On Tap

I was in DC a few weeks ago and saw this truck.  It made me think about how we in the US have been duped by corporate interests into thinking that tap water is unsafe.  I don’t think people realize how fortunate we are to have such easy access to clean water.

If you have the time, watch this 8 minute video.  It is a real eye-opener and was the impetus for removing bottled water from our shelves a couple of years ago.

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29 Responses to On Tap

  1. John Tomlin says:

    One of the benefits of having one’s own private water well with excellent water, as long as we can convince the State of Maryland (and others) to forever ban the horrible practice of fracking.

  2. Suzanne says:

    Tap water is the miracle of modern society.

  3. Doug Percival says:

    For many years I have been drinking DrinkMore bottled water, which is ultra-purified tap water produced by a local company. I get the returnable five-gallon bottles so there is no disposable plastic involved. I used to get them at M.O.M. but since M.O.M. stopped carrying them, I get them at another locally-owned natural foods store.

    However, a couple of weeks ago, I fell and broke my collarbone, and since then I have been unable to lift those five gallon bottles! So, I started drinking tap water (from my tap in Silver Spring, not DC). It tastes HORRIBLE. I am of course unable to analyze it, and I don’t know whether or not it is “safe”, but it has a very strong, very unpleasant chlorine and metallic taste to it.

    So, this past weekend I purchased one of the Mavea brand pitcher-type water filters from M.O.M. Again, I can’t say whether the Mavea filter makes the tap water any “safer” (the label makes no specific claims about that), but it absolutely does remove the chlorine and metallic taste. I can actually enjoy drinking the tap water now.

    Others may have different experiences, but I would not want to drink unfiltered tap water just based on the taste alone. And I am concerned about safety — WSSC can only check the purity of the water when it leaves their pumping stations; they cannot test what’s coming out of your tap, miles down the line. Since I won’t be able to lift those five gallon bottles for a couple more months at least, I’m going to look into a more serious, in-home water filtration system for the tap water.

    • Scott says:

      Hi Doug. I hope your filtration system works out for you. That is probably the best option for those who don’t want to drink tap. It’s better than getting reusable water containers delivered to your house- it takes quite a bit of energy (carbon emissions) to make and deliver the purified water.

      Me? All I do is drink tap. Maybe I’m just accustomed to the taste, but it all tastes fine to me.

  4. Ellen says:

    I loved the video and thought it brought up so many valid points. There is a 90 mile – floating island off the coast of CA that is made up entirely of empty plastic bottles. I can’t remember how deep it is, but marine life get stuck in it and no one will take responsibility for it to clean it up – and that is just a tiny problem that results from plastic bottles. I admit I was once a bottle buyer when my kids were young. I didn’t want them drinking sodas – ever – and so they would have something in their lunch bags besides milk – I gave them bottled water , but I agreed now we know better. I also like the point about how it take petroleum away from fuel for cars. – that should really get everyones attention. We do need to work to get more public water fountains again – they are nearly extinct. Thanks again Scott for this information – greatly appreciated.

    • Scott says:

      Hi Ellen. Another impetus to us banning bottled water and pretty much all plastics at MOM’s (our bags and “plastic” containers are made from plants- and we no longer carry produce that comes in plastic bags if it can be purchased loose) was the movie Addicted To Plastic. It was VERY well done and eye-opening. Hopeful, too!

  5. Drew says:

    I love the Story of Stuff project. Great reminders for a Stoic, minimalist lifestyle.

  6. Scott C says:

    I love my DC tap water. Its just as good or even better then some of the bottled water I used to drink. Great video and thanks for sharing it. I have shared it with all of my friends.

  7. Bob Perini says:

    Hey Scott – Bob Perini (President) from DrinkMore Water here. A couple of things with respect to your blog comment about the safety of tap water and how “we in the US have been duped by corporate interests” – I’m assuming you mean bottled water companies – like DrinkMore Water. Obviously, I don’t agree with your statement and yes, I am admittedly biased in the matter.

    As background for your readers, for many years, MOM’s and DrinkMore Water were great partners. Scott and I started our businesses around the same time and helped each other out whenever the other needed help. DrinkMore Water was sold in all of Mom’s stores. When you decided on your “no plastic” philosophy (and consequently removed our products from your stores), I was admittedly disappointed (as were many of your loyal customers) but I respected your decision nonetheless.

