Over the past few years, climate change has taken a toll on our environment with several groundwater resources in our country going dry. In some parts, like Chennai, water has become more expensive than gold, and it is alarming how such a basic necessity has become so scarce. I have always been particular about the water used in my home, and even more critical of packaged drinking water when I travel. There have been several news reports which have shown that every packaged drinking water is not pure, which has been evident on most of my travels across our country. There are also numerous Whatsapp forwards showing how water is hygienically poured out of garden taps into plastic bottles and then sold as mineral water. Recently, the health department had shut down some water packaging plants due to the unsafe quality of water being sold. It is scary how such an essential resource is being manipulated and in the end it will be us who will suffer the consequences of our apathy.
Last week, I was teaching my kids about how they need to be careful of the water they drink, because there may be impurities & germs in it which they can’t see and which can lead to serious illness. That all water is not drinking water, and how such a basic awareness about water purity can prevent a whole gamut of water-borne diseases. At the end of our conversation my older son had an interesting question. He asked that if we cant see the germs and impurities, then how would we know which water to trust. It was a really good question which I had not thought of myself. How do we know which water to trust?
I had read in a recent article about the BMC claim that Mumbaikars can now drink water straight from the tap. Though it seems like a tall claim, it is reassuring to know that our home water supply is of a scientifically acceptable purity level. I still continue to use my water filter at home, and am satisfied that our family drinking water gets purified twice – once at the BMC plant and then at home. But this doesn’t solve the issue of water when we travel. Our weekend getaways and family vacations tend to be out of Mumbai, and one of my concerns when we travel has always been about the purity of the water we drink on holiday.
It is going to be another month before my next planned weekend getaway, and so I decided to figure out the answer to my son’s question. Through a friend I got in touch with an employee of Bisleri and asked if I could get an opportunity to see how their packaged drinking water is purified. I was pleasantly surprised how they were willing to offer a tour of their plant to my whole family. I chose Bisleri because of two reasons – first was that I had the contact, and second that growing up I can remember Bisleri as being the only packaged drinking water available on my school trips as a kid. So instead of saying “please pass me the water”, as kids we would usually say “please pass me the Bisleri”. After fixing the date with the company, I took my boys along and we had a very interesting experience.
The packaging facility at Bisleri is huge. I had no idea that both their water as well as the packaging bottles go through such a rigorous cleaning process to ensure the purity of the packaged water. Our guide for the tour was very helpful explaining the whole process as we went along. Although the kids were not allowed in certain areas due to facility safety protocols, I was able to see the whole process and was really impressed with their purity standards. Below is a video of our experience at the plant to take you through what we saw, which is much more interesting than what i can pen down.
For those interested in more details, click here to download the purification details I managed to get my hands on. It is very informative and worth the reading time.
By the end of our tour, I was very happy to be in a position to answer my son’s question about how to decide what water to drink when we travel. I now know I can trust Bisleri with their state-of-the-art water purification techniques and this makes the choice simple and straightforward for my kids as well! It was interesting to learn that “har paani ka bottle Bisleri nahin hota hai”