Improve the Quality of Your Water (Without Costing the Planet)

By Norma Lehmeier Hartie, Intent

Drinking bottled water is a huge waste of finite resources, a source of pollution and a waste of money. Yet, millions of Americans continue to buy bottled water. If you are buying bottled water because you are afraid of the quality in your tap, read on.

If you have a well, have your water tested at a laboratory every two years. If you receive city water, request a copy of your water utility’s annual water-quality report, or test it yourself. To understand the water analysis, contact NSF International, a non-profit organization that certifies water-purification systems. They will direct you to a system that fits your needs. Depending upon the results of the test, you may:

  • Need to do nothing.
  • Add a water purification system.
  • Well owners: Install a UV light that kills bacteria and viruses as water passes through its beam. Add a sediment filter to remove sand, silt and other particulates. An additional carbon filter, if necessary, will remove chlorine and other chemicals.
  • Filter out chlorine and other toxins, odors and bacteria from city water with a facet-mounted or under-the-counter model filtration system. There are also a variety of shower heads to filter out chlorine and other toxins, odors and bacteria.
  • Run water from the tap several minutes in the morning (collect for plants and such) before using water for drinking and cooking.
  • Use only cold water for cooking, as hot water dissolves more metals from home plumbing.
  • Resist buying bottled water unless absolutely necessary. Treating your own water will result in water quality as good—or better—than what you purchase. It is highly wasteful to the environment to purchase water, as petrochemicals are involved in the transportation and in the plastic bottles.

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    Excerpted from the award winning book, Harmonious Environment: Beautify, Detoxify & Energize Your Life, Your Home & Your Planet, by Norma Lehmeier Hartie. provides content and community for who you aspire to be–personally, socially and globally.


    Ganaisha Calvin
    Ganaisha Calvin4 years ago

    love the UV light idea

    Natasha Salgado
    Past Member 5 years ago

    I use a water Purifier that attaches to the tap and it's fantastic. All my friends got 1 for Christmas 3 years ago and we're still friends!!! Thanks for posting this.

    Jeramie D.
    Jeramie D5 years ago

    thank you

    Sue H.
    sue H5 years ago

    Thank you for this article, it is just what I was looking for.

    K s Goh
    KS Goh6 years ago

    Thanks for the article.

    Shannon Hudgens
    Shannon Hudgens6 years ago

    thanks for the info!

    Cate Ridley
    Cate Ridley8 years ago

    A good friend of mine recently told me about Thank Water, a project that improves the taste and freshness of water simply by praying over it or putting simple notes on water containers. I have my own well which usually, this time of year, is very low and murky. Since I put a note on the well, the water is crystal clear and I have not run out of water once. I now have thank or love notes on all my water containers; tank, toliet tank, taps, etc. It may be a leap of faith but it sure works for me.
    The project is a result of studies done by a Japanese scientist. He has taken electron microscope photos of water crystals before and after the water has been blessed. The difference in the crystals is truly amazing.

    Beth Hartford-DeRoos
    Beth G8 years ago

    Because we backpack I use a backpackers filter for water. Got mine at REI. There is a great book Bottlemania that discusses the millions of barrels of oil used each year to make the plastic bottles used for water and other beverages. Buying a reusable bottle and investing in a reusable faucet filter or pitchers. And also get the makers of the pitchers and faucet filters to recycle the filters as they do in Europe.


    Kari Dyrdahl
    Kari D8 years ago

    I use Brittafilters & thanks to Care2 petitions, Britta is now starting a RecycleProgram here in the USA!

    Marie Tanner
    Marie T8 years ago

    In many cases, bottled water is simply repackaged tap water. It's a shame that consumers are being duped in this fashion. They pay a premium for what essentially costs pennies. As the bottled water sits on store shelves the plastic bottle in which it's packaged contaminants leach into the water and in the end it may be more harmful to the consumer.