Banish The Bottle | Teen Ink

Banish The Bottle

December 14, 2022
By hluff BRONZE, Wilbraham, Massachusetts
hluff BRONZE, Wilbraham, Massachusetts
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

The United States recognizes clean water as a human right, however, it is not protected in all the ways vital. Every human will go thirsty. By ensuring the conservation of our water, the buying of bottles will dwindle. This is something that needs to happen now.

Seville is a small agricultural town settled at the base of the Sierra Nevada. They have been enduring a detrimental water crisis for more than a decade. After people in their community reported more and more cases of cancer, the residents deemed their tap water undrinkable. They were not alerted to this, and had to make the discovery themselves. Seville at once turned off their taps, including for the needs of irrigation and bathing. It became a norm for the Sevillian citizens to buy gallons of water from their closest supermarket everyday. Eddie Valero, a supervisor, and former school board member says, "It's one of many issues that is near and dear to my heart. It's frustrating that kids here know water comes from a bottle, not from a tap.’" Because of the low population and income of this town, it’s apparent how they aren’t prioritized by the Californian government. But, this life is not sustainable for a town with an average net income of 14,000 a year. Local governors have been aware of this problem, but have been tiptoeing around it for years. To replace the century old pipe system–assumed to be the cause of these cancerous chemicals–would simply be too expensive. This situation going unaddressed is a prime example of the breach in our water security, and our rights.

Another example of this breach is when a Swiss water company started pumping water from the lush soil of Fryeburg, Maine. After buying small plots of land, Nestle, the owner of Poland Springs, was estimated to have collected 40,000 gallons of water from the ground a day. The government had no restrictions put in place to stop this. The Fryeburg’s water table dropped significantly, and for too long, it was only worsening. When Fryeburg wells ran idle, their water was essentially being stripped from their sinks and sold back on shelves. Governors simply watched this happen, and it was left to the people to stand up for their water. 

Growing up in a woodsy community with a well in my backyard, I never had a thought about what I was drinking. I remember going to my friend’s urban apartment for the first time. Her mom told me to not drink from the tap, and instead get a bottle out of the fridge. I figured this was because she preferred water cold, but it was not. She, and many other Americans, fear drinking the water pumped right into their homes. When the soda industry fumbled and plastic replaced glass, it just got easier to grab a bottle of water with your lunch or slip one into your purse on your way to work. But these bottled water companies get their money from the buyers wary of tap water. Apart from the exponential effect on the environment, how different is it from tap water really? On the label of a bottle, it will likely say either artisan, the most priced up water from a confined aquifer, distilled, water without minerals and usually not for drinking, spring, which is groundwater, or purified, the cheapest, which is filtered municipal water. According to, it is assumed that 40% to 45% is reprocessed municipal water. These bottles will have P.S.W. on the back, which stands for public water source, but few companies will actually print the words. While this water is filtered, the water tests that the FDA requires companies to submit are not checked, and aren’t requested regularly. For towns like Seville, obviously bottled water is a safe alternative to tap water. If our tap water isn’t safe, bottled water is our only alternative. However, we shouldn’t need an alternative, especially an unsound and unsustainable one like this. It’s easier to stop the problem at the source.

We, as a country everyday, need to make sure that our tap water is protected so we can reduce the use of plastic bottles. The government needs to ensure to the best of their ability that water is accessible to us, in order to keep our earth clean, and our bodies clean.

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