    But in this blog entry, I feel as though you’re unfairly throwing my business under the bus. To say that consumers are being duped into thinking that tap water is unsafe by bottled water companies would be awfully similar to me saying that those same consumers are being duped into thinking that regular food items at the grocery store are unsafe by organic grocery stores. (And to be clear, I’m NOT saying that).

    You believe that your products are better and safer. You are clearly an expert on organic products. I believe you. I have shopped at your stores and I would certainly never disparage you or your business. I am an expert on the subject of water. I believe that DrinkMore Water is FAR better and safer that tap water. All of the chemicals and impurities that you think are important to eliminate from your food items are the exact same chemicals and impurities found in tap water – chlorine, metals, pharmaceutical drugs, etc. I have built my business around the concept of eliminating those things from the water that people drink just like you have built MOM’s on the premise of eliminating those things from the food that they eat. Do you see the parallels?

    Ultimately, consumers make their own choices. They choose to go to MOM’s for lots of reasons. Some know you personally. Many have watched your business grow and love being part of that great business success. But MOST – go to your store because they see you and your stores as a place where they can be assured that the food items they buy aren’t tainted with all sorts of unnecessary and unwanted chemicals and impurities. That is the EXACT reason why people – including a large number of your customers – choose DrinkMore Water. It’s about the purity of the product.

    Maybe you really do drink tap water and think it’s great. Your customer who commented above – Doug P – says it tastes HORRIBLE (his words, not mine). All I would say it that you should be every bit as concerned with the chemicals and impurities in the water you drink as you are about the food you consume. And, if it’s simply about the plastic, we have 3 and 5 gallon glass containers.

    Scott, I want to conclude by congratulating you on the fantastic business you’ve built! I admire and respect all that you have accomplished and I am happy to know you as a friend. Our businesses and philosophies about are wayyyy more similar than your blog entry would suggest.

    If you ever reconsider your position on water – I would love to talk to you about re-introducing DrinkMore Water as a product for your customers.

    Congratulations again – Be well!!!

    • Scott says:

      Hi Bob. Thanks for the thoughtful reply.

      I think tap water tastes fine and, according to the video above, in blind taste tests tap water usually wins.

      I think you make some good points regarding the similarities between impurities in water and chemicals in food. To what degree tap water is detrimental to one’s health, if at all, is open for debate- but that’s not really the debate that’s important to me.

      The issue of contention for me is not necessarily whether tap water is safe (which I believe it to be- and which I believe corporations such as Coke and Pepsi have indeed launched scare campaigns to make us believe it is unsafe)- it is the environmental impact of bottled water.

      Plastics pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the bottled water industry are huge! I pick up trash along roadsides and along a creek that runs through my neighborhood and the lion’s share of pollution is water bottles. In addition to the litter problem, it takes massive amounts of petroleum to produce those bottles- and massive amounts of energy to make those water bottles and distribute them. And in the case of filtered water, it takes quite a bit of energy to filter it.

      I commend DrinkMore for their bottle exchange program, although you also sell many disposable water bottles. And the transportation of the reusable bottles to offices and homes across the region has a substantial carbon footprint as well.

      Organic food on the other hand is nothing but beneficial to the environment. Organic farming prevents chemical pollution of our waterways and ecosystems- and it diminishes the carbon footprint used to produce and deliver the pesticides and herbicides used for conventional farming.

      Go Terps!

      • Doug Percival says:

        Scott, I think a fair question to ask is this:

        Who is “duping” us about the safety of tap water?

        Is it “corporate interests”?

        Or is it the DC water utility, WASA — who responded to their own staff water quality inspector who reported hazardously high levels of LEAD in the DC tap water for thousands of homes by FIRING her — for reporting levels of lead contamination 83 times higher than the accepted safe limit, which WASA’s own investigator said made the tap water “classifiable as hazardous waste”?

        Is it the federal Centers for Disease Control, who a Congressional investigation found used “scientifically indefensible” claims in its report saying that the elevated lead levels were not a health hazard?

        Is it the water utilities in Boston, Detroit, New York, Philadelphia, Lansing, Providence, Seattle, Portland and other cities — all of which were found by the same Congressional investigation to have misreported, and in some cases covered up, high levels of lead and other contaminants in tap water?

        Keep in mind that the $200 million class action lawsuit against WASA for the lead contamination is still being litigated, and that as of 2010, a new CDC study found that the measures taken by WASA to reduce lead contamination in the tap water for 15,000 homes may not have reduced lead levels, and may even have made them worse.

