Study claims vended water doesn't meet California standards.

"Aquathin OP-ED Commentary"

Glacier Water, a leading water vending machine company with locations predominately in large grocery stores has been found to test positive for excessive levels of THMs. What's interesting here is these machines have GAC and RO as purification apparati. As we teach at Aquathin U., RO is not efficient for VOCs and THMs....but the GAC component is effective on this organochloride compound (of course we all know the patented Aquathin Process easily treats for THM...and so does the MegaChar and YES Filter). HOWEVER, WHEN USING THE RIGHT CARBON, THMs CANNOT SLUFF OFF OR SLUG LOAD HIGHER CONCENTRATIONS INTO TREATED WATER DUE TO HEAVY CHEMICAL BONDING WITH BITUMINOUS OR LIGNITE ACTIVATED COAL BASED CARBONS. Our professional guess is that their systems used cheap coconut shell carbon, which is suited for gas separation and not water treatment....and did not properly maintain these inappropriate filters as well.

Study claims vended water doesn't meet California standards

LOS ANGELES — Water sold in vending machines by the largest seller in California fails to meet state standards onethird of the time and falls short of claims of being 97 percent contaminant-free, claimed a new report.

The first study of its kind by the Environmental Working Group and Environmental Law Foundation analyzed water from machines operated by San Diego County-based Glacier Water Services Inc., the Los Angelos Daily News reported.

It mirrors findings on vending machine water by Los Angeles County, the article said. The newspaper said the report targeted trihalomenthanes (THMs), a class of chemicals that are byproducts of treating water with chlorine.  The study found that water from one-third of the Glacier machines tested exceeded the state health standard for THMs that have been linked to increased cancer risk and birth defects if consumed above certain levels, according to the Daily News.

The study also claimed that the state Department of Health Services has known the water from the company's machines violated standards, but did little to fix the problem, the newspaper said. A DHS spokeswoman said the water is safe to drink, but that the department would be doing additional studies, said the Daily News.  She said it was more a truth-in-advertising issue, rather than a health issue.

The study said ore than two-thirds fell short of the company's claim that the machines remove 97 percent of the contaminants, according to the article.  "Despite state regulations meant to ensure that all vended water meets stringent health standards, buying water from a machine in California is like playing a slot machine: You can't be sure what will come out," according to the report.  "It's very clear from our findings that the inflated prices that consumers in California pay for water is a rip-off," said Bill Walker, a co-author of the report, according to the newspaper.  The law foundation said it plans to file a lawsuit against Glacier, seeking to label the machines as substandard and to shut down machines that fail to meet state standards, the article said.  The Daily News reported that a statement from the company said the machines sampled for the study met US Environmental Protection Agency standards for safe drinking water.  "To ensure the public's safety, we complete over 49,000 tests each year through independent third party EPA certified laboratories," the statement said, according to the newspaper.

"Put simply, Glacier Water provides safe, great-tasting, highquality drinking water."  Glacier Water is the state's biggest operator of water vending machines, with more than 7,000 machines in California and more than 14,000 nationwide, said the newspaper.

In 1998 the company had called for an inspection program after a Los Angeles County study found widespread failure among vending companies to meet state health standards, according to the report.  The study found that the level of contaminants varied dramatically at machines statewide, the newspaper said. Four percent of the company's machines were tested.


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Edited from Tech Bank 12/11/02