San Fran Bottled Water Ban

San Francisco is leading the fight against plastic bottled water.  Now they haven’t banned the stuff yet, but have drafted an ordinance that would require the owners of new and rehabbed buildings with water fountains to install bottle filling taps. The theory is that the taps would encourage people to refill BPA free bottles with water rather than reach for another plastic store bought bottled water.

You know, when I was a kid, I would have thought the idea of buying water to be positively preposterous.  Still do, but I do buy bottled water now and again, despite the fact that I have a Brita container and a BPA Free Camelbak bottle.  My beef with the Camelbak is that it’s a little too fat at the base to fit into my car’s cupholders; an annoying design flaw by both the auto and bottle maker. With climate change bringing about catastrophic droughts, and with the constant polluting of groundwater via the frackers, water truly is a much more precious commodity…but back in the day, and I’m talking some 40 odd years ago, I was drinking water from those porcelain fountains at school and garden houses.  And it was a real treat to visit the fancy places and drink water out of a glass bubbler in those funny paper cups that looked like tiny dunce hats.

Anyway, I do applaud San Francisco for their intentions.  Those non-biodegradable plastic bottles require too much energy to produce and recycle.  And all too often, they end up in landfills or floating around in the oceans causing harm to marine life.  And who ever heard of a message in a plastic bottle?

The tap proposal is a good thing really, but I, being predisposed to exaggeration, would go several steps further.  I would only allow the city to sell plastic bottled water to tourists who presented a valid tourist visa.  Canadians would only have to prove a Canadian accent by pronouncing the words out, house or about.

As I was writing this post about water, some great songs came to mind.  If you have a Spotify account, groove on; if not, give it a Spin.

Water of Love – Dire Straits.  After all, San Fran was once known as the city of free love with all the hippies.

Black Water – Doobie Brothers.  A California band.  I’ve always liked this song.

Slow Water – Brian Eno.  This is an ambient songs, but not cheesy like those relaxation tapes the old hippies now listen to while doing yoga and eating hemp cereal and free trade Trader Joe’s mushrooms.

Sound of Water – Pat Metheny/Brad Mehldau.  Just a very cool song by two master musicians.


I have never been to a tea party rally, nor do I plan to attend one, but if I ever do, I’ll bring my camera and notebook and a couple of signs.  One would be END CORPORATE WELFARE and the other, STOP FLUORIDATION.

I imagine the signs would generate a lot of debate.  I might even be slapped around with tea bags for demanding that big business stop begging for subsidies and tax breaks.  I’d be branded a socialist for daring to interfere with free market capitalism. The key word here is free, and not free to you and me.  Corporate loopholes guarantee a free market where the business class have free reign.

My STOP FLUORIDATION sign might win some supporters and keep me from being forcibly removed from the rally.  Now, I’m really not against fluoride being added to the public water supply – the sign is simply my admissions ticket to the rally.  I’m actually not a big fan of tooth decay; never have been.  But apparently, there are people out there who don’t mind occasional tooth rot.

Fluoride is as American as apple pie, or so I thought.  I was surprised to learn that only 61% of Americans have access to a fluoridated public water supply.   Some communities have sufficient quantities of naturally occurring fluoride in their groundwater and don’t need more.  Other communities though, have flat out rejected fluoridation schemes for a number of reasons including perceived health risks, the costs associated with its implementation and for the reason that toothpaste is sufficient to fend off tooth decay.  But by far the most interesting objections focus on conspiracy theories that link fluoridation schemes to government plots to stupidify the population to facilitate mind control.  Extreme elements of the tea party might find a way to blame Obama, or Obama’s father, or argue that because Obama has not stopped fluoridation projects, this is evidence of his socialist tendencies. “Obama is trying to take away our right to tooth decay…live free or die,” they’d say.  “What do we want?  TOOTH DECAY.  When do we want it?  RIGHT NOW.  I can see the poster of a water bottle (which by the way would not likely have any fluoride in it) with a picture of Obama wearing a white oxford shirt with a hammer and sickle emblem on the front pocket.

Just so you know, if you thought you were getting fluoride in your bottled water, think again.  Almost all commercial spring water contains no added fluoride, though you can find some premium waters that do.  If you drink bottled water and do not have access to fluoridated water, you’d better brush your teeth six times a day and whatever you do, stay away from Mountain Dew.

For those of you against fluoridation, might I suggest also protesting the addition of chlorine to pool water, preservatives and flavor enhancers to food like salt, which might be iodized (oh, no!).  And take a stand against the sinister DEET chemical in bug repellent.  And say no to seat belts and vaccinations because the founding fathers would not have had it any other way.  Well, except maybe John Adams who knew a thing or two about disease prevention.

Bottled Water

Bottled water.  Vitamin fortified water.  Reverse osmosis.  Bottled at the source.  Too many choices.  What’s wrong with tap water?  Is it really tTapping into bottled water concernshat bad?  Does anyone drink from a water fountain anymore?  When I was a kid in school, the water fountain was the only option for a drink. We had milk breaks, but water was the only thirst quencher.  I remember refusing to drink from the fountain when the water pressure was low for obvious reasons.

And how about the garden hose.  As a kid, I drank from the hose on a hot summer’s day.  It didn’t matter that it tasted warm and a little metallic with hints of 50' Garden Hose $50.00plastic when it first came out, it was still refreshing.  Back in the day, I don’t think you could even buy a 12 ounce bottle of water, and if you could, who would?

My tap water looks clear, smells and tastes clean.  It does not contain lead or other toxins, at least I don’t think it does – we had it tested 4 years ago, but who knows.  While I confess that a bottle of Poland Springs is conveneint to carry around, and a better choice than a soda or a coffee, is it really better than tap water?  Some waters are bottled at the source.  At the source of what?  A tap? And what exactly is reverse osmosis?  That sounds like one of those throw away answers on a multiple choice test.

Now I do have a Brita pitcher, but I get a little nervous when I see what appears to be poppy seeds floating around in the holding tank.  Speaking of filters, you can buy about 144 bottles of water for the price of a  Brita filter.  Or you could just pay your water bill and drink from the tap or the garden hose.