The Cost of Drinking Water

Bottled drinking water

Bottled drinking water

I was at Giant Supermarket this week, 30th Sept 2014 and was passing the aisle selling water, I noticed that a 10 litre bottle of water was selling at $9.60, that is, almost a $1 a litre of water. Over at NTUC, the average selling price for a 1.5 litre water bottle was $0.75 cents. Two things came to mind, cost of water and the logistics of it.


Without water, we can at most, live another 3 days and as water is such a necessity to life, we are willing to pay anything for it, but, have we for a minute given thought about the cost of drinking water? In checking PUB web site; after taking into account their basic water tariffs, water conservation tax, consumption block and water borne fee; at the top of their charges, the cost of PUB water is $0.002 per litre. So coming back to the cost of water sold at the Supermarkets:-
     10 litre water bottle – actual water cost is $0.02 cents
     1.5 litre water bottle – actual water cost is $0.003 cents.
On the 10 litre water bottle, the premium you are paying is $9.58 and on the 1.5 litre is $0.747. The premium, that is, above the cost of water, is the cost for manufacturing and bottling, plastic bottle, handling, transportation and profits. By then, the water bottle has passed through 2 layers in the food supply chain, each taking a percentage for their operations. Why not manufacture your own drinking water? Now you can.


The Big Berkey water filter, which is currently retailing at $430, (one time sunk cost) has a capacity to transform 22,700 litres of tap water into pure drinking water. There are no other hidden cost. No installation is required. No expensive filters to change every three or 6 months. Based on a daily water consumption of 10 litres, your average water cost per month for drinking is only $0.60 cents. With the consumption of 10 litres daily, the 2 Black Berkey filters will ensure a worry free usage of 6 years. At most, we ask that you take out the black filters for cleaning once a year or more. At the end of the Black Berkey filter usage life, all you need to do is replace the black filter. The replacement cost for a pair of black filters is $180, thereafter, another 6 years or more years worry free usage. If your daily water use is 5 litres, the Black Berkey filters can be used for more than 10 years.

If you had signed for a bottled water contract, a years supply of bottled water would cost your family $1,040 a year, this is based on a consumption of 5 litres daily and price of bottled water at $10 per bottle. The bottled water that you received is only filtered water.



Well, 1 litre of water is equivalent to 1 kilo in weight. So if you had bought that 10 litre of water from the supermarket, you would have to carry it home. Have you noticed that most of the rice bags are packed in 5-kilo bags to make it easier for the consumers to carry. Together with your other grocery purchases, imagine the weight bearing load you have to juggle, from the supermarket into a car, bus, taxi, MRT, back to your home, park the car, bring into the lift, carry it home. Fit the water bottle into its housing.

In spite of the effort, that 10 litre bottle would only last 5 days, assuming 2 litres are consumed daily by one person. For a family of 4, that 10 litre bottle will not even last for 2 days! So the whole process have to repeated every 2 days or less. Isn’t this time consuming? why do you want to add more mundane activities to your daily living?.

Then again, you may have thought, why not, I buy water from the bottled water company. So you sign a contract to get your water supplies from the water bottled company, which ties you down to a form of perpetual contract. Either of you, will have to call regularly to schedule a delivery; arrange the money for your maid or you may have to stay home, if you don’t have a maid.Have you thought about how the water bottle company had kept their water before it was sent to your home?. Have you ever considered that the seemingly harmless blue coloured bottle you received could have been exposed to the sun, before it was delivered? This is another topic about the leaching of water from PET water bottles.

Wouldn’t life be less complicated if you had a water filter at home and never having to worry about all the logistics just to get water flowing all the time and saving money too, if you had the Berkey water filters.


As the Berkey water filter sits on your kitchen countertop, there are no logistics to worry, no loads to carry, no scheduling to worry, your initial investment is returned in under 6 months and continue to save for the next 6 to 10 years.

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