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Water district bans purchase of bottled water

Original post made on Sep 26, 2007

Bottled water will no longer be allowed to be purchased with district funds or offered for sale in district facilities, the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors agreed in a vote today.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, September 25, 2007, 2:06 PM

Comments (28)

Posted by Steve
a resident of another community
on Sep 26, 2007 at 11:41 am

The Board needs to focus on issues which are relevant to your job, and responsibilities attendant to Water District business. You do not need to devote time and energy - and District resources - to irrelevant fluff like this. You are welcome to your own personal views and values, or course. However, you need to refrain from interfering in the personal affairs of other people, including their diets. Good luck. Thank you.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 26, 2007 at 12:31 pm

Unless the district has drinking fountains at every desk and in every vehicle, they are being foolish. The big advantage of personal bottles of water is convenience, and an emergency supply is best kept in bottles. If they fear competition from designer waters or criiticism from those who suggest their water is not good enough, they should contract for someone to bottle their product for convenience with their name on it. Then they should get back to watching what Frisco is doing with our water.

Posted by Stu
a resident of another community
on Sep 26, 2007 at 12:45 pm

Nowhere did it say you couldn't drink bottled water, just that the district would not pay for it! THAT is called fiscal responsibility! Bottled water's perceived value is 90% psychological & 9.9% aesthetic, yet causes even more water to be wasted in the process of manufacturing, never mind the fuel used to deliver it and the plastic which mostly winds up in the landfill. Given the extreme requirements for the safety of municipal water, there is no reason for an agency to buy bottled water for employees. If you believe the advertising hype, go ahead & give your money away. But if you are interested in fiscal & environmental responsibility, drink tap water. Don't like the taste? Get an inexpensive carbon filter to attach to your tap. Voila! Instant bottled water at a tiny fraction of the cost, with no plastic waste to deal with & no additionally wasted water! Much more environmentally friendly than ROUTINE use of bottled water.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2007 at 1:52 pm

Somewhat timely all this stuff coupled with the news that they want to recycle toilet water. Perhaps we could take one piece of news at a time, but both at the same time, just sounds yucky.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 26, 2007 at 7:06 pm

Try reading what you criticize. Then consider that a great deal of the bottled water replaces sweet colas. Bottled water is portable. Anyone incapable of handling the waste stream addition of plastic bottles needs to find a new job.

Posted by Anna
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 27, 2007 at 7:17 am

I applaud the Water District for cutting through the bottled water hype and removing public money from the bottled water buying spree. Bottled water is less regulated than tap water and most often does not come from any type of pristine source. See Web Link

Walter, thanks for pointing out how important it is to have water at hand--very important for good health. Luckily, we have the ability to buy high-quality water bottles (Nalgene, aluminum brands, etc) so that we can keep it with us as we go through our days.

Most bottled water bottles are not recycled.

Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2007 at 8:25 am

I must be one of the last people in the world (or feels like it) to buy bottled water for my kids. The problem with using refillable containers is how yucky they get when left to the kids, even older kids, to clean themselves. I have seen kids, not my own, with the filthiest looking containers. Putting them in the dishwasher is not enough, quite often these containers have to be soaked in bleach once a week to keep them smelling sweet.

Posted by Wawa
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Sep 27, 2007 at 9:22 am

What's the situation with bottled water in Europe, or the Far East? What do people do there?

Posted by Brit
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2007 at 12:27 pm

Growing up in 60s in England, I was often in continental Europe. Whether it was true or not, we were advised to drink bottled water and not tap water when abroad. Even there the locals tended to drink bottled water rather than tap water. Now in England, tap water is no longer just for abroad, but for home consumption also. In fact, even in restaurants, there tends to be more than one type of water on the menu, eg carbonated or non carbonated, spa or mineral v spring water. It gets very complicated. I once had no English money other than enough for my basic meal in a shopping mall and when I asked for tap water, they thought I was crazy.

Posted by Apples
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2007 at 10:53 pm

I filter the water that arrives at my home in Palo Alto... You should see the filter after just a few days of use (the casing is clear plastic so you can easily see the filter). It quickly becomes dark brown/black. Maybe it is officially "healthy" water that we receive, but I find it disgusting and I can't get myself to drink it. I do all kinds of "green things", such as bring my own canvas bags when I go shopping, and buy Palo Alto Green electricity, among others. But I will stick with bottled water, thank you.

Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of Stanford
on Sep 28, 2007 at 1:41 am

Nora Charles is a registered user.

I drink only bottled water and don't feel guilty for doing so. Tap water tastes terrible and heaven knows what it contains. One's health should be taken into consideration.

