Drinking irresponsibly

Published 11:06 am Friday, June 20, 2008

This column has nothing to do with alcohol consumption, although the headline may suggest otherwise. I am talking about the way people drink water.

In our online poll question Wednesday, we asked readers to tell us which kind of water they typically drink the most. The three choices were tap water (or city water), bottled water and well water.

We had 316 people to participate in the poll, and the results were not surprising. Over half of those surveyed (52 percent) said they drank bottled water most of the time, while 43 percent preferred tap water and only 5 percent drank water from a well.

I must admit, I am in the majority. It’s convenient to buy bottled water when shopping for groceries, and it’s convenient to carry the bottles to work in order to stay hydrated throughout the day.

But as more and more people are starting to “go green,” drinking bottled water is becoming a bad thing to do because of the waste it creates. And in places like Chilton County, there is no convenient way to recycle plastics.

A recent TV ad campaign compares the length of time it takes to consume one bottle of water (less than an hour) to the time the bottle will spend in a landfill (forever). The same commercial, which is for a popular brand of water filter, claims to promote “responsible drinking water.”

Well, I guess that makes me irresponsible. Like most Americans, I am too lazy to get a thermos and fill it with ice.

Of course, sometimes when I run out of bottled water in between trips to the store, I just keep a cold cup of tap water in the refrigerator. And it isn’t bad at all because I grew up drinking mostly tap water.

Growing up, I even had my share of well water. Wells were the main source of water for my grandparents before they switched over to city water. I remember the switch, and at first they couldn’t stand the taste because of the chlorine. I guess my young taste buds could tell the difference too because my family has always told me that I used to beg for well water.

Sometimes I think we are depriving our kids of some essential ingredient today because they don’t have the privilege of drinking well water. Of course, there’s always the option of drinking from the hose, which I would highly recommend.