State College Water


| 17 Comments
plastic-water-bottle.jpg
Yesterday a friend of mine said that she heard our water here in State College was bad for her skin, and that was why she'd been breaking out in the past few weeks. Another friend who was with us said that was ridiculous and that water couldn't cause skin problems. This made me curious about the tap water we have here - I've been told many times that it's not good quality and that we should use a filter (I have a Brita pitcher in my dorm room) but I wondered how bad it really was. I don't know about everyone else, but I can taste a difference in the water here and my water at home. There's something off about it, but when you're really thirsty, the water fountains are still sufficient. 

After some research, I found out that our ratio of magnesium to calcium is lower than it should be. Apparently, this can cause kidney stones and the amounts of kidney stones are unusually high in Centre County. According to voicesweb.org, "the high level of calcium in the State College Borough Water Authority water may be due in part to the geology of the area." Does everyone else notice a difference in the water? Do you filter it before you drink it? I thought it was interesting that there are facts about the calcium in it, not just students complaining that it looks cloudy. Maybe next time think twice before taking a drink straight from the tap.

http://voicesweb.org/node/1670

17 Comments

I have always been able to taste a difference from water fountains and bottled water. The same can be said for State College's water fountains. I rarely drink water from the water fountains here but when I do I find it rather disgusting but when you are thirsty you really have no choice. I don't filter water but I drink bottled water so I am not exposed to the water fountains that much. What is the percentage of people who live in State College that have kidney stones compared to other parts of Pennsylvania?

One thing that I have noticed since I have been here is the fact that I enjoy going to water fountains because they are always cold. That was something that was rather hard to find in my high school. Since the water fountain is cold I find it refreshing to drink, but that was before I read this blog post. Thank you for posting this because I will now read up on it. I'll make sure I always keep a bottle of water on me instead of going to the water fountain, so yes I will think twice about taking a drink of water next time.

According to the article I read, "According to the Center for Disease Control, in 2004, there were 171,000 kidney stone–related inpatient stays nationwide. Given the national average, Centre County would expect to see between 80 and 110 kidney stone–related inpatient stays. But Mount Nittany Medical Center, which did not release the number of kidney stone–related inpatient stays, reported 190 kidney stone–related surgeries in the 2006/2007 fiscal year, and Geisinger Health System reported 261 kidney stone–related visits in Centre County between January 2007 and May 2008."

So basically, there should be 80 to 110 and there were 190 in Centre County. This was a few years ago so I don't know if this is still relevant but I still hear people talk about the water quality on a regular basis so I assume it's still bad quality.

Thank you for this post (and link to your source) by the way it was really informative. Drinking water is very important and if there's a problem with the water where we live we should look for a better alternative. I think that instead of everyone going out and buying water bottles they should get a Brita bottle with a filter. This way, we will still be eco-friendly in regards to wasting less plastic. I'm sure all of us either have or have seen someone with a Brita Bottle. Can anyone think of other alternatives?

I'm glad you bring this up! While I normally try to drink bottled water, or through the Brita pitcher in my room, I sometimes have to use the water fountain in my hallway, and something definitely tastes off about the water. I had been wondering if I was crazy for thinking that water tastes different, but I can even taste the difference in some kinds of bottled waters. Do you think the water tastes different around here because of the elevated use and demand, especially here in State College with so many students living in such a small area? Does this water problem also extend to the shower water we use? Perhaps that is why your friend is breaking out! But I completely agree that something is off about State College Water. Brita filter, all the way!

Me and my roommate use a Brita Filter in our dorm room, but is all the water at Penn State bad? I usually fill up my water bottle at those water bottle filling stations near the water fountains. I noticed that the water still tastes a little different, but does it also have calcium in it? I know it's bad for the enviroment but I usually keep a case of store bought water bottles because sometimes I can't stand the taste of the water.

Me and my roommate use a Brita Filter in our dorm room, but is all the water at Penn State bad? I usually fill up my water bottle at those water bottle filling stations near the water fountains. I noticed that the water still tastes a little different, but does it also have calcium in it? I know it's bad for the enviroment but I usually keep a case of store bought water bottles because sometimes I can't stand the taste of the water.

Thank you for this post (and link to your source) by the way it was really informative. Drinking water is very important and if there's a problem with the water where we live we should look for a better alternative. I think that instead of everyone going out and buying water bottles they should get a Brita bottle with a filter. This way, we will still be eco-friendly in regards to wasting less plastic. I'm sure all of us either have or have seen someone with a Brita Bottle. Can anyone think of other alternatives?