Posted by Richard
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 28, 2007 at 6:36 am

Water must have lots of stuff in it to be healthy and to taste good. Chemically pure H2O is not good for you and has no taste. Bottled water companies purify water, then add back minerals to give the water taste. They show pictures of flowing streams, which have water that is abslutely full of minerals, algae, and other organic life. That is part of what makes it so tasty and healthy. Some people are upset when they find stuff growing in their water filter. I would be more upset if I found that I was drinking water in which nothing would grow!

Posted by The Nanny State Is Here
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2007 at 11:08 am

First there were gun bans .. then smoking bans .. followed by bans on "transfats" .. now bans on bottled water .. it won't be long before there are bans on meat, ice cream, canned foods, fresh produce such as bagged spinach) .. and maybe even natural child reproduction in our not too bio-engineered future.

There was a time government was intended to protect us from others. Now it seems to be focusing its energy on protecting us from ourselves. Who is going to protect us from government?

Posted by Nanny OK with me
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Sep 28, 2007 at 12:46 pm

Better the nanny state which is a reaction to the corporate state, which is what we have. My tap water tastes just fine.
Have you ever seen pictures of the mountains of discarded plastic water bottles?

Posted by Native Girl
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 28, 2007 at 2:22 pm

Food (water) for Thought. . .

We knew three long time Palo Alto resident friends that recently passed away.

All of them lived in their circa mid 1940 - 1950 built homes until they passed away.

One lady was 98. The others were both 90.

They were all brilliant, with minds sharp as a tacks, up until the day they died.

None of them ever had ever upgraded their water pipes or anything else. They had all used Palo Alto tap water for cooking and drinking.

Another thing to ponder (off the subject of water)...
With all the concern over mercury in fish (which is valid), I find it amazing how smart my scientist and engineer friends in Japan are, and their children too.
They have eaten fish nearly everyday since they were young children.
The Japanese once had a terrible experience with mercury poisoning and eating shellfish contaminated with toxins from red algae. Knowing this, they are cautious and have implemented some testing, but continue to eat fish daily.

For those who prefer bottled water, some of the stores allow you to bring your gallon jugs in and fill them for a very reasonable price. They monitor their filter changes carefully. I think that this is a wonderful and environmentally correct thing to do, rather than adding more plastic bottles to recycling facilities. There is no CRV tax either.

Posted by Common Sense
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 28, 2007 at 3:11 pm

A lot of bottled water is exactly the same as tap water - get educated people! Thank god we have smart Govt officials who put a stop to wasting my tax dollars. People can buy their own water if they want, just don't expect me to pay for it after I've paid to filter and clean tap water.

Posted by apples
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2007 at 12:01 pm

Thank you for all your wisdom. I'll stick with bottled water. Beside the yuccky filter I don't like the taste of our tap water.
I am aware that a lot of bottled water is actually filtered tap water. I actually buy mineral water that comes directly from a spring. no tap.

I grew up in Europe where tap water is also deemed safe(and was safe in the 60s notwithstanding what the myth circulating in the UK were at the time). However in Europe people buy what they call "mineral" water (and not "bottled" water) because they come from various springs and have various mineral contents that have a variety of different health benefits. Some are loaded with calcium and are good for your bones, other with bicarbonates that are good for your digestive system etc. As a matter of fact, many of the locales where those waters are from are also "spas" where people come for health promoting stays.

Anyway, I will keep drinking my European mineral water... while I do most everything else the green way.

Posted by observer
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 19, 2008 at 10:12 am

I don't live here but have done a double blind study on my son only, and he chooses for the botteled water over filtered X2 , X1, or tap every time. (all same temp, etc.) no ANOVA yet, but results seem clear. Now If I can only find what they add for taste on sale.

Posted by Owen Hennefer
a resident of another community
on Mar 28, 2008 at 11:42 am

I use to drink bottled water daily until I tested the pH of the bottled water vs. tap water. Our tap water pH was est. 8.3-8.6%. We tested major brands of bottled water and found most to have a pH lower than the bloods pH of 7.3-7.4%. So basically you’re pouring acid into your body drinking bottled water. Go with tap water if you can't afford an ionizer.

Posted by Antioch
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 18, 2008 at 11:27 am

We've moved a lot in my lifetime, i noticed that every city or town or state there's a difference in the taste of water. Like in Hawaii, the chlorine in the tap water is very strong because you can smell it when you turn on the faucet.
Bottled water in my opinion should just be temporarily use and not for lifetime. When the ph goes down, it goes down when it is expose to the light, worse sunlight, it becomes toxic - not enough to kill the consumer instantly but overtime will. The same as chlorine and ammonia. Now, drinking these kind of elements - meaning putting it inside our body PLUS eating unhealthy acidic, high animal food, drinking colas everyday will make people sick and chronic deseases will start to attack starting at the age 40, for some earlier and for others a bit later. For those people that's very careful on what they eat everyday of their life, do a lot of exercise and do a lot to reduce stress, they body are in less danger or illness.

