Letter to the Editor: Bottles and San Diego’s water

by Staff

I took exception to a recent article in The Daily Aztec about San Diego’s drinking water, particularly its conclusion. The author concluded her article by saying she would “prefer to guzzle (her) water out of a bottle.”

Most of us know the plastic in bottled water has carcinogens (and endocrine receptor disrupters too) and we also know these bottles end up polluting the environment. However, most of us don’t know, or at least I certainly didn’t, that there is virtually no regulation in the quality of the water itself. Only one person in the federal government works half-time to regulate bottled water. A recent study found 38 dangerous chemicals including pain killers, fertilizer and arsenic in 10 brands of bottled water. Municipal water companies, on the other hand, have to test and retest water quality constantly.

Another problem is that big bottling companies come into cash-strapped communities, buy up their water rights, and then sell the same water back to the people at a far higher rate in the form of bottled water. The whole push to drink bottled water began as a marketing campaign, much like that of the “Got milk?” ad campaign. And it has worked very well, so much so that the author of the article doesn’t know that she’s drinking inferior water at a much higher price than the tap water she spurns (or may actually be drinking in her plastic water bottles.)

For more information about these and other water issues, visit foodandwaterwatch.org. The two documentaries I can recommend about water issues, having seen them myself, are “Tapped” and “GasLand.” And no, I don’t work for any municipal water company, but I also don’t drink bottled
water anymore.

-Melody Padget
San Diego State Osher
Lifelong Learning Institute
Alumna 1976 — American studies