What You Need to Know About Your Water Bottle!

You know it is important to stay hydrated while working on the farm so you carry your trusty water bottle with you everywhere. To the barn, greenhouse, and to the field.  If you are using a steel or reusable plastic bottle, you are also choosing an environmentally friendly option.  All is good until you take a sip and notice that the water doesn’t taste quite right.

Let’s explore what happens if your water bottle isn’t cleaned properly, the various types of reusable water bottles available, and how to select the right water bottle for your needs.

The Risks of Using Water Bottles:

Sharing your bottle comes with some risks especially during the COVID-19 Pandemic.  There is the risk of getting COVID-19 but other illness like the common cold or flu, strep throat,and possibly cold sores.

Choosing a bottle that you need to open with your hands near the spout is also cause for bacteria to be left on the bottle and around the spout and in the water.

Cleaning the Water Bottle:

  • Clean the outside and inside of the bottle daily. Use hot, soapy water and rinse it well.
  • Large water jugs used on the farm and in the field should be designed to prevent contamination, and should be cleaned and disinfected daily as well. Don’t forget to wash their spigots.  When water bottles or glasses are refilled under the spigot and water overflows up into the spigot, the spigot then contains germs or bacteria from the water bottle or glass.

Choosing a Water Bottle:

  • Consider the size of bottle you need. You may want to consider a larger bottle when working in the field or away from outbuildings to prevent having to refill it often or running out when refill isn’t possible.
  • Think about the shape of the water bottle. A wide mouth bottle is easier to clean. If your water bottle has a small narrower mouth, you may need a bottlebrush to clean the inside.
  • Choose a plastic container, with Bisphenol A (BPA)-free label. BPA is a chemical found in polycarbonate plastics and resins, that can leach into your water especially under warm conditions.   There is potential this can cause health problems.
  • Metal containers are an excellent choice. You’ll find a variety of bottles made from aluminum or stainless steel.  Stainless steel is a better choice if you want your container to hold both hot and cold liquids, as it is a great insulator.  One downfall for these containers is that they tend to be heavier than aluminum or plastic ones.
  • Avoid bottles that you are required to use your hands to open them. Consider the bottles that have tops with straws will require a bit of extra work in cleaning the components where the straw rest and the straw itself.
  • Consider the water you drink from the bottle is only as clean as the water bottle itself.

Test Your Water Knowledge:

  1. It’s a scientifically supported rule that everyone should drink eight glasses of water a day. True!
  2. When you work in hot & humid conditions, you need to drink plenty of water and drink it frequently to help prevent heat illness. True!
  3. Reusing a single-use water bottle for over a period of time can possibly expose you to leached chemicals used in the manufacture of plastic such as BPA.  True!