Posted by Antioch
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 18, 2008 at 11:38 am

My additional comment is that high alkaline water with 9.5ph is medicinal and lower than 8.5 is not bad but not very good either. I experimented on goldfish and the goldfish died within 3 hours being in tap water only but live in a high ph water. I put a goldfish in a bottled water and it also died after 3 hours. If people are as small as the fish - we've died long time ago. All of us. After my experiment, I spent 3,980 in Kangen Machine (this is where I get the 9.5 ph water that I put the goldfish that didn't die)and become a distributor of the machine. I go around to educate people of what I found. It helped me a lot on my Diabetes - and make me lose weight quick as well. [Portion removed due to some other violation of terms of use]

Posted by Dathan Amrine
a resident of another community
on Jul 31, 2008 at 12:17 pm

17 million barrels of oil was used last year to make the plastic bottles used for American water consumption producing 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide. 86% become garbage or litter.

There is a better way! If you don't like, or are worried about, tap water, but want to do your part for the environment MAKE YOUR OWN WATER. A Xziex Atmospheric Water Generator can make up to 5 gallons of pure drinking water a day for as little as $.08 a gallon. No oil used to make the plastic bottles or distribute them, no waste in our landfill.

Drink better water, conserve our natural resources, reduce waste and pollution and potentially save money! [Portion removed due to promoting a website]

Posted by cayla ong
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 31, 2009 at 3:51 pm

on 1983 the disclosur about putting chlorine and ammonia on water
was put available to public - but looks like no public dare to look.

chlorimine is the combination of the two and they are form of acid
to maintain the cleanliness of the pipes (avoid algae, rust, etc.).

this acid is bad for the health of people, not in 24 hours or even
10 years but it is believed that it helps shorten the life span of
people but prolong the life span of the pipes.

our body is 70% water - it is known that ph in water disappear if it is expose to light. bottled water is always exposed to light in the grocery stores, until people buy the bottled water, by the time t
water reached their home, it is already low in ph and dehydrated in
which is not good for human consumption anymore, therefore people's
money went to the company that sold the bottle water for nothing.

people who drink coffee does not feel thirsty although they do not know that they are very dehydrated and for sure, they are sufferers of chronic illnesses.

at [Portion removed due to promoting a website] you can get a healthy water that is not
dehydrated but sold by container. it should be consumed within 10
days for it to flush out the toxin in the body. healthy body has 7.1-3ph given, consuming water low in ph and food rich in carbohydrates or sugar, stress, and other blow, our body's engine can't function very well and we get develop chronic illness. stagnancy is also a

but tap water is not the best, but way better than bottled water
because bottled water comes from tap water. right?

Posted by Pat Coba
a resident of another community
on Sep 27, 2009 at 7:30 am

I believe that while the tap water meets the SDWA, AWWA as well as the applicable standards and regulations, the consumption of tap water should be encouraged.
The fact is that bottled water ia a multimillion dollar business and the propaganda from these multinational companies has convinced people to use it; even though, it is detrimental to people's health. They do have put aside ethics and moral principles because, for them, profits are more important than public's health. Unfortunately this a political issue where the interests of powerful people involved in politics comes first than the well being of citizens and the environment we share.

Posted by basics
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Sep 27, 2009 at 8:42 am

"The fact is that bottled water ia a multimillion dollar business and the propaganda from these multinational companies has convinced people to use it; even though, it is detrimental to people's health. They do have put aside ethics and moral principles because, for them, profits are more important than public's health. Unfortunately this a political issue where the interests of powerful people involved in politics comes first than the well being of citizens and the environment we share."

The same can be said for breakfast cereal.

Posted by Oroville
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2009 at 8:47 am

That is a start.

Now when will the water district stop speeding money on mailing out all that 4 color printed propaganda?

I am tired of all these little empire builders using our money for their little kingdoms.

Posted by HUTCH 7.62
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 15, 2013 at 8:04 pm

This reminds me when the water district banned wells some 20 years ago and residents were forced onto city water.

Posted by Toblerone
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 16, 2013 at 11:40 am

Bottled water has its drawbacks, but people drink it because the local tap water is so unhealthy! My family and I have gotten sick from PA water many times recently, as diagnosed by our doctor. We were advised to install water filtration in all the faucets, including the showers!

When we lived in San Jose, we had similar issues, and at that time started buying Alhambra water to stay healthy.

Problem is, tap water is unsafe: pollutants, chemicals, dirt on occasion(!), and even bacteria that cause intestinal and stomach illness. Our otolaryngologist tested our water earlier this year and found the bacteria that cause sinus infections ( meaning, never use tap water if you use a neti pot and live in Palo Alto!).

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