How to rid of the plastics in your WATER consumption?
Is it safe to drink tap water in Dubai?
Official statements from the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) have stated that
“Our water quality across the generation, transmission and distribution networks meets the highest health and safety standards set by the World Health Organization (WHO). It is the responsibility of the customer or owner and the maintenance companies to carry out regular maintenance of the internal networks and water tanks after the meter and to ensure that health and safety standards are met.”DEWA
Although the UAE has strict standards in place, the quality of tap water varies depending on treatment in the desalination plants in your emirate. Your water quality also depends on the condition of the pipeline from the main supply, the maintenance of water tanks, and the pipes where you live. It is possible that old pipes leach contaminants like lead, iron, and copper, and poorly maintained water tanks harbor bacteria that can contaminate the water. Tap water could also contain fluoride that alters thyroid hormones, as well as chlorine at high enough levels to be carcinogenic.
However, there are viable, safe, and economical solutions and technologies that can resolve any impurities and help us use the valuable infrastructure that we are privileged to have, instead of using plastic, creating waste and CO2 emissions by transporting bottles, and putting our health at risk because of microplastics.
Why Bottled Water is not a solution?
Filtered water is what you are most likely to find in a grocery store.
This water is typically sourced from municipal tap water, which is then run through carbon filters to remove chlorine (which improves the taste) and sometimes a micron filter as well. After filtering, it is ozonated and bottled. The UAE does not have a mineral water source. All local bottled water companies are using filtered water. The imported mineral water has an important difference in price, as well as the CO2 effect.
By buying bottled water, we are adding to the value chain plastic waste, instead of using the infrastructure that we have in place and installing water filters in our households and offices.
Opting for 5.0L bottles over 0.5L ones is certainly better. However, the goal is to avoid creating any waste.
What about refillable 5-gallon solutions?
Many households go for 5-gallon (19L) bottles that are delivered to their doorsteps. However, it is important to know that polycarbonate that the big bottles are made of, is not easy to recycle. On the other hand, plastic deteriorates over a certain period of time. There is a regulation that these bottles can be refilled maximum 33 times. In order to truck the regulations and monitor the safety and health issues for consumers, the municipality created the mobile app called “Water SmarTrace” that scans the barcodes of each bottle to see how many times it was reused.
Aquaplus is the only water in the UAE that is packed in a 5-gallon Bisphenol A (BPA) Free Bottle.
Microplastics in the water
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the researchers have discovered that the levels of plastic fibers in popular bottled waters could be twice as high as those found in tap water. Overall, in places with high temperatures, such as the UAE, there is a danger of microplastics in water bottles that can affect our health.
The study found that there is an average of 325 plastic pieces in the size of 0.10 millimeter for every liter of water sold — which could be twice as high as those found in tap water. As a result, the World Health Organization has announced a review of the potential risks of microplastic contamination in drinking water.
Recommended Solutions- Filtered water
If tap water tastes like chlorine, filtering can fix that. Filtering can clear out many safety concerns like bacteria, heavy metals, and pesticides. Some types of filters can do almost everything. Others are specific to certain contaminants.
The most common types of filters in home treatment systems include:
This is the most common type of filter and it is a relatively inexpensive option. Water runs through a filtering screen containing carbon, where, contaminants get stuck. It can remove much of the heavy metals, parasites, pesticides, radon that may be in the water. This filtering is typically used in point-of-use devices, like under-sink or faucet-mounted units and pitchers.
Boiling water is one of the best ways to remove pathogens and heavy metals, and distillation takes this route. Distillers boil water into steam and then condense it back into water, killing bacteria and viruses and pulling contaminants like lead, mercury, and arsenic out of solution in the process. It is often used in point-of-entry systems (where the water enters the home) or in countertop devices.
One of the most effective and costly filtering methods and typically a point-of-use approach, the reverse osmosis uses pressure to force water through a semi-permeable membrane, removing practically all contaminants. This type of filtering is recommended for people with compromised immune systems, since it tends to eliminate more pathogens than other methods. The downside is the waste: About 4 gallons (15 liters) get thrown out for every 1 gallon (3.7 liters) of purified water it produces.
Also, many reverse osmosis (RO) systems remove the good with the bad. Iron, calcium, manganese, and fluoride are a few of the beneficial chemicals that may be removed, depending on your system. However, according to the WHO, food is the principal source of both calcium and magnesium. Dairy products are the richest sources of dietary calcium, contributing to over 50% of the total calcium in many diets.
In the UAE, there are number of companies offering the under-sink water filters.
After contacting and collaborating with more than 10 companies, we can confirm an excellent customer service of the 2 of them: Water of Life and No More Bottles, both providing under-sink carbon filters attached to the existing tap. These filters do not take up much space under the sink, which is positive, comparing to RO. In case of moving houses, the companies are providing replacement service for a charge of AED 100.
GreenFootprint is collaborating with Liquid of Life and providing you with a promo code of 10%!
GreenFootprint is collaborating with Water Care in Dubai and we are providing you with a promo code with 30% discount. The special price of:
- AED 1,500 includes installation and the changes of filters 3 times in a year.
- AED 500 for the 2nd year maintenance costs (including changing filters 3 times a year). The water will be sourced from a newly installed tab, separate from the existing one.
- Plus, complimentary shower head, worth AED 200.
After the installation the company will provide the water test to show the water quality, whereas the other carbon companies are not running any tests.
Bases for assumptions:
- Recommended Daily Water consumption per person: 2L including cooking
- Average monthly water consumption of the family of 4 (presuming that the family members spend time in the office/outside the house): 200L
5-gallon water bottles
Estimated monthly consumption:
Average price per bottle AED 10
Total monthly AED 100
Estimated annual consumption:
Annually it would cost approx. AED 1,200 plus dispenser (AED 35 to AED 400 range) for 4-member family
1.5L plastic bottles local water
Estimated monthly consumption:
Average price per bottle AED 1.13
Total monthly AED 150
Estimated annual consumption:
Annually it would cost approx. AED 1,440