Toxic Water Fountains: Alternatives to Dirty Water in Schools

  • School water "contains toxins"

    Do you go to school? In the United States? Congratulations! You may be drinking toxic water every day. That's right; late last week the Associated Press schocked us with this one: "Water in about 100 school districts and 2,250 schools breached federal safety standards." OK, not cool. But what toxins were actually found? And how can you protect yourself from this silent menace? Photo Credit: Darwin Bell
    Arsenic, bacteria found
  • Arsenic, bacteria found

    According to the AP, "The most frequently cited contaminant was coliform bacteria, followed by lead and copper, arsenic and nitrates." E. coli is a form of coliform bacteria you've probably heard of. You know how it often gets passed around? Fecal matter. Yup. Arsenic, lead, feces. None of it sounds like stuff you would ever want in a child's drinking water, but what's a parent to do? Good luck trying to get the school district to undertake a massive water purification project - not that you shouldn't try. In the meantime, it might be a good idea to send your kid to school with filtered H2O, until you're sure the water fountains are safe. Here are a few of the benefits and limitations of some of the different options available. Photo Credit: Jenny Downing
    PUR Water Filters
  • PUR Water Filters

    PUR filtration systems remove 98% of lead and 97% of chlorine (taste and odor) and deliver clean water at approximately one-tenth the cost of bottled water, saving the average consumer up to $600 annually according to the company. They are owned by Procter and Gamble (Stock Quote: PG). How does it work? "The main workhorse of PUR filters is activated carbon. Contaminants in water collide with the activated carbon particles and get trapped in the intricate pore structure of the carbon, thus removing the contaminant from the water stream," the company's fact sheet explains. Photo Credit: PUR Water Filtration
    BRITA Water Filters
  • BRITA Water Filters

    BRITA is another popular brand of filtration pitchers and products available at major retailers in the U.S. They're owned by Clorox (Stock Quote: CLX). How does it work? "Brita cartridges contain a combination of ion exchange resin and activated carbon. The carbon absorbs chlorine, pesticides and organic pollutants, improves taste, and eliminates odours and discoloration. It also contains an inhibitor that prevents bacterial growth. The ion exchange resin removes the temporary hardness, which causes limescale; it also significantly reduces levels of metals such as aluminium, copper and lead," according to the company's Web site. Photo Credit: Bohman
    Bottled Water May Be No Better
  • Bottled Water May Be No Better

    As we've reported in the past, Americans spend more than $11 billion a year on bottled water, according to government estimates, but it might not be cleaner or safer than what you can get from the tap. That’s because consumer protections on tap water are often more stringent than those on bottled water, according to the Government Accountability Office. Beyond that, making bottles to meet America’s demand for bottled water requires more than 1.5 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel some 100,000 U.S. cars for a year, according to Discovery Planet Green. Finally, only 23% of plastic water bottles used in the United States are recycled, according to Fast Company, resulting in 38 billion plastic water bottles being discarded every year. That's a lot of waste. Photo Credit: Muffet
Show Comments