Latest Providence Water Quality Report

glass of waterThe second best way to quench your thirst in Providence? Tap water. The 2011 Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) from the Providence Water Supply Board (PWSB) has been arriving in mailboxes around town. Thousands of water samples are tested every year and the Scituate Reservoir is still cranking out the good stuff. (Elevated levels of lead triggered an earlier mailing, but this is more a problem of contact with old pipes and plumbing components. Lead pipe water service connections are being replaced all over to help with that, and there are things you can do in your own home.)

But here is the part of the brochure I find galling; the section “Tap vs. Bottled Water” starts,

Did you know that if you drank your recommended eight glasses of water a day from bottled water, it would cost up to $1400 for a year’s supply? That same amount of tap water would cost only about $0.50.

While I am thrilled to have people examining their bottled water purchases, can we once and for all put a stake through the heart of this “eight glasses of water a day” myth.  Who exactly has been “recommending” this?  Are there any scientific medical studies backing up this claim? No, it is the purveyors of bottled water who keep this going. (HuffPo 7.14.11)

The health recommendation to drink six to eight glasses of water a day is “thoroughly debunked nonsense,” a doctor wrote this week in a commentary in the British Medical Journal.

Many health departments and organizations tout the need to drink that much water every day, but there is no high-quality scientific evidence to support the recommendation, wrote Dr. Margaret McCartney, a general practitioner based in Scotland.

Some organizations backed by bottled-water makers — such as Hydration for Health, created by the makers of Volvic and Evian — say that it’s important to drink 1.5 to 2 liters (about 6 to 8 cups) of water a day, and that being even mildly dehydrated plays a role in disease development, McCartney wrote.

Unless the PWSB is actually carrying water for these corporate interests, they should edit this scientifically unsupported canard out of next year’s brochure.

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