Water, No Ice

Last night a client asked for water, no ice. Seems she disapproved of Pellegrino served at the bar. No problem, I’ll be right back. Oh, you want to come with me? Have it your way. Following me to the kitchen, she watched as I turned the faucet to run cold water. Her jaw went slack, unable to support quivering lips on a face now drained of colour.  Horrified, she mustered “you only have tap water?”. “Excuse me” I replied, handing her a glass of water, no ice. “I can’t drink that” she sputtered, “I need bottled water”. Propriety screamed “easy now, be cool, you’re a professional”. Rather than snap “are you thirsty or not?”,  politest admonishment ahead of “what’s wrong with you”, I smiled, shrugged and replied “there’s bottled juice at the bar”.

Water, no ice lady’s delusion isn’t unique. Convenience, accessibility, marketing and collective apathy sustain bottled water dependency. Why no ice, because it’s made from tap water?

Society resides in a plastic bubble. Insulated from common sense by convenience, consumers take the path of least resistance. Bolstered by marketed delusions, society dwells on plastic bottles and deems the contents crystal clear. Water, no ice lady doesn’t know 93% of all bottled water contains micro-plastics. Nor is she aware of Canadian law as it pertains to drinking water.

Canadian tap water is regulated by Health Canada which sets guidelines for potentially harmful contamination. Municipal water sources are tested constantly to assure quality. Bottled water is another matter – legally defined as “food”, it falls under jurisdiction of the Food and Drugs Act. Translation – “Aside from arsenic, lead and coliform bacteria, the act does not set limits on specific contaminants but says simply that food products cannot contain “poisonous or harmful substances” and must be prepared in sanitary conditions.” Bottom line, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) inspects water bottling plants – on average once every 3 years. Bottled water producers claim strict adherence to testing practices, legally they’re not obliged to make results public.

With the exception of “spring” or “mineral” water printed on labels, water producers aren’t required to reveal their water source. The Canadian Bottled Water Association claims less than 8% of water bottles in Canada contain municipal water sources. In the United States roughly 45% flows straight from the tap.

“In the U.S., Nestlé’s Poland Spring water, which is not sold in Canada, was the subject of a class-action lawsuit that alleged the company was mislabelling the water as “naturally purified” spring water from “pristine and protected sources… deep in the woods of Maine,” when it fact it was groundwater being drawn from man-made wells, some of which, the lawsuit alleged, were at risk of contamination.” – Kazi Stastna, CBC News

Ponder the link below –


Water, no ice lady is a cautionary tale. Bottled water is unregulated, unethical, unhealthy and undeniably unscrupulous.

In plastic bottle news – earlier this week Justin Trudeau held a press conference to announce a nation wide ban on single use plastics by 2020. All good until a reporter asked what Trudeau’s family did to reduce plastics. Ponder his cringe worthy response –




6 thoughts on “Water, No Ice

  1. Reblogged this on silverapplequeen and commented:
    Something to think about. I have a Brita pitcher but I often buy a bottle of “spring” water when I’m out & about for the convenience of it. We’ve often joked that the local “spring” water company here is just filling the bottles from someone’s backyard hose in Cheektowaga.

  2. If I’m thirsty, I ask for a glass of tap water, or I’ll have soda water from one of those hose things you get in bars. Water with some CO2. I never buy water in plastic bottles. In the UK, I an knock on anybody’s front door, ask for a glass of water, and they’re legally obliged to give a drink.

  3. I don’t buy plastic bottled water unless I have no choice. I know it can be a ripoff. I also use a Brita pitcher to take out the chlorine taste. I do order no ice in a restaurant because iced water is simply too cold for me. I have to drink a lot of water and I can easily, if it’s room temp, but not ice cold…just me.

  4. Canadian tap water is regulated by Health Canada which sets guidelines for potentially harmful contamination. Municipal water sources are tested constantly to assure quality.

    Maybe she was American? The tap water in some places in this country looks like it would catch fire if you held a match to it (see Flint, Michigan, but there are lots of other cities with issues). Regulations differ from place to place. I wouldn’t trust the tap water in a red state. Even here in Portland, they don’t fluoridate the water — and yes, one of the first things I noticed when I moved here is the huge number of dentists.

  5. The vast majority of municipal water supplies in the US and Canada are completely safe. There are rare exceptions such as Flint but that was a situation that would never have happened if there hadn’t been widespread failures due to incompetence, greed, etc.
    We are easily manipulated by fear, a fact that is used every day by industry to manipulate us. We’ve faced decades of advertising by the bottled water industry (most of which is owned by the soft drink manufacturers) which questions the safety of municipal water supplies, even comes right out and claims it isn’t safe, to try to sell us a product there is no need for. And as was pointed out, the bottled stuff is subjected to less testing and less regulation than what comes out of the taps. You can’t even be sure where the heck it is coming from. Most of the bottled water is nothing but tap water that’s been run through a cheap filter.
    Things can be pushed the other way, though. At the school I used to work at we replaced all of the regular water fountains with ones that had built in bottle refilling stations with “filtered” water. Basically a cheap Brita style filter is all that’s in there. It’s still city water. Sales of bottled water cratered overnight, to the point where they don’t stock the vending machines with the stuff any more.

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