        It is just not possible — or responsible — to make a blanket statement that tap water is “safe”. The only way to know what is in your tap water is to have it tested — and not just tested once, but tested regularly.

        For some people, home water filtration systems are the solution. For others, ultra-purified tap water in returnable bottles, like DrinkMore provides, works better.

        As for the carbon footprint – I am a global warming fanatic myself, and I appreciate your attention to that issue. Having said that, I think it would take some serious number crunching to accurately compare the greenhouse gas emissions from the filtering and delivery of DrinkMore water with, for example, those of lettuce (which is 90 percent water) transported from California in diesel-fueled refrigerated trucks, or apples flown to the USA from New Zealand and Argentina.

      • Bob Perini says:

        It’s all a matter of perspective Scott. I think Doug makes a great counter-point to your statement “Organic food on the other hand is nothing but beneficial to the environment.” That statement is only true if you eat that organic food on the farm on which it was produced. How much of your fruits and veggies are grown in Rockville or Chantilly? Not very much. Your organic food doesn’t exactly walk from the farms to your stores! Then you mentioned something about the heavy carbon footprint of purifying the water and then delivering it. Well, those are some rose-colored glasses you’re wearing. How many trucks come to each of your stores everyday? And – by the way – that food doesn’t find its way home magically either – customers have to come and pick it up. So you have thousands of people driving their cars to your stores – I guarantee that the entire carbon footprint for my business – is considerably less than one of your stores if you include the delivery of all that food and the carbon emitted by all your customers coming to pick it up.

        I, too, see trash out in our environment. I ride my bike between 100 and 150 miles a week. I’ve been on river and creek clean-up days. DrinkMore Water has been a long-time member of the County’s Adopt-A-Highway program.When you say the majority of the trash is water bottles, that’s not my experience. I see them out there and believe me – I pick up a lot of trash. But the “majority” of it is certainly not water bottles – especially when considering the simple fact that there are more than twice as many plastic soda bottles consumed every year as water bottles.

        You also said “Plastics pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the bottled water industry are huge!” That made me giggle. I mean, come on Scott, whatever contributions the bottled water industry makes to plastics pollution and greenhouse gas emissions are completely and entirely dwarfed by the plastics pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the grocery industry!! But that doesn’t make ME say we should all give up food!

        And, I just want to let you know that our small water bottles are made from 100% recycled PET material – and it takes more than 1 bottle’s worth of recycled material to make 1 new bottle – so the “massive petroleum consumption” at least for my company – is not at all accurate.

        Finally, how could it be – this year of all years when the Blue Devils have a decent team – do they not get to play the Terps??

      • Scott says:

        Doug- fair enough. Have your water tested. Maybe it’s not safe. I assume that some people’s tap water may indeed be unsafe, but I also believe that the vast majority of tap water is safe. It is certainly far more regulated than the bottled water industry, after all. I guess there are no guarantees in life.

        Regarding the carbon footprint of non-local food vs. local food, I don’t think it takes serious number crunching at all- I think it’s a rather simple calculation. Start off by reading this article for an in depth view of the energy it takes to produce food… http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/20/opinion/20budiansky.html?_r=0

        CA gets none of its food from Canada, the East Coast, or pretty much any other region, actually. That’s because they have a climate that can grow their own food. In this region however, the harvest season is really only about 3 months long. In a nutshell, for 75% of the year, we have to pretty much get ALL of our food from far-away climates- and for the other 25% of the year, we have to get MOST of our food from far-away climates since most varieties of our foods don’t grow well in this region (let alone the lack of organic farms in this region). Find me an organic local peach any time of the year!?! It won’t happen.

        So, given the population of the NorthEast, we have to choose between mass starvation or getting food from far away places.

        And even with transportation- many of the local farmers in the region have rather environmentally inefficient operations, whether talking of small-scale equipment or trucks that are only half full and driving farther distances between less frequent stops/deliveries.

      • Scott says:

        Bob- when I said “Organic food is nothing but beneficial to the environment”, I certainly wasn’t claiming that it had zero negative impact on the environment. Everything produced by humans I think has some negative impact on the environment, as some amount of energy will inevitably be required to produce or deliver a product. What I did mean was that *compared to conventional farming* it is nothing but beneficial to the environment.

        We have to eat. We have to go and purchase our food. We even need to have refrigerators to store food. But all of those things are going to happen anyway- and organic farming doesn’t make those things worse.

