As counter-intuitive as it may seem, New York tap water is incredibly fresh and pure. It comes from a reservoir in upstate New York and, as it wends its way to the city, it is filtered, processed, cleaned, and purified. A few years ago, Vogue food editor Jeffrey Steingarten studied the city's water and found it to be every bit as tasty as most mineral waters; ironically, it also had much less bacteria.
On the other hand, old pipes, cruddy sinks, and other delivery-based concerns can sometimes make the city's water less than appetizing. Consequently, it isn't all that surprising to see the bodegas and convenience stores of Manhattan filled with gallons of bottled water. To support this bottled water addiction, Poland Spring trucks clog the streets as they guzzle gas and waste money, transporting millions of gallons of bottled water over hundreds of miles.
With this in mind, entrepreneur Craig Zucker has begun bottling and selling New York City tap water. After running water through a reverse-osmosis system that removes chlorine and impurities, he markets it under the name Tap'd NY. A 20-ounce bottle runs $1.50, a fairly high price for bottled water. On the bright side, Tap'd NY doesn't need to be shipped from the mountains of Vermont, the Springs of Maine, or the rocky beaches of Fiji, which means that it is, actually, a comparatively green option. On the other hand, even irony-enhanced New Yorkers might have a hard time shelling out cash for something they already get for free!
Bruce Watson is a freelance writer, blogger, and all-around cheapskate. Last weekend, as he drank PBR from a can at an art opening, he realized that Craig Zucker is a total genius!
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