"Molecule," a New York cafe, sells filtered tap water to patrons for 3 dollars U.S. dollars a gallon (3.8 liters) with the option to "upgrade" by adding vitamins and minerals.
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (JULY 20, 2012) (REUTERS) -New York City's first water-only café recently opened for business selling tap water for a hefty price to its customers.
On Friday (July 20) co-owner Adam Ruhf spoke to Reuters about the business and how the cafe justifies charging one U.S. dollar a cup for water that comes from the tap.
Ruhf said that their water is cleaner and healthier than regular tap water, with no trace of any chemical or mineral compounds.
"The human body is composed of 60 to 70 percent water. It's extremely important for people to drink water every day and we feel that drinking the most pure water gives you the greatest benefits to your health," he told Reuters Television.
This is realized by an elaborate purifying system that sits behind the cafe bar, to strip the city's tap water - already known for its high quality - down to its molecular level.
"It's a seven stage filtration process going through KDF (Kinetic Degradation Fluxion), magnetic and catalytic, active-carbon-five-micron reverse osmosis, UV and ozone treatments," Ruhf explained.
And for those who want to be extra healthy the café offers a wide array of supplements that patrons can add to their drinks for a dollar each, including vitamins, minerals and electrolytes.
He encourages a mix of supplements to create a tonic.
"We're giving customers the option to enhance their water with a variety of vitamins, minerals, supplements. You can add pH balance, you can add electrolytes and you can customize your water with all natural ingredients in a healthy way."
While the café does sell plastic bottles and jars, it encourages customers to bring their own water containers.
For a cup of water it charged 1 U.S. dollar, for a gallon (3.8 liters) 3 U.S. dollars and for 10 dollars, you get 5 gallons (19 liters) and free delivery.
It's to battle bottled water consumption that the company feels is harmful for the environment.
"The amount of plastic that is being put in the landfills, the inefficiency and the carbon intensive process of taking water from one part of the world and shipping it to another part of the world - we see the bottled water industry as dirty water and dirty containers shipped from around the world. And we think that's a bit of a ridiculous way to go about water," Ruhf said.
Customers who tried their water said that they liked it.
"Very good, it's very nice clean water. Tastes great and very refreshing," said Joe Corrado.
"It's very impressive because of the cleanliness of the water and the fact that it's purified which is very, very important," added Carl Hymans.
The bottled water industry is a multi-billion dollar industry that is expected to grow to 125 billion U.S. dollars by 2015, according to marketresearch.com.
On their website Molecule café says: "Each year 30 million barrels of oil are consumed and 4 billion pounds of plastic is dumped in landfills because of bottled water."