City of Seattle Won’t Buy Bottled Water

In what is a great initiative from many points of view, the mayor of Seattle (Greg Nickels) has announced that the city will no longer be buying bottled water for events or water-cooler jugs for its workers.


While it will save only $58,000 a year, the beneficial impact on the environment will be much greater.

There are still a lot of arguments over whether tap water is as good as it’s supposed to be or not. It’s estimated that about a half of the people in the U.S. drink bottled water and the number is increasing. While tests have pointed out that most bottles are pure and quite good to drink, there were some which had chemicals and several unwanted substances in their composition.

“It is to really highlight the fact that Seattle has one of the best municipal water supplies in the country,” said Marty McOmber, the mayor’s spokesman. “When you look at the cost of bottled water, both in terms of financial costs and costs on the environment, it’s a pretty clear choice that using city water is a much better choice.”

Also, many brands come from a municipal supply, which means that you’re spending more money per gallon than you would on gasoline for this thing which is virtually tap water, and which is pretty much free at the source. Another thing which concerns some people is the fact that bottlers don’t have to let consumers know if their product becomes contaminated, but sometimes they pull their products from stores. Also, if left in a hot room or car, it can become contaminated with plastic, which could be very dangerous.

The water from Seattle comes from the rain and snowpack in the Cedar River and Tolt River watersheds, which are protected natural areas. Nickels signed an executive order stating that producing bottles for U.S. consumers required more than 17 million barrels of oil, not including the fuel required to transport the bottles, and just 10% of the bottles are recycled according to official figures. Still, city workers will be allowed to bring their own bottled water if they want to, and exceptions will be made in case of emergencies.

Info from Seattle Times

Written by Mihai Andrei of ZME Science. Check out his science blog.