When COVID-19 first hit the Bay Area, thousands of residents rushed to the nearest grocery store to purchase items such as toilet paper, paper towels, bottled water, wet wipes, and hand sanitizers. Toilet paper and paper towels are essential household items; while the latter two have proven effective in killing germs, but why bottled water?
To discourage Americans from hoarding cases of bottled water, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) repeatedly stated that the virus poses little to no threat to our drinking water supply. Unfortunately, a couple of weeks ago, a list of preventive measures against coronavirus went viral. Among them was a suggestion to consume water every 15 minutes to flush out the virus particles in our mouth. While this has been disproven, it only further propelled the sales of bottled water.
Sales of bottled H2O have consistently increased since the 1990s. The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) estimated that in 1976 each American drank only 1.6 gallons of bottled water, but this number increased by 21 times by 2014. From 2011 to 2016, the volume of bottled water grew from 9.2 billion gallons to 12.8 billion gallons — a 39 percent increase, while the soft drink market decreased by 8 percent in volume. Today, more than one out of every six bottled drinks sold in America is bottled H2O. This surge could be attributed to Americans’ distrust of our drinking water supplies after the Flint Water Crisis, concerns for contaminants found in our water, or simply because we’ve grown more health–conscious.
While bottled water is regarded as healthier than tap water, it’s been revealed that almost 64 percent of bottled water is sourced from municipal tap water. Is it worth paying thousands of times more for essentially the same quality of water? Now, we’ll do some calculations to find out the real price discrepancy between tap and bottled water.
- 1 CCF = 748 gallons of water
- 748 gallons = 95,744 ounces
- 95,744 ounces = 5,632 bottles of 17–oz water
- 5,632 bottles = $3.28 (Utilizing San Jose Water Company rates)
One bottle of 17–oz water could cost as much as $1.45; if it is consumed daily, however, we would typically buy a case. For our calculations, we would be using a case of 24 bottles priced at $15.50. If one consumes the daily recommended amount of 64 oz of water per day, you will have to consume four bottles. That would total up to 1,456 bottles per person annually.
- Case of 24 bottles = $15.50
- 60 x $15.50 = $940 (Per person)
Alternatively, instead of rushing to grocery stores to buy bottled water, you could consider installing our Kinetico K5 Drinking Water Station. Producing more than 40 gallons of water a day, you can enjoy the purest, highest-quality drinking water for just $0.30 per gallon. Our reverse osmosis system can effectively remove arsenic, nitrates, lead, fertilizers, pesticides, fluoride, chlorine, chloramine, and other contaminants from your water supply. With eight different cartridge options available, our system is flexible and expandable to meet any drinking water need. In fact, Kinetico’s virus guard is effective against coronavirus. Generating biopure drinking water, it significantly reduces viruses, bacteria, protozoa/cysts from your water. To learn more about our systems, sign up for a free onsite water consultation!
- Amy Livingston, “Bottled Water vs. Tap Water – Facts & 4 Reasons to Drink Tap”, Money Crashers, https://www.moneycrashers.com/bottled-water-vs-tap-water-facts/
- Environmental Protection Agency, “Coronavirus and Drinking Water and Wastewater,” 2020, https://www.epa.gov/coronavirus/coronavirus-and-drinking-water-and-wastewater
- Food and Water Watch, “Tap Water vs. Bottled Water” https://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/about/live-healthy/tap-water-vs-bottled-water
- Sarah Hansen, “No, You Really Don’t Need to Stock Up On Bottled Water During Coronavirus Shutdown,” Forbes, 2020, https://www.forbes.com/sites/sarahhansen/2020/03/17/no-you-really-dont-need-to-stock-up-on-bottled-water/#fffa3883a759
- Torrey Kim, “How Much Does a Bottle of Water Cost in the U.S.?” the balance, 2019, https://www.thebalance.com/cost-of-a-bottle-of-water-4773937
- Zaria Gorvett, “No, drinking water doesn’t kill coronavirus” BBC, 2020, https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200319-covid-19-will-drinking-water-keep-you-safe-from-coronavirus