We were in Phoenix, Arizona - standing in a hot church vestibule. My new friend took a drink of her bottled water. With a crumpled face she said, "Yech! This tastes nasty!"
I suppose my facial expression said nothing short of: you're weird.
She quickly followed up her water snobishness by saying, "I forgot that I refilled this bottle from the water fountain."
Really? You can actually taste the difference between your plastic bottled water (which was probably bottled from tap water!), and the water fountain? I was impressed. Until that day, I could not taste the difference between bottled water and tap water.
That was seven years ago. My husband and I had just moved to the Valley of the Sun. We had not lived there long enough to realize that nobody drank the tap water. It tasted that bad.
We had lived in Phoenix long enough for me to see the water stations, or water stores, where filtered or reverse osmosis water (RO) is sold but it had not registered why there were so many! Soon I came to the realization that people drank filtered water in their homes, not just because it was trendy but out of necessity. The tap water in the desert was laden with icky-tasting minerals.
Fast-forward four years when we moved back to Little Rock, and I had been drinking filtered water in Phoenix. After moving back to Arkansas, I realized I'd become a water snob. The tap water that I drank just four years earlier in Little Rock no longer tasted good to me. The tap water had not changed; my taste buds had.
Where to Find Clean Water
Whole Foods has a reverse osmosis machine at the front of the store, which isn't far from my home. For a year, I hauled five gallons home every week. My dear husband later installed a reverse osmosis (RO) filter under the sink that we purchased at Lowe's. We now have RO water on tap!
In summary, my top three reasons to drink filtered or RO water:
1. Tastes better.
2. Not chlorinated - I work too hard to add beneficial bacteria to my gut (yogurt, kefir, kombucha, radish relish) just to have it killed by the chlorine in tap water. By the way, Brita or other filters like the one in your fridge door do not eliminate chlorine. Sitting a pitcher of uncovered water on the counter overnight will allow chlorine to evaporate.
3. Not fluoridated - I'm not convinced fluoride is necessary - esp. if you're eating green leafy veggies.
Now I share a kindred spirit with my water snob friend from Phoenix and even carry a water bottle with me - with RO water from my house.
See also Erin's post on the dangers of fluoride. And if you missed my post