questionsdo you buy spring water? do you think it's hyped…

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I used to. Now occassionally I will buy a 6 pack of sport bottles and reuse them for a couple of weeks, filling them with the filter on my tap. I've been meaning to get a permanent set of refillable but haven't come across some at a decent price that I'd actually want to use.

As a note, a large number of bottled water companies today are owned by Nestle, including Arrowhead, Poland Spring, and Deer Park. Not that it matters, but I think it is annoying. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nestl%C3%A9_brands#Water

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Here in Southeastern New England our tap water is pretty darn good. Of course it depends on where you live nowadays. Even by neighborhoods the water can change based on local treatments or individual pipes to a house.

The best route is a nice hardcore filter underneath your sink. It will pay for itself within a year vs. "Spring water". It tastes better too ( I drank Poland Springs at work for years).

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The wife and I used to go through a 24 pack of Spring Water every week. At that time we owned an old refrigerator with an in-door ice/water dispenser that made the water taste like it was coming out of a garden hose. We always purchased whatever brand was onsale at the grocery but, I couldn't bring myself to ever buy the 'purified water enhanced with minerals'. I just couldn't justify the expense knowing it was just the same stuff coming out of our faucet at 200x the cost packaged in a plastic bottle.
I prefer spring water as I think it tastes great but I just can't justify the cost and wasted plastic bottles. I mean we recycle but I know the amount of fossil fuels that to into making a plastic bottle. Instead we have replaced the fridge which includes a water/ice filter and in-door dispenser, and invested in stainless steel water bottles. Taste much better than the tap water, is much better for the environment and for the pocket-book.

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The tap water in my town is disgusting. The town has wells and pumps ground water (after some sort of treatment, I'm sure). Whatever minerals the treatment doesn't remove leaves reddish/orange stains that will show up on the sinks and toilets after a while - there's definitely a lot of something in that water. I bought the Scrubbing Bubbles automatic toilet cleaner from Sellout just to address that problem (and it works great).

We did a bathroom over a couple years ago and the plumber showed me the old drain pipe from the sink - it looked like a clogged artery, full of slime with only a tiny pinhole for the water to drain through. The slime was the sediment from the town water.

Needless to say, I don't drink my tap water. We get Poland Spring water delivered in 5 gallon bottles. We do buy the half pints to put in the kids' lunches too, but those bottles get re-used several times before they go to the plastic recycling center at the transfer station.

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@meh3884: We do something like that. We have refillable bottles that we fill from the 2 1/2 gallon plastic bottles of the spring water.

I knew that Nestle owned Deer Park and Poland Springs but I've never heard of Arrowhead. They don't sell that brand around here.

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I have well water from an aquifer, tastes so much better than bottled. Also, coming from a well it is very cold, very refreshing.

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@lpgstock: The water here is what made me switch to spring water. While it was not bad most of the time it would sometimes make me nauseous after drinking a glass. We switched to spring water and I never had that problem again.

I have though about adding a filter but I have heard that if you don't change the filter ofter enough you will actually add to the impurities of the water coming from the faucet.

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I used to only buy spring water as I had a personal issue buying brands of water that were just filtered tap water (Dasani, for instance). If I was paying my hard-earned money, it was going to be something from the Earth and not something that I could get from a Brita pitcher, dagnab it! But then I bought a new refrigerator that has a water filter built in for the in-door water dispenser, so I just use that now.

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@jimmyd103: All of the plastic worry's me as well. Even though we recycle everything we can, the plastic still adds to the problems as you mentioned.

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@durkzilla: OUCH! Our water seems darn near perfect compared to what you described.

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@sparky1991: I remember, as a child, going with my mother to an area in a park near where we lived and getting water from someplace. We would do that several times a month. We'd take my wagon along with some glass jugs. That water would be put in our refrigerator for all of us to drink.

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@greatgazoo: How easy is it to replace the filter?

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@jnissel: We change the water filter every 5 to 6 months. We can taste when the filter needs changing and the filters are quite disgusting looking when we change them... and that's with not-so-bad tasting water!

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Edit: And as lpgstock mentioned, I got about 6 months out of the first filter and you can certainly tell the difference with the water quality in my house.

@jnissel: It literally takes 10 seconds. It's right next to the bottom drawer in the fridge and it twists in and out. There's an indicator light on the panel that tells me when the cartridge is getting close to needing replacement and then another indicator that I should really change it. I love technology!

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I don't buy spring water. I personally think Deer Park tastes terrible. If I do buy bottled water I buy purified, Dasani, Aquafina, etc. this is only when I'm out though. I just drink water from our Brita pitcher at home, and yes I can tell a diff. from the tap there.

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I won't usually buy spring water. I usually hate the taste and it's less regulated. I do buy "drinking water". It tastes a lot better than the chlorine water here at work. At home, I have well water and run it through a softener and iron filtration system, which is really what I prefer over most other choices.

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I seem to recall seeing some video testing them and it found that most bottled water wasn't that radically different than tap.

I have a filter pitcher myself...I imagine it's as good, if not close enough, to good bottled water.

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We buy sobe and vitamin water for in the go, the kids love it! We live in CO so the water here is pretty darn good! Bottled unflavored water seems like a waste of $ to me.

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What kind of batter are we talking about here?

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I have a PUR and have had a Brita (both good IMO) pitcher that requires filters to be changed periodically. I use this system even though the water where I live tastes good and supposedly is OK healthwise. It is county water froma reverse osmosis system, and it has no smell or offtaste. It was interesting to me to take a look at some of the bottled water being offered in this area to see that it came from a city water system also.

