Americans spend nearly $100 billion a year on bottled water, according to some sources. While there is a debate about the environmental impact of bottled water, it is undeniable that bottled water offers a convenient and healthier alternative to sugary drinks or tap water with high levels of contaminants.
The popularity of bottled water has been a subject of criticism due to its environmental impact, from the draining of springs to the mountains of plastic and glass created for the bottles, and the pollution created by hauling all of those bottles around the world. However, one cannot ignore the fact that drinking bottled water is far healthier than drinking juice or soda, and the taste of tap water can often be off-putting, necessitating an alternative. Furthermore, tap water in some cities is unclean or even dangerous, leading consumers to opt for bottled water as a safer alternative.
Mineral water, in particular, is touted as being even healthier than “regular” water, offering calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and other nutrients in greater proportions than tap water. The nutrients in mineral water are in a format that makes it easy for the body to absorb, making it an attractive option for health-conscious consumers.
In response to the concerns about both the environmental impact of bottled water and the quality of tap water, Lang has developed a countertop device called The Well. This device filters tap water and injects natural salts and minerals into the cleaned-up liquid. The added minerals, which include 15.8 milligrams of potassium and 0.4 milligrams of magnesium per 100 milliliters of mineralized water, provide consumers with the benefits of mineral water without the need for commercially packaged bottled water.
The mechanism of The Well involves three separate filters—a sediment filter, an activated carbon filter, and a reverse osmosis filter—through which the water passes in sequence. After filtration, the minerals are injected into the filtered water using liquid packs inserted into the device. These mineral packs are good for 250 liters of water before they need to be replaced, at a cost of $30 per pair. Additionally, consumers have the option to infuse their water with flavor using a cartridge that produces about 50 liters of flavored water.
The Well has been designed to address concerns about both the environmental impact of bottled water and the health benefits of consuming mineral water. However, the large size of the device and the cost of maintaining the mineral packs and filters may be deterrents for some consumers. Despite this, the convenience of having access to mineral water at home that tastes good and provides health benefits may be appealing to those who are invested in their health and reducing their environmental footprint.
During a residence trial of several weeks, users reported that the water tasted good, and the added minerals were either not noticeable or added a very slight but pleasant salinity to the water. The convenience of being able to access hot mineralized water on demand without the delay of waiting for a kettle to heat up is another notable benefit of The Well.
In conclusion, the development of products like The Well is a step towards addressing the concerns of both environmental sustainability and public health, offering consumers a convenient and environmentally friendly alternative to bottled water. As consumers continue to seek healthier and more sustainable options for their daily needs, products like The Well may become an integral part of a more conscious and environmentally friendly lifestyle.