When the price of a basic commodity that had once been available for pennies is now costing you $4 a gallon or more, it gets your attention. But you know you canít live without it, so you continue to pay those higher prices ó or, you consider a viable alternative.

If youíre drinking bottled water, $4 a gallon may actually be a bargain. And with the cost of filling up the family van running $60 to $70 these days, almost everybody is looking for a bargain. And almost everybody is examining household budgets, looking for ways to economize in order to feed the gas pump the additional dollars it is demanding.

For some, drinking water may be one of those places where that search will lead. How many of us realize that the water weíre drinking is costing as much or more as the price of the gasoline our vehicles are burning?

Itís probably not a surprise to most Americans that bottled water is incredibly expensive. And its cost will only go up as the cost of transporting this heavy commodity from bottler to retailer climbs. With all due respect to the bottled water industry, this may be one frill some families will want to examine.

Not only is bottled water incredibly expensive, it is also an environmental disaster. On top of the fuel spent in shipping the product, an estimated four million plastic bottles are consumed every 10 minutes in the United States, and most of them contain water. And most of those bottles are not recycled.

But can you trust the most obvious alternative? In Brown County, for customers served by utility departments by the cities of Brownwood, Early and Bangs and water supply companies like Brookesmith and Zephyr, the answer is most certainly yes. Not only have the treatment plants operated by the Brown County Water Improvement District No. 1 and the City of Early earned repeated state honors for quality, those individual entities also continually monitor the quality throughout their distribution lines. In some cases, depending on the brand of bottled water you select, the tap water is even better.

If bottled water is a luxury you enjoy and can afford, thatís one thing. Just please remember to recycle your empties. But if paying $4 a gallon is not your cup of tea, there are alternatives.

Brownwood Bulletin When the price of a basic commodity that had once been available for pennies is now costing you $4 a gallon or more, it gets your attention. But you know you canít live without it, so you continue to pay those higher prices ó or, you consider a viable alternative.

If youíre drinking bottled water, $4 a gallon may actually be a bargain. And with the cost of filling up the family van running $60 to $70 these days, almost everybody is looking for a bargain. And almost everybody is examining household budgets, looking for ways to economize in order to feed the gas pump the additional dollars it is demanding.

For some, drinking water may be one of those places where that search will lead. How many of us realize that the water weíre drinking is costing as much or more as the price of the gasoline our vehicles are burning?

Itís probably not a surprise to most Americans that bottled water is incredibly expensive. And its cost will only go up as the cost of transporting this heavy commodity from bottler to retailer climbs. With all due respect to the bottled water industry, this may be one frill some families will want to examine.

Not only is bottled water incredibly expensive, it is also an environmental disaster. On top of the fuel spent in shipping the product, an estimated four million plastic bottles are consumed every 10 minutes in the United States, and most of them contain water. And most of those bottles are not recycled.

But can you trust the most obvious alternative? In Brown County, for customers served by utility departments by the cities of Brownwood, Early and Bangs and water supply companies like Brookesmith and Zephyr, the answer is most certainly yes. Not only have the treatment plants operated by the Brown County Water Improvement District No. 1 and the City of Early earned repeated state honors for quality, those individual entities also continually monitor the quality throughout their distribution lines. In some cases, depending on the brand of bottled water you select, the tap water is even better.

If bottled water is a luxury you enjoy and can afford, thatís one thing. Just please remember to recycle your empties. But if paying $4 a gallon is not your cup of tea, there are alternatives.

Brownwood Bulletin