        I stand by my point that bottled water COMPARED TO TAP WATER is much worse for the environment.

        And btw- we at MOM’s use TerraPass to offset the carbon emissions of EVERY shopping trip to MOM’s one of our customers makes. We calculate this by collecting zip code data to get weighted averages of # of customers coming from various areas and the # of customers who shop with us weekly (40,000).

        I agree with you about how many water bottles end up becoming litter. I was wrong about that- it makes logical sense that the ratio of litter would be exactly concurrent with sales. Water bottle litter is still a big problem in and of itself, though- and would be eliminated if people drank tap.

        I agree with you that the grocery industry uses too much plastic. We at MOM’s have eliminated plastic grocery bags and use biodegradable plastic bags and containers in our produce departments, bulk departments, and prepared food. But again, some form of a plastic container is needed in the grocery industry- and the grocery industry must exist as there are no options. The option to the bottled water industry is as convenient as anything we consume- comes out of the faucets all around us.

        You’re forgetting my main premise and point, which is that we don’t need bottled water, considering that we have tap water. We obviously need groceries, though- since there is no pipe bringing super-cheap food into all of our houses and places of work.

        Finally, I commend that DrinkMore uses recycled plastic bottles. My point is more directed at the entire bottled water industry, i.e. Coke and Pepsi, etc.

        Bob-

        Scott.

  8. Doug Percival says:

    I’d like to contribute a follow-up comment to this discussion, and make two points.

    First, as I mentioned earlier, our water utilities (WSSC and WASA) test the water that they pump into the system — not the water that comes out of your tap. There are many potential sources of contamination between their pumping stations and your tap — including even the water pipes in your own home. If you really want to know what is in your tap water, then you need to get it tested. It’s not hugely expensive to do so, and it could save you from consuming harmful contaminants, or on the other hand, save you from investing in an unnecessarily costly home filtration system.

    Second, I would commend to your attention the WikiPedia article linked below, which discusses the lead contamination that was found in the DC tap water system only a few years ago — and similar problems found in municipal water systems in other cities. An excerpt:

    “The discovery of widespread lead contamination in Washington, DC drinking water resulted in a Congressional investigation that damaged the scientific reputation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), left thousands of children with lifelong health risks … an expert in plumbing corrosion discovered lead levels at least 83 times higher than the accepted safe limit while performing research into premature pipe corrosion … the United States House of Representatives conducted an investigation … found that the CDC had made ‘scientifically indefensible’ claims in a report that had indicated there was no risk from the high lead levels … investigation uncovered evidence of widespread misreporting of lead levels at water agencies across the United States, leading to regulatory crackdowns and changes in Environmental Protection Agency policies … The problem was addressed in 2004 by adding additional treatments to the water … In 2010, the CDC reported that 15,000 homes in the Washington, D.C. area might still have water supplies with dangerous levels of lead.”

    The article notes that Marc Edwards, the investigator who discovered the elevated lead levels in DC tap water in 2003, said that lead levels were so high that “Some of it would literally have to be classified as a hazardous waste.” Seema Bhat, the WASA water quality manager who reported the problem to her superiors, was fired.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lead_contamination_in_Washington,_D.C._drinking_water

    Again, if you are going to drink tap water — GET IT TESTED.

  9. Doug Percival says:

    Hey Scott,

    To me, the moral of this story is basically that all of us who are concerned with reducing our negative impact on the environment have to deal with trade-offs. Sometimes it is genuinely difficult to measure those impacts, decide what is most important to us, and determine what really is the best course of action.

    For example, I am fortunate to have a large back yard that gets full sun all day — and I could probably grow most, if not all, of the produce that I consume year-round (using cold frames and such in the winter) right there, organically, with NO greenhouse gas emissions associated with transporting food to M.O.M. or transporting myself to M.O.M. to buy it. And in fact, a few years back, I was growing literally bushels full of produce from spring through fall, so much that I had to give most of it away. Why did I stop? Well, between my full-time day job and other stuff I wanted to do, I “didn’t have time”. Trade-off.

    Likewise, I could buy perfectly good organic produce, and most of the other groceries I need, from another locally-owned natural food store (which I won’t name here) that is less than half the distance from my house than M.O.M. — and thereby cut my own GHG emissions from driving. But I drive the extra distance to M.O.M. because you have a bigger selection of produce and other products, including a few particular items that I prefer to the alternatives that the other store has. Trade-off.

