Left: My dirty fluvial secret
I consume a fair amount of bottled water, preferring a serving of cold H2O over drinking one of those sugar-filled carbonated beverages. Over the years, though, I have developed a habit of refilling my empty water bottles and sticking them in the refrigerator to save a few dollars here and there.
I have heard a variety of reasons for not refilling water bottles, running from the argument that refilled water bottles are breeding grounds for bacteria to the supposition that toxic chemicals in PET bottles will leach into the replacement water.
There are also those who advocate the use of an inexpensive reusable container with a water bottle filter built in.
My method of refilling water bottles is fairly simple: I rinse out the bottle and cap between uses, fill with tap water, and stick them in the refrigerator. I figure that any microbes that cling to the container probably came from me or my immediate environment, so I might actually be entering into a sort of homeostatic equilibrium or environmental stasis with my microbiotic pals.
At any rate, I only reuse a given bottle a few times, and I clearly mark the refilled bottles as pictured, so there should be fair warning to all those in the vicinity of the funk that lurks within my bottles.