November 17, 2011 at 8:32 a.m.

Chisago Lakes Middle School students perform bottled water taste test

Chisago Lakes Middle School students perform bottled water taste test
Chisago Lakes Middle School students perform bottled water taste test

Editor's note: The following was submitted by Rachel Dahl a student at Chisago Lakes Middle School

Why do people buy bottled water? Is it safer? Studies have proven that tap water in most places is just as safe as bottled water, or even safer.

Do we buy bottled water because it tastes better? To see if tap water tastes just as good as bottled water, 7th graders in Mr. Collins' class did a blind taste test to collect data and discovered the fallacy of bottled water. Every student in the core got one vote for each of their favorite and their least favorite type of water they sampled. The five water types are ranked according to their overall score, which is their total worst score subtracted from their best score.

They are ranked by the brand of water, best to worst and overall.

1. Chisago Lakes Middle School Tap Water, best 48, worst 8, overall, 40.

2. Ice Mountain, best 26, worst 18, overall, 8.

3. Smart Water/Fiji, best 27, worst 28, overall -1.

4. Great value, best 13, worst 36, overall -23.

5. Nestles, best 14, worst 45, overall -31.

As you can see, Chisago Lakes Middle School Tap Water got first place overall, followed by Ice Mountain, and then Smart Water and Fiji. Do we really need to use so much energy to ship water from Fiji, which in a blind taste test finished third when tap water is free?

Americans use 24 million plastic bottles every hour. Drinking tap water could save you over $50,000 in your lifetime. Creating plastic bottles means using more oil. Did you know, less than 5 percent of all plastic is recycled, and because the caps aren't recyclable, many end up in oceans and rivers and may kill the animals that eat them if they mistake them for food?

Plastic water bottles also release BPA into the water in them. You can buy a BPA-free reusable water bottle and fill it yourself without having to worry about BPA. My BPA free reusable water bottle cost around $10 and it has been very useful and has saved me a lot of money.

Bottled water companies have fooled us long enough. Now it's your turn to change the way you think about drinking water. Every little change you make to your life will make the world a better place for the generations to come and save you thousands of dollars in your lifetime.

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