MWRA 2012-2013 Writing Contest Winners

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2012-2013 contest winners main page | school program | home

Ryan Tonra
Grade 9, Wilmington High School, Wilmington
Mrs. Mutchler, Teacher


Bottled Water vs. Tap Water

The tap water in this state is held to a very high standard and maintains that standard through regular inspections and examination of its contents, however bottled water is not held to that standard but is still a very prominent force in the water industry. Tap water is a better decision for a variety of reasons, economical and otherwise, while bottled has very few advantages over tap. The bottled water companies have water no cleaner than that of their tap competitors. This is shown through numerous studies. Bottled water damages the environment because the plastic bottles not being properly recycled or reused. Bottled water can cost more than gasoline in some instances while tap water is quite inexpensive people still buy bottled water instead.

Even though tap water has numerous advantages over bottled, tap water is missing one key component, marketing. The bottled water companies' marketing teams do a fantastic job of displaying their water in better light, making tap seem dirty and unhealthy. If you have ever seen an advertisement for bottled water you will know they show scenes of very natural mountain geysers or aquifers, this makes people believe that that water is somehow special and better. Tap water is test and purified, additionally tap water even has minerals that are put in by the district to improve your overall health. Ad campaigns make bottled water seem pristine and pure compared to tap water which in most areas has no media representation at all. An area in Washington DC has noticed this and started their own campaign and since then the sales of bottled water in the area have started going down.

The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority is also trying to increase awareness in Massachusetts by holding an essay contest. The contest has students researching the issue on their own instead of simply being told which is better by a sometimes biased source. The ultimate goal is to have people learning about different water products on their own. By researching and collecting evidence student consumers can make informed decisions about drinking water.

In this country tap water is held to a very high standard constantly undergoing scrupulous inspections. This is because as a state run program the water must be one hundred percent safe to drink. Bottled is not held to these stringent standards and therefore may be not always be one hundred percent safe. Tap water provided in Massachusetts by the MWRA also contains fluoride which promotes healthy teeth and prevents tooth decay increasing community health and wellbeing. The MWRA also using a small and harmless amount of chlorine as another method of making sure the water is entirely safe to drink as it disinfects the water protecting against bacteria.

Bottled water is also astronomically more expensive than tap. Even though water is a renewable resource and can be an infinite resource when used properly, right now it is more expensive than fossil fuels. Bottled water can cost 5 cents per ounce (that's optimistic) while tap water typically cost less than that for a full gallon. Buying bottled water over tap is a huge economic expense especially in these economic times.

Another reason to choose tap is because it is better for the environment. Bottled water accounts for 1.5 million tons of plastic every year. Even with all these recycling campaigns 80% of bottles are simply thrown away and not recycled. One of the most upsetting facts provided by The Food and Water Watch is that 47.8% of all bottled water comes directly from or is a slightly altered form of tap water. So why not skip the bottle and drink directly from the tap?

In conclusion, there is no good reason to drink bottled water. The price of bottled water can't even begin to compete with that of tap water. The environmental effect of bottled water is another reason to simply avoid drinking it. Finally, bottled water is no purer than tap water. Tap water is undoubtedly a better choice. Once properly informed, consumers will make the choice to put down the bottle and turn on the sink.

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