

                                                                                                                               DM 10634
                                                                                                         Fax 916.972.7639
                                                                                                        8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
                                                                                                          Monday - Friday
                                                                                                           Contact SSWD

                                                                                                                 ; Kids’ Corner
                                                                                                          ; Outdoor Watering
                                                                                                               Outreach Day
                                                                                                                   ; Community
                                                                                                             Refillable Bottles
                                                                                                          ; Make a Difference
                                                                           Sacramento, CA 95821          a Growing Cost
                                                                           Suite 100                     Growing Trend with
                                                                           3701 Marconi Avenue           Bottled Water: A                 ;
 Permit No. 516
 Sacramento, CA                                                                                                    Issue:
      PAID                                                                                                         Spring 2008
  US POSTAGE                                                                                                       In This

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