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Water, Water, Anywhere
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The water that comes out of the tap here in Los Angeles has a distinct chlorine/fluoride smell to it. Sometimes it's even murky, not clear. After a big rainstorm the admixtures are particularly noticeable, visual as well as olfactory.

So I switched to bottled spring water. It's clear, the aroma and taste are nearly identical to the well water I drank while growing up on a farm. (Ah, the overrated joys of hand pumps and buckets, your hand freezing to the pump handle in winter).

A year or so past that decision, I was convinced by my friends that what I was doing was environmentally harmful, creating a huge carbon footprint (transportation from source to salespoint) and using too many plastics (bottles) and depriving indigenous people of their water supply.

So I bought green bottles, three of them (I drink a lot of water in the course of a day), nice taste-free stainless steel and have been putting tap water in them. I age the tap water for 12 hours to let the chlorine smell abate, then fill the bottles for portability.

OK. All is well. I'm set. I'm green. I'm good to go.

Not so fast, shweetheart. Recent reports of a three-year study of the nation's drinking water quality have found more than 200 unregulated chemicals in the tap water of 45 states, including California, at the top of the list.

The Environmental Working Group analysis of 20 million tap water quality tests found a total of 316 contaminants -- including industrial solvents, weed killers, refrigerants and the rocket fuel component perchlorate -- in water supplied to the public (that's you and me) between 2004 and 2009.

Now what do I do? Switch to wine and beer?

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