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Bourton on the Water

Bourton on the Water, known as \"The Venice of the Cotswolds\" is an extremely popular Cotswold destination where elegant 18th century bridges cross the River Windrush as it flows through the centre of the village.

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Latest News

Top 5 Types of Drinking Water Filters

Our guide to filtration types helps you make an educated decision about which water filter makes the most sense for your home.

By: Aditi Pai

Making choices is stressful, but sometimes a selection, like picking out a loaf in the bread aisle, can only steer you so wrong. While other times, for instance choosing a water filter for your home, the decision is critical.

No one wants to spend money on a water filter only to find out that the filter solves a problem they don’t even have. And yet, when faced with the multitude of water filtration options, it can feel intimidating to find the right one for your home – the one that not only makes your water taste great but also rids it of the maximum number of contaminants.

It’s incredibly important to diagnose the “problem,” or in this case, assess the existing quality of tap water before choosing a filter. Tap water varies by region and depending on its source could be treated for any number of contaminants.

Fear not. It is simpler than you think. Below is a breakdown of the most popular types of water filters on the market to help you make an educated decision about what water filters make the most sense for your home.

Before delving into the nitty-gritty, there’s one important fact to keep in mind: it’s incredibly important to diagnose the “problem,” or in this case, assess the existing quality of tap water before choosing a filter. Tap water varies by region and depending on its source could be treated for any number of contaminants. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has a helpful resource for anyone looking to learn about his or her water, called the Tap Water Database. It’s a great place to get a basic understanding of local water quality.

Here’s a list of five popular water filtration types on the market.

ACTIVATED CARBON

Good for removal of chlorine, chloroform, agricultural chemicals, organic substances, sediment, and magnesium.

Activated CarbonThe key to understanding how activated carbon works is adsorption. As opposed to absorption, in which one material will take in or soak up another material, adsorption occurs when one material sticks to another while passing through. This is the basis of activated charcoal or activated carbon.

Activated charcoal is created when organic material with high carbon content (like wood, coal, or coconut shells) is heated in such a way that it does not burn, but instead results in char. The char is then treated to create a porous material that binds to certain toxins and impurities, thus pulling them out of the water flowing through the system.

This is the most common type of filter and often used in conjunction with other filtration methods for maximum toxin removal. Aquasana Whole House Filter Systems, for example, are activated carbon filtration systems that incorporate a salt-free water conditioner, copper-zinc and mineral stone, and UV for maximum filtration.

ION EXCHANGE

Good for removal of hard water and radioactive material.Ion Exchange

As the name suggests, ion exchange filters consist of a substance that will exchange one ion for another as water flows through it. For example, ion exchange will replace calcium or magnesium ions, which cause water hardness, with sodium ions. This will “soften” the water. A home may be experiencing hard water if its water leaves stains on washed dishes. Hard water tends to build up in pipes, which may decrease the life of certain kitchen appliances.

Although ion exchange helps with hard water and some radioactive material, the filter does not remove organic material, particles, or bacteria as effectively as other filtration options.

REVERSE OSMOSIS (RO)

Good for effective removal of a high percentage of toxins including fluoride, hexavalent chromium, arsenic, nitrates/nitrites, copper, radium, salt, and more.

Reverse OsmosisTalk about a good bang for your buck – reverse osmosis filters are incredibly popular for a very good reason. Reverse osmosis filters are top of the line for removing a large percentage of contaminants out of the water, potentially including dangerous waterborne bacteria.

The filters work by pushing water through the reverse osmosis membrane using pressure. The contaminants remain on one side of the film while fresh water is pushed to the other side. It’s one of the few filters that can rid water of water-soluble contaminants like fluoride and chromium +6. If a home has a water softener, an RO system will also remove the salt from drinking water.

While these are becoming a popular option, reverse osmosis systems use an inordinate amount of water – sometimes up to four times the normal amount. The process is also slow, causing a decrease in water pressure. That’s why whole home reverse osmosis systems typically don’t exist. Further, the level of filtration isn’t necessary for day-to-day activities like flushing toilets, taking showers, and doing dishes. Learn more about the pros and cons of RO here.

MECHANICALMechanical

Good for removal of physical particles and waste matter.

Mechanical filters are most often used as a pre-filtration method. Water flows through a mechanical filter and waste material will get stuck between nylon floss, synthetic foam, or in pads. For example, in the case of a fish tank, the filter will trap plant materials, leftover fish food, and waste without trapping beneficial bacteria that is good for fish.

ULTRA VIOLET FILTERS

UV_FilterGood for the removal of bacteria and viruses.

An environmentally friendly option, UV filters will clean water using different frequencies of ultraviolet light.

The DNA in microbial cells absorbs this UV light, which essentially kills all bacteria and viruses, thus sanitizing drinking water. It’s important to note that UV filters only rid water of bacteria and viruses so it’s important to use this filter in conjunction with other types of filters to remove prevalent contaminants like chlorine, lead, and pesticides, leaving you with clean, drinkable water.

Contact us for more information.

BOURTON-ON-THE-WATER IN THE COTSWOLDS #CHECKOUTTHATVIEW

One of the places we’ve been to recently is the beautiful, picturesque Cotswold village of Bourton-On-The-Water. It’s a lovely place to go for picnics, walks by the stream, traditional gift shops, old-fashioned tearooms, and local ice cream. We’ve had a few days out there, as there’s also a model village and the fantastic Birdland too, where you can find everything from parrots to penguins!

 

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On our recent visit to Bourton-On-The-Water, they had duck racing, with yellow bath ducks being launched off of one of the bridges and followed downstream to the next bridge. Children can often be found paddling in the stream on hot days too. I recently got in myself and very quickly regretted it when I found out that the water was so cold my skin turned pink! Why is it that children always seem to be immune to how cold the water is?!

