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Water: It's a matter of taste

August 07, 2007

Re "Bottled water suckers!" Opinion, Aug. 2

Patt Morrison's article about bottled water reminds us about the benefits of good old-fashioned tap water. Bottled water guzzlers are also missing out on the healing effect of tap water. The city of Los Angeles optimally fluoridates its water, meaning that every time you take a swig of city water, fluoride works in concert with the natural minerals in your saliva to heal microscopic damage done to your teeth. Some, but few, bottled waters contain fluoride. So that bottled water can cost you a lot more than you think over your lifetime -- a single filled tooth costs about $2,000.

Jennifer Holtzman

Los Angeles

The writer is an assistant professor of clinical dentistry at USC.

Tap water is certainly cheaper, more environmentally sound and just as clean and healthy as bottled water. But our nation's public water and sewer infrastructure is old and, in the coming years, will need billions of dollars of investment to maintain and further improve treatment, storage and distribution. Unfortunately, 35 years after the Clean Water Act, federal funding for clean water has become an annual political battle. Congress should ensure safe and affordable public water for future generations by creating a trust fund that provides a stable funding source. It's time for Americans to take back the tap.

Wenonah Hauter

Washington

The writer is executive director of Food & Water Watch.

I would like to know if Morrison tested for herself the local tap water and the various bottled waters. I've known for quite some time the impurities in my tap water are much higher than in bottled water. My water tester ranks Aquafina at the top.

And has Morrison taste-tested the various waters? Tap water tastes like chlorine, not to mention other unpleasant flavors. In comparison, Aquafina tastes wonderfully fresh. So what if Aquafina comes from tap water (yes, bottlers should label that information); they've done a great job of cleaning it up.

When it comes to something as important as the water we drink, Morrison should have done a little more research before criticizing those of us who prefer bottled water. It's always a good idea to put your money (invest in a water tester) where your mouth is.

June Cullen

Claremont

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