There’s a new trend among the water-conscious. At least, that’s what the people at Maine-based startup Blue Reserve believe. Avery Yale Kamila of The Portland Press Herald reports the company is offering a customers a bottle-free, super-filtered fresh water system. The idea of going bottleless is to cut-out bisphenol-A, or BPA, a chemical found in a lot of hard plastics, and which some states and countries have
banned due to estrogen-mimicking and carcinogenic qualities.
One of the places Blue Reserve is looking to expand is New Hampshire. From the business perspective, bottleless water coolers and dispensers aren’t new. As the Press Herald article explains, all it takes is installation of the same kind of water line used for refrigerator ice-makers. And voilá! No plastic bottles, no BPA! The new, apparently, comes with the ultra-thorough filtration system. It cuts out both chlorine, which is used to clean municipal water, and fluoride. The fluoride filtration is interesting, because more often than not, if the compound’s not naturally in municipal water, cities will add it, for the dental health of children. This practice has been going on since 1945, and the American Dental Association supports it. But there are a number of people very concerned about fluoridating water, as you’ll find out if you run a Google search on “fluoride controversy.”
So Blue Reserve is making a pretty big bet. The company’s betting that there are enough people in New England worried about BPA in standard water bottles and chlorine and fluoride in town water supplies that they’ll pony up an extra $35 or $40 a month to pay for and maintain a (very nice) LG-manufactured system. It’s an even bigger bet in a down economy, especially in a place where people proudly talk up “Yankee frugality.” But there’s still a hardcore, vocal group of people nationwide who have serious concerns about the safety of municipal water supplies. And if Blue Reserve can get to them, and rise above lower-cost competitors…it might just be a worthwhile gamble.