When was the last time you KISSed your water?

Have you ever gotten to the end of a project—decorating a cake, refurbishing a room, building a shelf—only to take it a step further, adding one more little touch to make it absolutely perfect? That one last touch looks great, so you add another, then another, then another. Before you know it, things have gotten out of hand, and there’s no turning back. You’ve added so many “final details” that you’ve lost the original intent of what you’ve done. By the end of it all, you truly understand the meaning of “less is more.” Some call this the KISS principle—that is, the value of Keeping It Simple (I’ll keep you guessing on what the extra S stands for).

It seems that drinking water has fallen into this scenario. That is, society and corporations have come up with all kinds of ways to make water healthier, more convenient, more eco-friendly, and oddly enough more attractive and colorful. We’ve talked about the booming sales of bottled water and spring water. and sales of home water filters have also experienced a surge. Moreover, companies and individuals are doing all kinds of things to enhance the benefits of water, including adding electrolytes, calcium, potassium and other minerals, as well as adjusting the pH levels (thought to help combat certain diseases).

But when it comes right down to it, keeping it simple seems to be the best approach in terms of water’s benefits, convenience and environmental responsibility. How simple? Drinking water from your tap and in a washable glass or reusable bottle, using a reusable straw simple! With EPA standards in place and filtering and purification technologies being employed by water suppliers, evidence points to tap water—without all those “added details”—being the best for drinking. This article does an excellent job of explaining some of the common practices for filtering and/or nutritionally enhancing water from the tap, and why these practices don’t necessarily make your water better—and may actually make it worse for you. Here are the key takeaways:

  1. Trust your water company and make use of water-quality reports to keep tabs on how they are meeting or exceeding EPA criteria.
  2. Some additives can become toxic to certain bodily functions. The body can also experience adverse effects if an individual drinks water other than the “specialized” version that he or she has gotten used to.
  3. Home filters don’t have an effect on such potential contaminates as bacteria or viruses.
  4. Most water utilities allow safe amounts of disinfectant to remain in water, to allay concerns about possible contamination of water once it reaches your pipes (i.e., after it leaves “regulated” pipes).
  5. Think filters are more environmentally friendly? Think about the carbon footprint in manufacturing them, and the materials that end up in landfills once a filter outlives its usefulness.

So next time you’re thinking of “perfecting” your tap water, apply the KISS principle and appreciate how great it already is.