Why Buy Bottled Water? Use The Tap

By the time you read this, we should be drying out from the double whammy of Iselle and Julio. Or, at least, the worst should have passed.

But not before we whipped up a few storms of our own. I’m talking about the craziness that always ensues in the days before the storms actually make landfall.


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Containers filled with tap water JADE MOON PHOTO

You know what I mean. You were right in it, weren’t you? At Safeway or Foodland or Times or Sam’s or Costco. Maybe all of them.

Yep, I saw you. I saw you because I was there, though not exactly for the same items most seemed determined to get. You were the ones running around with big old shopping carts and even bigger industrial-sized dollies — relieving the shelves of every trace of Spam, Vienna sausage, toilet paper … and water. A lot of folks rushed into the stores only to find empty shelves. Sad.

Our hunt went rather well. Water was the only thing we needed, as over the years we’ve collected all the stuff essential for a pretty decent hurricane kit. We don’t keep bottled water around except for special occasions. That’s basically because I’ve come to realize how incredibly wasteful and environmentally unsound it is.

So, yes, I did buy a couple of cases last week just to have around as a backup. My main strategy for potable water was a bit more old-fashioned.

Straight from the tap, into six 5-liter jugs. Enough good Hawaii water to last at least a week.

And why not? As my friend Candy Suiso said, “Last I checked, my tap water was great. Filling up all my water jugs and containers, too.”

Our water is pure — it filters down through layers and layers of lava rock to deep underground aquifers. Here’s how the Board of Water Supply describes it: “Fresh water travels down into the earth through a process called percolation. On the Hawaiian Islands, water first percolates through soil, if present, then through porous volcanic rock to the water table within the lavas.

“Water’s journey is a long one, with many twists and turns through the maze of underground rock structures. One raindrop’s trip from the top of the Koolau Mountains to the aquifer below can take 25 years!”

And that is why our tap water tastes so good — it’s pure. I ask you, what bottled water can match that?

In addition to the drinking water, I filled our two bathtubs for other uses such as flushing toilets and bathing. That’s a lot of water.

Watching the frenzy made me realize once again that we need to rethink our dependence on the bottled stuff. Don’t get me wrong — I’m not against it. I’m simply against using bottled water as often as we do, as if our own drinking water was awful.

It isn’t. Let’s appreciate — and protect and conserve — what nature has provided.

We are very lucky here in Hawaii.