    On the other hand, I do NOT buy (for example) out-of-season fruit from the southern hemisphere. I can do without it, and eat other things that are grown much closer to home, and the GHG emissions associated with transporting that food via air or ship are just too excessive for me to accept.

    In the case of water, I have actually done a lot of research into both the safety of the public tap water from WSSC, and the alternatives, and I have compared the filtration systems available for home use, and the Culligan filtration system that M.O.M. has in the store, with the advanced multi-stage filtration that DrinkMore uses. And in my informed opinion, the purity of DrinkMore water is definitely better than either tap water or those alternatives. I also think that strictly in terms of personal health, water purity is more significant than the organic-vs-conventional produce issue. And the plastic pollution is not an issue, since I only buy it in the returnable 5 gallon bottles. So, I’m willing to accept the additional GHG emissions associated with DrinkMore’s filtration and delivery (and now, with the extra car trip that I have to make to get it). Again — trade-off.

    Anyway, thanks for this respectful and thought-provoking discussion.

    Doug Percival

  10. Sheryl Walker says:

    I wish the On Tap video had ended by suggesting people use a unit like the countop Aqua Rain water filter. “The AquaRain® Natural Water Filter will provide your family and loved ones with laboratory proven safe drinking water…without electricity, without plumbing, and without pressure or chemical pretreatments.” Check out http://www.aquarain.com. I feel safer having the lead, pesticides and whatever else may unknowingly lurk in our water removed with this safe system. It can even purify muddy water or swimming pool water in an emergency situation.

    Scott, I wanted to let you know how I’ve enjoyed watching MOMS grow from the little warehouse space off of Parklawn . Your business is an inspiring success story on many levels. Thank you for devoting your life to what is good for the masses.

    ~Shez

  11. Doug Percival says:

    By the way, I noticed that the MOMs Rockville store carries EPA-approved water test kits … I was going to buy one, but all of the ones on the shelf were past the sell-by dates on their labels!

  12. sue whitney says:

    Water needs to hydrate and flush out toxins from our bodies. Our bodies are 70-75% water. We have well water as a supply of tap water in our home, which is unsafe because of nitrates, bacteria, and such. We have a pretty sophisticated filtration and ionization system so we do drink it. (NOT reverse osmosis, which removes everything and you’re left with simple H2O in a more than desirable acidic form). I do NOT encourage the purchase of bottled water on a usual basis. BUT I DO dissuade people from drinking tap water, in an unfiltered state. The fluoride which is in most municipal water systems, the chlorine, the cysts, the residual prescription meds, and more that are present in much, if not most, untreated tap water, not to mention the chemically induced alkaline state (lye is added in most cases, since acidic water will corrode pipes) all lead to improper hydration of our bodies, and improper toxin removal from our bodies. I do not agree with using bottled water on a regular basis. But if you are out and about, and you have neglected to bring your water bottle (reusable) with you from home, it is a good alternative. Drinking FILTERED tap water would be my best recommendation for the majority of Americans.

  13. Bob Perini says:

    Sue – you make many excellent points about the contaminants in the water – I couldn’t agree with you more.. While I don’t know what kind of system you employ at your house, it sounds like you have some sort of machine that makes alkaline water. You seem to have a negative opinion on reverse osmosis technology, but I’m not sure why. Our water has a ph of about 6.8 (which is slightly acidic) but let’s recognize that there are a lot of beverages out there – which are far more acidic that that. Like orange juice – with a typical ph of 3.5, tomato juice 4.1, black tea 4.9 – all are wayyy more acidic than reverse osmosis water – orders of magnitude more acidic.

    One of the main benefits of reverse osmosis technology is that is removes 99.5% of ALL of the contaminants level in water. Water is about chemistry – there are not systems out there that can selectively keep all the good stuff while filtering out all the bad stuff. You can add things to the water (theoretically the good stuff) but first you have to remove or, at least, greatly reduce all the impurities. That’s what reverse osmosis technology does.

    Finally, to Scott, while you may say want the bottled water industry to go away, I just want to point out that we’ve donated thousands of cases of bottled water to the Sandy relief effort – and other bottled water companies have donated thousands and thousands more. I’m sure Mom’s has been equally generous with food donations. But without bottled water generally, where exactly would all those people be?

