bottle waterDid you know that millions and millions of dollars are spent each week on advertising campaigns to give us the perception that bottled water comes from some pristine mountain spring or magical underground aquifer, assuring purity and quality?  So I decided to put a couple of our local delivery services to the test and… it seems like the two services available in San Jose area like Alhambra and Arrowhead Water are not all what they are cracked up to be.

This time I was only concerned with the PH levels of the water and not the impurities or the taste.  There is a growing awareness that our bodies are way too acidic because of our life style, pollutants in the environment and our diets.  Human body’s normal PH levels are about 7.4 and we have a “perfect” PH balance when we’re born.  But after we’re able to visit the potty room on our own and independently reach into the cookie cupboard we start exploring foods that are much less friendly than our moms would put in our mouths when we were babies.  We then start eating what “tastes good” instead of what really is “good” for us.  Then come the pizzas, fried foods, coca colas, burgers, steaks, beer, and of course… fried calamari.  Combine all this with an acid pumping stress day at work and we are now bathing our cells in acid bath.  The body’s natural defence system kicks in and it does everything it possibly can to compensate for the acid by introducing alkalinity back into the blood stream and try to pump the acid out with liquids – water.  But where does the body store the alkaline substances to compensate for this acid influx of acid?  Well, most proponents of this theory say that it comes from our cell tissue and our bones.  Our body borrows it from our flesh and bones.  And what happens when it can no longer do that? – diseases and sky rocketing number of osteoporosis and arthritis cases in our part of the world.  To be fair, I claim no authority in this matter; this is simply what I’ve read in various health magazines, some books and heard from personal development coaches like Tony Robins.

To make a long story short, we want to put “live” alkaline food in our system (veggies and fruits) and water to help the body deal with the acids  by flushing them out of our system.  Our tap water is actually OK when it comes to PH because it is heavily regulated.  The big brother “watching” our health actually makes sure there are enough chemicals in it to test slightly alkaline – about 7.4.  But that’s not what I was looking for.  I wanted the Alpine fresh, mineral water what our local companies like Alhambra and Arrow Head claim to deliver.  So this  is what sent me on my quest to find a service that can provide the good citizens of San Jose the alkaline water to our door step.  Why not pay a few buks if its good stuff right?

Here’s what Alhambra and Arrowhead claim their SPRING water alkalinity levels to be on their websites:

Alhambra (DS Water Co.) claim the PH of their water to be: 6.0 – 8.5You can download the report here.
Arrowhead (Nestle Co.) claim the PH of their water to be: 6.33-8.2.  Visit their website here.

PH Strips

So the only thing left to do was to arm myself with some PH strips (Litmus paper) readily available online and have some fun.

And here is what I discovered:

Alhambra tested at around: 5.8
Arrowhead tested at around: 6.5

(Arrowhead bottled water at the store by the way is higher in PH – around 7.

Both very disappointing results.  It looks like even the water we get “straight from the source” is more acidic than our body’s natural PH.  The problem is these companies filter the water which effectively strips the water of its many minerals that can be used up by our bodies to nourish the cells.  I called both of the companies and shared my findings but received a very dispassionate response from both of them – “We will make a note of this and pass it to our customer service.”  In fact, when I called Alhambra to cancel my service (because I found Arrowhead more alkaline) they informed me that I was now locked in their annual agreement but they would be happy to cancel it for a $100 fee.  Nice going Alhambra, way to spread the good word around. 🙂

So it really looks like beyond the questionable purity of the bottled delivery water, the PH levels are not much of an advantage to go for the delivery service.  In fact, according the Bottled Water Blues website – the federal regulations that govern bottled water require it to be only as good as tap water, not better.  There are no regulations or requirements that bottled water be any higher in quality than tap water, and according to some recent studies, it may often be of lower quality.  In fact, The FDA, which claim to regulate the bottled water, states that “Companies that market bottled water as being safer than tap water are defrauding the American public.”  “We can do it [regulate bottled water].  However, we have a very large regulatory portfolio. It’s been well acknowledged in recent years that we struggle with the whole staff and funding aspect of it.” — F.D.A. spokeswoman Siobhan DeLancey.