Oh boy, I should stop drinking from the water fountains! Very interesting, I'm glad I read this. I feel like I always can taste a difference, but i've thought maybe I was wrong since I saw this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfPAjUvvnIc (skip until like 5 minutes in) it shows people thinking they are drinking fancy water when really it is tap water. I also feel like when I drink warm water here, it tastes off, but when i drink cold water it is harder to tell.

Oh boy, I should stop drinking from the water fountains! Very interesting, I'm glad I read this. I feel like I always can taste a difference, but i've thought maybe I was wrong since I saw this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfPAjUvvnIc (skip until like 5 minutes in) it shows people thinking they are drinking fancy water when really it is tap water. I also feel like when I drink warm water here, it tastes off, but when i drink cold water it is harder to tell.

Actually it could be from the water but I dont necessary think its from drinking it. It could be from showering and the pressure of the water hitting her body.I know a friend who started to break out because of this.

I bought a Brita filter just because my gut tells me not to trust the water here and I'm glad I did after reading this. Brita filters are a small investment and don't take up much room. There is only so much you can do to avoid drinking the water though. There will be points where you are dying of thirst and a water fountain is conveniently located just next to you. What are you going to do, walk past it? No. You'll drink it. So I'd say for those who are on the fence about getting a Brita filter, just do it. They cost $15 and fit in the refrigerators just fine. Better to be safe than sorry.

Thank you for bringing this topic to light. My roommate and I do not have a filter and we are constantly drink the water. We both use the sink water to fill up our bottles for protein shakes and preworkout shakes before and after the gym. We figured it was saving us money rather than using our bottled water. When I saw this post I showed him right away and we both are kinda worried about the whole kidney stone thing. We have decided that we are definitely getting a Brita Filter. Thanks again for the awareness of this issue. I have also noticed recent breakouts and the water to be cloudy. This is the first time we've had this problem in state college. Check out this article.
http://www.collegian.psu.edu/archive/2008/03/06/psu_tap_water_unsafe.aspx

I'm so glad that someone wrote a blog about this because I thought I was the only one who thought the water tasted completely different here. The beginning of this year was the first time I had ever used a Brita water bottle, and when I did, I thought the water tasted almost cloudy or something. I of course got used to it and figured it was just the filter and thats the way the water tasted because of it. Now that you mention it, I wonder if it isn't the filter and if it's really the actual water that tastes different. I think the next time I go home, I'll do a little experiment and use my Brita water bottle and see if there's any difference in taste. I'm nervous there will be and then I won't want to drink the water here anymore. Either way, I'm going to try it because now I'm very curious.

I'm so glad that someone wrote a blog about this because I thought I was the only one who thought the water tasted completely different here. The beginning of this year was the first time I had ever used a Brita water bottle, and when I did, I thought the water tasted almost cloudy or something. I of course got used to it and figured it was just the filter and thats the way the water tasted because of it. Now that you mention it, I wonder if it isn't the filter and if it's really the actual water that tastes different. I think the next time I go home, I'll do a little experiment and use my Brita water bottle and see if there's any difference in taste. I'm nervous there will be and then I won't want to drink the water here anymore. Either way, I'm going to try it because now I'm very curious.

Yea I've also noticed how off the water was here, but I always thought it was because I was just used to boiling my water first at home. I always thought that would make the water better for you but recently I found out that it would not really help much in a situation like this. See boiling water removes most bacteria in the water, but it leaves all the minerals like the calcium still in it. It actually ends up being more concentrated because some of the water evaporates when it's boiled. So I've recently invested in a Pur water filter instead

People often forget that public water supplies have more much more testing done to make sure it is safe than a company like Aquafina for example. Having said that, I agree that the water here does taste different. Not being from State College, I would love to know what someone thinks about the taste of the water that has grown up here. If I had to guess, they may come back to my home town and say that the water tastes funny while I think it tastes perfectly fine. Like anything, if you grew up drinking the same kind of water, it's all that you know. So I pose the question... Does it matter what the water tastes like? Or is it the taster?

Leave a comment

Subscribe to receive notifications of follow up comments via email.
We are processing your request. If you don't see any confirmation within 30 seconds, please reload your page.

Search This Blog

Full Text  Tag

Recent Entries

Alcohol and Energy Drinks
We've all heard of Four Lokos (or "blackout in a can") and the drama surrounding them when they first came…
It isn't up to the Keratin
Many girls who have naturally curly, wavy, or frizzy hair have started looking into getting keratin treatments at their local…
It isn't up to the Keratin
Many girls who have naturally curly, wavy, or frizzy hair have started looking into getting keratin treatments at their local…

Old Contributions