 

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Bourton-on-the-Water is about 20 minutes from Cheltenham, 30 minutes from Gloucester, and 40 minutes from Oxford. It’s a great local place to visit in some of the prettiest English countrysides, with a real traditional Cotswold style to it. Definitely somewhere to add to the visit list if you are visiting Gloucestershire.

 

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Life is moving so fast right now, that I can’t keep up! We’ve been to so many great places and had so much fun recently that I completely forgot to promote the last #CheckOutThatView linkup and this one is a day late! Bad blogger! *smacks own wrist*

Shoutouts to Ups, Downs, Smiles, and Frowns, and also Into The Glade, who both still remembered to link up, their beautiful photos, even though I forgot to tell anyone about it!

So I hope you liked my photos of Bourton-On-The-Water. Here’s this week’s linky for other bloggers to link up their photos of any place that has a pretty or dramatic view. #CheckOutThatView

The Most Popular Bottled Waters, Ranked

bottled water ranking

PHOTO BY COLE SALADINO FOR THRILLIST

Testing the differences between bottled waters is much like discerning the subtleties of shades of gray: It’s way more masochistic than sexy. But while the variations from one to another might not be as pronounced as those in the realms of mac & cheese or frozen pizza, distinct differences do exist.

To suss them out, we assembled a panel of ordinary citizens (no master sommeliers here) to blindly taste eight of the biggest bottled waters around: Aquafina, Evian, Mountain Valley, smartwater, Fiji, Dasani, Voss, and Pure Life. Read on to learn out which waters you should use to wash down your food, and which waters you should wash your hands with.

 

smartwater bottle ranking drinking hydration

8. smartwater

The story: The folks at Glacéau have their heads in the clouds. Their vapor-distilled water is pulled from the sky, then given electrolytes for taste. On the bottle they trash-talk spring water by making fun of people who like the taste of stuff that comes from under the ground. Snarky!

Tasting notes: Tangy. Tart. Reminds us of water that went through a Brita multiple times.

Aquafina smartwater bottle ranking drinking hydration

7. Aquafina

The story: Aquafina is purified water that goes through a seven-step HydRO-7 filtration process that it claims takes out way more solids than other filtration methods, making for the purest water possible. Foreshadowing!

Tasting notes: Starts off good, but the aftertaste wasn’t to our liking. It’s a voluptuous water. Very full-bodied. The cabernet of water. This tastes like American excess.

Dasani bottle ranking drinking hydration

6. Dasani

The story: The soda titans over at Coca-Cola own this purified-water imprint, which is remineralized with magnesium sulfate, potassium chloride, and salt.

Tasting notes: It feels buoyant in your mouth, which our tasters didn’t fully embrace. Very clean and fruity. Hints of unchanged Brita filter.

evian bottle ranking drinking hydration

5. Evian

The story: Evian is “naive” spelled backwards, but it’s also the name of a town in the French Alps that was founded way before people learned about spelling things backwards to create secret messages. The company claims its water is a geological miracle because it passed through a few very scientifically unlikely permeable layers. Over the course of 15 years, rain and snow make their way into an underground spring where the water is harvested already full of electrolytes and minerals.

Tasting notes: Whoa, that’s a lot of minerals. The electrolyte levels are on overdrive. There is worry among the group about over-hydration. The texture is a little on the thin side. If this were a pair of jeans, it would be skinny, not apple-bottomed.

Fiji water bottle ranking drinking hydration

4. Fiji Natural Artesian Water

The story: Tropical rainfall on the island of Viti Levu in Fiji is naturally filtered through volcanic rock where it picks up minerals and electrolytes, then wells up in an underground aquifer.

Tasting notes: It’s got the most lab-created flavor, but by a meticulous scientist from an exotic land, not one of our sloppy, disheveled American brainiacs. There’s no aftertaste or lingering mouthfeel. So many minerals it’d pair well with rocks.

Pure Life bottle ranking drinking hydration

3. Nestle Pure Life

The story: Nestle owns 64 different brands of water, from Perrier to Poland Spring, but we tested its most popular: Pure Life. It’s classified as purified water, which means it comes from a well or municipal source and is then carbon filtered, softened, demineralized, re-mineralized, and disinfected with ultraviolet light and ozone.

Tasting notes: A clean taste, with no trace of minerals at all. Neutral in flavor. If you’re a marathon runner, this would be a great choice. It quenches in a very direct and pleasing way.

Voss bottle ranking drinking hydration

2. Voss

The story: Found in an artesian well in Norway and also in fancy hotel rooms, Voss ties Mountain Spring for the most expensive water on the list.

Tasting notes: This has a lot of character. It’s expressive. Gravelly, but we liked it — it’s the Jack Palance of water. There’s a roughness around the edges. It seems like there’s a ton of minerals in there.

Mountain Valley Spring Water bottle ranking drinking hydration

1. Mountain Valley Spring Water

The story: This Arkansas-sourced spring water has been quenching thirsts since 1871 and has been a favorite of everyone from presidents Coolidge and Eisenhower to Elvis Presley to Secretariat, who stands alone as both the first horse to take home a Triple Crown and first to have an opinion on water flavors. It takes 3,500 years for rain water to make its way to the aquifer and its naturally high pH supposedly works well to neutralize highly acidic food.

Tasting notes: Sweet flavors. Incredibly high drinkability. Rejuvenating. Buttermilk flavors, but not so sour. Tastes like it’s been filtered through a geological treasure. Rich and luxurious mouthfeel.

Contact us for more information.

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