Elizabeth Royte - Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It. "What drives this obsessive thirst-this compulsion to pay for something we can essentially get for free?" Royte analyzes the differences between bottle water and tap water. What kind of water should we be drinking?.
According to Royte, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) tells us that the United States have one of the safest water supplies in the world. Cynthia Dougherty, Director of the EPA's Office of Groundwater and Drinking Water, states, "I wouldn't hesitate to drink tap water anywhere in the country." Royte also points out that Dr. Ronald B. Linsky of the National Water Research Institute said in Avoiding Rate Shock; making a case for Water Rates, a report published by the American Water Works Association, "You have a very high assurance of safe, high-quality drinking water." Royte also states that according to the NRDC (National Resources Defense Council), you can drink most cities tap water without a problem. Royte claims that by drinking tap water, you have zero waste and cost, for eight glasses of water a day, about forty-nine cents a year. Buy that water in bottles, and you'd be spending $1,400. In 2006, 89.3% of the nation's nearly 53,000 community water systems was in compliance with more than 90 EPA standards. According to Ronnie Levin, EPA employee and visiting scientist in the water and health program at the Harvard School of Public Health, "Bottled water's monitoring and enforcement aren't good." Because we don't know the results of plants' inspections, "it's a crapshoot what you're getting." Annual water reports can be flawed, and some are essentially propaganda. They report yearly averages over time, over multiple locations within a system which can obscure spikes. Bottled water companies don't answer to the public they answer to the shareholders.