Saturday, January 15, 2011

What's in your water?

Published: January 14, 2011

Updated: 01/14/2011 08:36 pm

Tap water or bottled water — which is safer?

It's the great water cooler debate. Get 10 people in a room and you're likely to get half of them who chug down water from a plastic bottle and the other half who have no qualms getting theirs straight from the tap.

So who's right?

"No water is 100 percent safe," says Mack Washington, water plants supervisor for the county utilities department.

Still, because of the stringent guidelines, Washington said he would rather drink tap water than bottled water because no one knows what safeguards go into that.

Hernando County is required by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to test its water supply every three years for chemicals and once a month for the presence of bacteria.

The county adds chlorine into the water to control microbe growth.

The state sets guidelines for scores of chemicals the county cannot exceed. And the county hasn't exceeded those parameters since he's been with the county and that started 22 years ago, he said.

The city of Brooksville is subject to the same state guidelines. But the major difference between county and city water is the latter adds fluoride, Washington said.

And there is a wealth of debate about the benefits of fluoride in the water supply.


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