Water Bottled or Filtered Water

Water filtered at home

In Quebec, 37% of households serviced by a municipal water system treat the water before consumption. Nationally, the proportion climbs to more thanone household in two. People who decide to seek domestic treatment for their tap water do so first to improve the appearance, smell and taste, or to reduce the amount of minerals or salts of water very hard.

Types of filters

There on the market various types of devices to filter the water that is installed over the main entrance, on tap and water under the sink. They are mainly used to treat water used for consumption and in the preparation of food.

Some models have ceramic filters. But the most common are equipped with a charcoal filter active that reduces the content of heavy metals, such as lead, and chlorine. This would improve the taste.

The tap water
Its characteristics are essentially depend on the place where it is collected: on the surface (rivers, rivers) or underground, in urban or rural, etc. Water can vary a lot from one region to another and from one country to the other.

There are also systems to sports thermos flask, where the water is forced, under pressure, through a semipermeable membrane that holds molecules of minerals. It is the system that efficiently RID water of chemicals and heavy metals it contains. But it is much more expensive. The water treated by reverse osmosis is very weakly mineralized (around 5 ppm).The charcoal filter system is also available as a filtering pitcher with cartridge that can change.

Remember that filters charcoal or ceramic as well as reverse osmosis system cannot disinfect the water. The use of devices to eliminate dangerous microorganisms is an exceptional measure which, in principle, is not to be practiced by individuals receiving water from a system of distribution in Quebec. Include everything as such systems exist and that they operate by ultraviolet rays2.

In some areas, the high content of calcium and magnesium carbonate creates what is called the “hard water”. This water is not harmful to health, but causes several problems, including the training of limestone in plumbing and electrical appliances.

No system of filter can remove any contaminants. «In all cases, said nutritionist Hélène Baribeau, the goal is to get a more pure water that contains less than what is usually found in thetap water, or heavy metals, chlorine, etc.» Although these substances are not present in dangerous quantities, we can certainly believe that less there, better. »

Some useful info

  • The vast majority of Quebecers has very high quality drinking water.
  • It is possible to mitigate or completely remove the chlorine taste without using filter (see box below).
  • Before you buy a filter, ask about characteristics of water from the tap of your municipality if you are connected to a water supply system.
  • To know the lead content in your water, have it tested by an accredited laboratory.
  • Be careful arguments of the sellers of water purification systems. Some tend to demonize the tap water, as it revealed a survey of the magazine protect yourself9.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and regularly change the cartridge if there is1. Bacteria can proliferate in the filters.
  • Look for models that display the ANSI/NSF14 international certification.
  • People who supply to a private source are responsible for verifying the quality of their water (12% of Quebecers). It is advisable to do it twice a year, especially if the well is located near a barn or a culture of potatoes.How eliminate chlorine water?People who want to eliminate chlorine and its by-products, for reasons of taste or precaution, can do this by leaving a jug of water sit for 12 hours, on the counter or in the refrigerator. These substances are highly volatile.Coal filtration systems, cartridges for pitcher or devices to attach to the faucet, also helps reduce chlorine taste and the presence of by-products.Let the water stand also helps eliminate rotten smell and taste “eggs” of some groundwater, caused by hydrogen sulfide they contain.

According to data from Statistics Canada, 30% of Canadian households drank mainly bottled water in 200712. It is also the case of 28% of Quebec households. The sale of bottled water has experienced an average growth of 20% per year between 1992 and 200515.Bottled water

Some are more convenient bottled water. Others prefer its taste to thetap water. Still others believe that it is more safe. This belief is based on no evidence, says Health Canada16. A survey conducted in 2008 even revealed that some brands of water bottled in the United States contained the same contaminants as water from the tap17.

In recent years, environmental groups denounced the consumption of bottled water, due to the production of plastics that entails. In the space of just one year, Quebecers consume about 775 million bottles ofwater source or carbonated15.

Their claims seem to have echoes in March 2009, the Federation of municipalities of the Canada passed a resolution to encourage cities to stop using and selling bottled water in municipal buildings. The Union of municipalities of Quebec has approved this approach.

In parallel, the Government company Recyc-Québec multiplies initiatives so that more plastic bottles are recycled in the workplace. The program check immediately, for example, target departments and agencies of the Government of Quebec, while waste Zero at work targets businesses.


Quality guidelines issued by the World Health Organization drinking water to also apply to the ice sold commercially and to the water to bottle3. In Canada, bottled water is considered to be a food product. It is therefore governed by the food and Drugs Act which control microbiological quality, its composition and the terms of bottling, storage and distribution, not to mention the labelling. Imported waters are subject to the same standards as the water harvest in the Canada. It should be noted that the ‘water’ must contain no sugar, sweeteners or additives chemical and, therefore, nor calories4.

It is the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) which monitors so that those waters comply with the regulations of the Act5. Note that Quebec has also its own regulations on bottled water, while other provinces rely entirely on the federal Government.

The manufacturing also ensure compliance with the standards. This is the case of the Canadian Association of bottled waters (CEAA), the Canadian chapter of the International Council of Bottled Water Associations (ICBWA), whose members control 85 percent of the Canadian market. The list of members is available on the website of the8 CBWA.

The majority of Canadian bottling plants are located in the provinces of Quebec, Ontario and British Colombia. About 75% of the members of the CBWA bottling companies supply in underground water sources . They must ensure that they are not contaminated by infiltration or in any other way. As bottlers who take their water to even a municipal system, they are required to treat it again, including distillation and reverse osmosis.

The storage of water bottles

Canadian regulations has not established standards for the duration of conservation of bottled water. The majority of Canadian producers of bottled water still show a shelf life of one to two years. So, it’s good to check the expiry date on the label.

It is also advisable to refrigerate water once the bottle has been opened to avoid the proliferation of bacteria.

The direct Sun could accelerate the degradation of the plastic from the bottles and lead to contamination of the water. This is just a hypothesis. It is best to store bottled water unopened in a dark place and fresh (the basement or a refrigerator), away from the household of solvents cleaning products, gasoline and other toxic materials.

The reuse of a water bottle

According to the Canadian Association of bottlers of water13, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) used for the individual water bottles plastic is intended for a single use. It should come as no complete again one of these bottles, or even wash it. This may accelerate the decomposition of plastic. We put these containers to recycling.

Single-use water bottles contain no BPA. Reusable water bottles in hard and clear plastic (polycarbonate) contain, as well as some bottles and cups for children18.