Thirsty? Drink This…

The Truth About Bottled Water

I came across this really informative and eye opening infographic this morning as I settled into my daily affairs.  Even though it presents facts and figures from an American standpoint, its still relevant to us all.  The bottled water business is big business all over the world, with people paying premium sums for the privilege of drinking water extracted from the pristine and untouched glaciers of ‘Mount Here’ and ‘River There’.

We in T&T have a few bottled water companies here also.  I remember one Carnival Tuesday back in 1998/9 I was (in the hot sun) watching the masqueraders on the road, when I felt the need for a drink of water.

So I approached a nearby street vendor and asked him…

“Yuh have any bottled water?”

“Yeah man!  Ah have Blue Rivers, Crystal Ocean, aviV… freezing cold from since dis mornin’…”

All the bottles were of the smaller variety… no more than 250-300 ml (8-10 US fl. oz.).  Typical retail price (in those days) would be no more than TT$1.

I really wanted one of the bigger 500-600 ml bottles (usually TT$2-$3 depending on location) but I was really thirsty.

“Alright then… gimme ah aviV and ah Blue Rivers.  How much I have for yuh?”  I begin counting off four dollars in $1 bills…

“Ten dollars, boss-man…  Is $5 for one…”

I pause and took a good look at the back of the man’s head as he bent over his cooler to get me my bottles.  I was seriously contemplating hitting him a clout, but thought better of it.

Wha’ ?!  You serious?! Is $10 I hear you call dey?”  (Remember… this is 1998/9, eh? TT$10 could of gotten you a piece of KFC & a biscuit or some fries back then.)

“Yeah… yuh forget is Carnival time! We price does raise nuh… ah does always ha tuh make a lil’ hustle fuh de Carnival…”

In my stunned and confused state, I happen to notice that he also has a few bottles of Club Soda in the cooler.

(NB: “club soda” = soda water = plain, unflavoured and carbonated water.

Sold in 300 ml glass bottles, they hold roughly the same as the small plastic bottles of water he was selling.)

“How much for de Solo… de Club Soda?”

Taken from the Solo website

He cocks his eyebrows at me… “Two dollars…”

“…for one?”

“Yes… for one…” He cocks his eyebrows higher at me… o_O

“…and dey cold?”

He shakes his head in the affirmative.

“Well, gimmeh two dey…”

I hand him the $4 I’d peeled off originally.

He hands me the club soda, which I open and consume post-haste.

We both leave richer than we were before… except that I had more gas to deal with :-P.

PS: After doing some poking around on the interwebz, I have to ask this question:

Could the reason for this be as a direct result of this? (Skip to the paragraph just before the “Author Keywords”)

You be the judge!

Peace and Rice,


Resident expert on all things Cracked.

my blogs:
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5 Responses to “Thirsty? Drink This…”

  1. December 17, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    the guardian link just didnt want to open… as usual…

    i remember when i would go to the club.. i wasnt a drinking guy then and the Non Alcoholic drinks were just as expensive… sometimes more than the alcoholic ones… same applies to buying the bottled water now…

    i wonder if ppl know that plastics never degrade 100%… the particles only breakup into smaller sizes… buy one bottle an refil it umpteen times…

  2. 3 wsteffie
    December 19, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    I love bottled water and drink a lot of it.They say tab water is safe to drink over here, but I do not drink that. We have something simmilar to consumer reports over here and I looked at their test results and picked my bottled water. Funny thing, the cleanest water was one of the cheapest.That the article in Science Direct is interesting. Well, I like my e coli in my loo but not in my water.:-)

    • December 20, 2009 at 2:49 am

      I love the convenience of the bottle. The water tastes the same to me, but perhaps that’s just in Trinidad. I remember on my first trip to the US alone, I bought a bottle for $1US and kept refilling it from the various water coolers that I encountered. Americans thought me odd, but why pay another $1 for another bottle when you’re providing me with bottled water out of a water cooler for free?

      That’s essentially what I still do up to this day; I buy a large bottle (1.5-2 litres) and keep it at my desk. When I empty it (usually by the end of the day), I refill it with boiled tap water.

      Thanks for commenting, folks!

  1. Free Standing Deli and Convenience Store 14659 in Bronx County New … | Bronx County NY Real Estate Pingback on Dec 29th, 2009 at 6:35 pm

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