    Bottled water may not be everyone’s choice and people certainly don’t have to drink it – but there are many people who are more skeptical of the quality of tap water – like Doug (from his comments above). It’s very difficult to live in our society without exposing one’s self to a variety of airborne, food-borne and water-borne contaminants. Scott’s doing a great job at Mom’s with the food-borne side and I’m trying to do the same on the water side…

    Bob Perini
    President
    DrinkMore water

    • Scott says:

      Hi Bob. It’s ironic that the bottled water industry has donated so many bottles of water to the hurricane Sandy victims. I can only imagine the vast amount of discarded plastic water (and other beverage) bottles floating around in that muck up there.

      While on the topic of hurricanes in November slamming into NJ- we’ve had what feels like a blitzkrieg of unusual and disastrous weather events these past 10 years. Many scientists think this trend is a symptom of climate change / warming. The carbon emissions from bottled water manufacturing and delivery only add to the problem.

      Yes- I would like to see the bottled water industry go away. However, for those who don’t want to drink tap, I’d be fine with a boom in the home water filtration industry! We can still have clean filtered water without putting it in all of those disposable plastic bottles and trucking them all over.

      • Bob Perini says:

        Scott – I’m not sure of the irony to which you’re referring. It’s not at all ironic. In every major weather or other catastrophe-type event in this country, bottled water suppliers generously step up and contribute much-needed product to the cause. While you may not personally care about that, there are an awful lot of people – me included – that do care and do appreciate the generosity from whomever and wherever it comes. Like you, I certainly hope that everyone so affected by Sandy up north properly disposes of/recycles their water bottles – but, in the same breath, I will admit that I’ve been more concerned about the families having the most basic supplies (like potable water) to survive and I’m reasonably certain that the victims would agree.

        I can’t help but get that feeling (because you kinda said it explicitly in your comment above) that you would love to see my business disappear. I do not wish the same for your business. This country needs more businesses like yours and mine. But what I would like to know is why you don’t write similar things about Seth’s company – Honest Tea? They produce wayyyyy more PLASTIC bottles than we do and they certainly generate FAR more carbon emissions than DrinkMore ever could. They’re much bigger than we are and we all know who really owns Honest Tea (Coke). They produce their product in plastic and glass – just like we do. But one thing that’s very interesting is the fact that their primary ingredient – for every tea they make is – drum roll please – PURIFIED WATER!! Hmmm. Tap water is certainly available and it’s certainly cheaper – so why doesn’t Seth take the same stand as you and use tap water to make his product? I know you know the answer – it’s because using tap water would degrade the quality of his product.

        To be true to your seemingly fanatical desire to rid the world of bottle water companies – you should be even more eager to throw Seth’s company under the exact same bus that you throw my company under. But I really hope you don’t. I love what Seth has accomplished. I think Seth has built a great company too and I wish him nothing but the greatest of successes. You, Seth and I have personally built three great businesses right here in Montgomery County. Between us, I’m certain we’ve created considerably more than a thousand good jobs. Can’t we just get along and celebrate each other’s success without trying to vilify each other’s business?

        At least, that’s what I’m gonna do. Congratulations again on having the vision, the fortitude and the never-ending passion to start and build the great American business that is MOM’s.. That is an accomplishment that’s worth celebrating!!!

        I promise I won’t write any more on this topic (unless you do…haha!)

        Bob

  14. Today, I went to the beach with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to tell someone!

  15. Scott says:

    Bob- yes, I would like to see the bottled water industry fail. It’s nothing personal against you. I like you and the way you run your business- the fact that you buy wind power, use reusable containers, and use recycled plastic in your disposables- but the industry itself sucks. I’m not vilifying your business specifically, but the industry on the other hand…

    My neighbor owns some coal mines- and we love them. They are generous with us and love our children. Even so, I am obviously someone who wants to see coal fail and replaced with wind, solar, etc. Again, nothing personal against him. It’s a question of “what’s better for the world?”, not “what’s better for my friends?”.

    Honest Tea packages tea and ades, neither of which you can get for basically free out of faucets everywhere. When we eliminated bottled water from our shelves, we considered eliminating carbonated water, but chose not to for the same reason we didn’t eliminate bottled tea- because it’s not free nor readily available everywhere.

    That Seth uses filtered water is his prerogative- I think he is smartly meeting the demand of the marketplace. I personally wouldn’t care if he used tap water, though- because I think it’s generally safe. And the purified water he’s using isn’t being shipped to him in on trucks in plastic disposable bottles (I assume), which is the main source of the environmental damage of the bottled water industry.

