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 SSWD 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! www.sswd.org www.sswd.org Make it Outdoor Watering Easy! Schedule S SWD is committed to providing a high J oin the hundreds of customers 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 www.sswd.org 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 E 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 www.sswd.org 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 www.sswd.org. 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 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: www.sswd.org saves 7,000 gallons of water. DM 10634 www.sswd.org Fax 916.972.7639 916.972.7171 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday Contact SSWD ; Kids’ Corner Schedule ; 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 PRSRT STD.
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