Bottled water is a charged issue these days and surely both sides are coming up with their own facts to prove their case as fast as my basil is sprouting in the new organic herb pot.  While the question whether the bottled water is more “pure” or not remains to be answered but one fact remains: tap water is much more alkaline.   

12 thoughts on “The Truth about San Jose Water Delivery Services”
  1. Last time I checked, most fruits are acidic, not alkaline. That’s why they often taste tart. Ever hear of citric acid?

    1. Hi Myrah,

      Thanks for a note. I read some books about people who are studying this and it really all has to do the way our body metabolizes food. That research shows that citric foods are normally concerted into alkalinity, especially during and after exercise. I’m certainly not an authority on any of this; this is more of an opinion based on some reading 🙂 Cheers, Tadas

  2. Hi there,

    Unfortunately, I have bought a plan by Alhambra. BUT I still have gotten no drinking water, no money back (I’ve paid $50) They just ignore my delivery in general. the link is conversation PDF between me and their customer service. They apologized and promised to make their job well and finally did nothing!


    Why exactly I should get that experience I have no idea. But it happened

    Now I have found the article and will try to use Arrowhead Water as the autor advices. Freedback about Arrowhead Water will be here as soon as I can


    1. Hi Serhii, I do not endorse Arrowhead by any means but I hope you have a better experience.

  3. I wouldn’t give the stinky repulsive San Jose city tap water to my dog, let alone drink it myself. It’s so horrific it barely cleans your dishes and leaves a nasty mineral crust on everything. If my husband uses it unfiltered in his coffee it literally makes him sick. I think I’ll happily stick with my bottled water.

    1. Hi Kate, hmmm, I wouldn’t say it was awful when I lived in San Jose but everyone’s tolerance is different. 🙂 Have you considered filtering it with reverse osmosis filter? Problem of course with good filters is that water can become virtually dead (no minerals left) which is even worse than the smell you might be experiencing.

  4. I am a scientist with a medical school education. Everything in this article is complete nonsense. It has nothing to do with reality whatsoever.

    Blood pH is balanced by breathing more or less CO2, creating carbonate salts in the blood that buffer the pH. Only extreme disease states can alter body pH for long enough to do any damage anywhere in the body.

    The article was self-contradictory implying that an “acid-pumping stress day at work” has anything to do with acid in the body. Acid produced in the stomach is buffered out in the small intestine and salts are reabsorbed into the bloodstream where pH is buffered and balanced by, again, carbonates controlled by breathing.

    This article is the worst kind of superstitious, fantasy crap.

    1. John, thank you for your insights, except for that last sentence 🙂 To be frank, I wish it was all crap because this theory just adds another layer of things to worry about in this age. While the blood may not be acidified (because the body constantly balances the Ph out), I am not entirely sure whether “breathing” is all you need to balance the Ph. An expert on QuakWatch himself writes something that the proponents of the Acid/Alkalinity diet have always advanced: “When you take in more protein than your body needs, your body cannot store it, so the excess amino acids are converted to organic acids that would acidify your blood. But your blood never becomes acidic because as soon as the proteins are converted to organic acids, calcium leaves your bones to neutralize the acid and prevent any change in pH. Because of this, many scientists think that taking in too much protein may weaken bones to cause osteoporosis.” I like science and I appreciate your opinion, however we need to have the complete science to make the right decisions and stay healthy.

  5. The pH you get from bottled water will depend on when you do the test after taking the sample. Virtually all bottled water has been purified using reverse osmosis. Minerals are added back to give a more pleasant taste. In the container the water cannot absorb gases from the ambient atmosphere, but when you draw the sample it begins immediately to absorb carbon dioxide, creating carbonic acid and the pH starts to drop right away. That may explain why you got more acidic pH results when you tested. Also factor in that pH test strips (or paper) is imprecise based on several factors, including age. I wouldn’t base any claims on that kind of ‘ball park’ pH test.

    1. Interesting points Steve. There’s too much misleading pseudo science out there, don’t even know whether I can believe any of it any more 🙂

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