    If I could snap my fingers and make a wish, I’d wish that you would be successful beyond your wildest dreams by finding a way of commoditizing water filtration systems for households- and instead of delivering water, maybe servicing them for a fee on a quarterly basis. Leasing good systems for affordable monthly payments is another option- and then servicing them for free as part of the lease contract? These are all just random ideas, but you get the gist.

    Scott.

    • Doug Percival says:

      I, for one, certainly hope that DrinkMore Water will NOT go out of business and will continue producing and distributing ultra-purified water. I have researched home filtration systems and I have yet to find one that even purports to do as good a job as DrinkMore does. Not to mention the cost of replacing the filters (and the old filters have to be disposed of somehow). As soon as my collarbone is mended, and I can lift those 5-gallon bottles again, I’m going back to DrinkMore.

      I guess I really don’t get why it is “not OK” to distribute ultra-purified water in returnable bottles, but it “is OK” to distribute sugary, unhealthy, glorified soft drinks (“ades”) in non-returnable bottles. (Thank goodness that stuff is NOT piped into people’s houses, or we’d be a nation of toothless obese diabetics!)

      As for the donation of bottled water to areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy, what exactly are the people there supposed to drink? Whether or not their tap water was safe before, it is NOT safe now, and there’s no telling how long before it will be safe again. Thousands of them are still without electricity, and are having a hard time finding even the basic necessities of life, and many are homeless, so they are hardly in a position to purchase and install home water filtration systems (which might or might not be adequate to purify water contaminated by the effects of Sandy). If there were no bottled water companies ready to provide drinking water for those people, FEMA would have to set up some kind of emergency operation to purify and deliver water. Even if one agrees that the “bottled water industry” is in general a “bad thing”, it would seem that at least in this instance they are doing a good thing.

    • Bob Perini says:

      Doug, thank you for your comments. I think you, Scott and I might be the only ones left on this thread. Bu.t I do appreciate your kind words for DrinkMore Water and I agree wholeheartedly with what you stated.

      Scott, thank you as well for an interesting perspective. It’s a difficult task to logically respond to a somewhat fanatical position such as yours with respect to the bottled water industry. I’ve give two examples and stop forever. 1) You said your rationale for cutting out bottled water – but not Honest Tea and Honest ades – were because they weren’t available for free – but what really irritates you is all of the plastic bottles and “huge carbon footprint” of the bottled water industry. So, last time I checked, tea and sugar are things that you sell – but NOT in plastic containers. They are readily available and they’re practically free. And it’s about as difficult to make tea at home or at the office as it is to turn on your faucet. For all of Seth Goldman’s shrewdness (and I do think Seth is one smart guy), all he’s really doing is putting his tea into PLASTIC BOTTLES. The horror! Your argument has holes than cheesecloth. And I’m sorry – but for a “healthy food” guy to carry products that are loaded with unnecessary sugar – not what I would expect. Our bottled water does NOT MAKE PEOPLE FAT!!! There is not one single senseless calorie that you could wring out of the millions of gallons of water that we have produced. Not one! Have you ever calculated how many unnecessary calories of tea and “ADE” you’ve sold to date? I didn’t think so. Using your logic – why don’t you sell twinkies – they’re not readily available for free and they don’t come out of a faucet.

      2) You still carry carbonated water – and again you cite the concept of not being readily available for free as your rationale. Hmmm – have you never heard of sodastream? Well, why aren’t you selling them in your store along with your water filtration systems? That would eliminate the need for all those plastic bottles? It’s practically free once you buy one those things – and no big carbon (except dioxide!) footprint.

      So, using the same logic you’ve used to jettison bottled water from your shelves, you CLEARLY should jettison all of Seth’s products from your shelves as well as all of the carbonated water. The situations are identical (except that my product is better for your customers than either tea (n a bottle), sugar ADE water or carbonated water) – yet you only selectively apply your perverse logic.

      Look, we live in a free country – and what you do and say is 100% up to you. But when you throw stones at my business from a house of logic made from glass – well, you get the point.

      Scott, thanks for an interesting discussion and may you and your family and all of your MOM’s customers have a happy Thanksgiving and peaceful holiday season!!

      Bob Perini
      President
      DrinkMore Water

      P.S.
      UK beats MD
      DU beats UK
      ergo – sorry!

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