This is Why I Have a Brita

IMG_1639Pop quiz, hotshot: Where do you think Los Angeles tap water ranks on a list compared to, say, 99 other cities in the United States? Let’s designate #1 as “good quality,” and #100 as “more of an industrial-strength varnish removal agent than a potable source of human hydration.” Go on, guess. Number 12, maybe? Number 18 at the worst? Come on, we’re a major metropolitan area with access to the latest advances in technology, right? No way we’re anywhere lower than the top 20!

Try 83.

That’s right: In a survey of the most common pollutants present in municipal drinking water, Los Angeles ranked 83rd in the nation. That means the Department of Water and Power, an organization that routinely cashes the checks I write them, has allowed to seep into our drinking water 25 separate chemicals, including — seriously — chloroform. No wonder I’m so sleepy all the time.

There’s some good news, at least on the culpability front: More than half of the chemicals detected by the study — performed by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group — are not even subject to health regulations by the federal government, and can therefore be present in any amount. Also, we beat those hippies up in San Jose, who came in at 84.

A representative from EWG told the LA Daily News: “We recommend residents get water filters.”

I have my old-ass building and its pipes full of mineral deposits to thank for my reliance on filtered and bottled water, and I never thought I’d say this, but: Thank you, old-ass building that only provides the hardest and most magnesium-clotted water, for preparing me for the sad realities of municipal utility regulation. I have a Brita filter in my refrigerator for everyday use, and a stack of bottled Arrowhead in my pantry for emergencies such as forgetting to refill the Brita. Don’t worry, I recycle all the bottles. Gotta pay for booze somehow.

Hey! Maybe if I mix booze with the water, it’ll kill off the carcinogens. I’ll start today and give a full report when I sober up.

11 Replies to “This is Why I Have a Brita”

  1. Is it worse than San Diego’s? I know that the most dangerous stuff you likely can’t taste or smell, but San Diego’s tap water is foul. It smells like dirt. I tried drinking some coffee made with tap water there, and it also smelled like dirt. Really unpleasant.

  2. This is disturbing news but a question for Mr. Ott:

    What makes you think the contents of those Arrowhead bottles is any better?

  3. Since we replaced our DISGUSTING and ancient galvanized pipes with brand new copper ones, the water out of the tap tastes amazing. Still use the Britta out of habit, but in a pinch, the water out of the tap tastes fine.

  4. well I do double duty safety filtering. I have a PUR filter attached to my tap from which I fill a Brita for the fridge. The varying filter cartridges catch most everything.

  5. bummer. i’ve been meaning to invest in a really good reverse osmosis… but keep putting it off. Now I guess I have to do it.

  6. Keep up the great work! Look forward to reading more from you in the future. I think it will be also nice if you add “send to email” tool so people can forward the articles to their friends easily.

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