For the first time in the U.S., sales of bottled water surpassed soda products in 2016 as Americans consumed 39.3 gallons of water on average compared to 38.5 gallons of soft drinks.
A growing awareness of the risk of drinking sugary beverages, which causes obesity, served as the main reason for the increase in bottled water sales, industry experts said.
Except for 2008 and 2009, sales of bottled water have increased each year over the last 40 years. This means businesses have an opportunity to tap into the growing demand for bottled drinking water. Ashtuck.com notes that mass production of bottled beverages will require the use of different equipment, such as a water clarifier. Part of the reason why demand has increased also stemmed from health concerns over tap water contamination.
An analysis showed that 1.8 million Americans in 45 states consumed water that tested positive for lead contamination, based on tests run by water utility companies. The results exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) action level on the allowable amount of lead in tap water.
Safe for Consumption?
The EPA’s 1991 Lead and Copper Rule requires water utilities to warn consumers and fix corroded pipes to avoid lead contamination. Once the presence of lead in samples of tap water exceed more than 10%, water companies must act.
The analysis based its findings from tests conducted through the end of last year. It found that water systems in more than 1,100 communities are already beyond the 10% limit. Still, some states, such as California, have imposed an ideal limit of 0.2 ppb for lead in drinking water, which would particularly protect the health of children.
Safe drinking water will remain a valuable resource, so utilities need to use different water treatment equipment to make sure they comply with federal and state regulations, as well as protect public health.