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@klymans: A "batter" that should have been "better". ;o)

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nyc tap water is excellent tasting, so i almost never drank bottled until recently.. for about a year, we've been getting consistently brown tinted water at least twice a week. There's always construction going on in the neighborhood (con ed repairing underground stuff, verizon laying fios lines, a few new buildings going up or coming down, etc) - problem is, i never see a hydrant open (and in truth it could be blocks and blocks away as long as its upstream on the same water supply line)

DEP doesn't much care, and the water isn't toxic - just unpleasant... so i've since subscribed to 5 gallon jug deliveries with a cooler (pretty cheap, all things considered) until i can rely on my local water again.

*edit - if you look at the source of many bottled waters - they are xyz municipal water supply, with various stages of filtering.

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We have a built-in water filter. Makes the water taste great (not that it's bad even without it).

Bottled water is probably the most over-hyped product of our time.

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I don't always drink water, but when I do.... I prefer it filtered.

I definitely notice a difference between regular tap water and filtered water, however I don't think it is necessary to buy bottled water. Seeing empty plastic bottles polluting all over too kind of turns me away from the whole idea.

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Drink it out of the tap it isn't going to kill you probably

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We have well water but it tastes very metallic to me. Even when my dad says he's added salt or softeners or w/e it still tastes bad. Drives me nuts when I take a shower because I can, like, smell it! Sometimes I feel like I'm inhaling vaporized change, haha. But then, it could just be me I suppose. I find that 'drinking water' seems almost thicker than even regular bottled, though I'm not sure why.

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@kllangellier: A softener doesn't pull out everything. It works best on getting the hardness out of your water, but will filter some other things. That's why I mentioned I have an iron filtration system too. It looks like a softener, but specifically targets the iron (which used to stain my toilet, sinks, tub, and clothes a nice rusty color).

You'd need to get your water tested to see what is in it and find the correct filtration system..

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A friend of mine runs the water plant for the little city that I'm moving into. He suggests an inexpensive Brita or Pur for making coffee or tea, and drinking if you're not a fan of chlorine.

Consumer reports echoes his recommendations.
If you need something a little stronger, CR likes the Multi-Pure MP750SB under-counter filter. Multi-Pure also has a nice rig with an R/O unit before the MP750SB, that you can add a recirculating pump to, so that all the waste water (that's already gone through micron & carbon filters), goes out through your hot water, for washing dishes, etc. All of the benefits of R/O, without the waste.

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Here in L.A. the water is iffy so I run a whole house filter w/ 5 micron carbon elements, takes about 3 minutes to change it every 3 months. Amazon does the scheduled shipping for filters so when it comes out goes the old and in goes the new

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well. according to Starfire Water, even spring water is not good, because they throw in bunch of terms that don't make any sense when they are combined like that.. what's stupid is that even popular brands of water make ridiculous claims on the label...

"..Starfire Water™, a proprietary alkaline, performance, bio-holographic “living” water produced using breakthrough, 21st-century quantum water technology. Starfire Water™ is treated with ultraviolet, ozonation, infrared stimulation and electromagnetism for a negative ion charged water, as in nature, allowing deep, cellular intake through aquaporins, the floodgates to hydration."
http://starfirewater.myshopify.com/pages/frontpage
then "Infused Water - Most water is just water. But we infuse our water with Etherium, a trace form of liquid gold, known to facilitate higher awareness." !!! Etherium is a fictional element!
http://starfirewater.myshopify.com/pages/about-us

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Being an engineer myself that worked for years on water treatment projects, I would not recommend nothing less than a reverse osmosis system like this one:
http://www.amazon.com/Watts-Premier-RO-Pure-4-Stage-Reverse/dp/B0035KLEFM/
There is nothing better to get PURE water, it is not just a "filter".
Actually, most of those fancy bottled water brands use a giant reverse osmosis system.
In the long term you will save money if you don't need gallons a day and you will be sure that you are drinking really clean water and not polluting the world with empty bottles and packaging stuff.
There are some considerations to install it and not all the water passes to the last stage, some is discarded, but you can collect it and use it for another purpose.

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As an engineer who used to work on some of these bottled water systems, I can tell you that it is ALL hype. None of the "spring" water really came from any "spring". All of it is municipal water, coming from the same source that your tap water came from. And while all municipal water supplies are governed by strict regulatory standards, there is no standard (yes, not even on germs count and contaminants) governing any bottled water. Yes, I have seen the test results.

Bottled water was a marketing idea coming out of the soda manufacturers a while back when their obesity-water sales went down. They first discredited the tap water (which was inaccurate and rather despicable) then plays up their own; then charging you 50-100x more for the same amount of water AND create a bunch of unnecessary plastic waste.

Please stop buying bottled water. Get refillable bottles, get a simple filtration system. I have never had bad enough water in the Western States that need any more than that.

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@jelbo: Well said. And I agree for the cities with poor water supplies. Although I am really embarrassed that any American cities would have that kind of water; it's pretty much unheard of in other first world countries that I have lived in. sigh

And for others, to get a longer response, there is a great video to watch. It is very accurate.

http://vimeo.com/10441794 - "The Story of Bottled Water"

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I fill up a 5gal bottle for $1.50 at the Glacier vending machine at the grocery store, it's just filtered but the taste is miles better than Los Angeles tap water. Cheap and worth it.

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We used to get water delivered and the cost just kept going up so DH researched the home filtering systems and he bought one and installed it.

It's probably been three or four years now and I'm used to it, but he still has to drink it with ice in it. I think the filtering has taken out some of the minerals that add flavor to it.