Is Bottled Water Really Better Than Tap Water?

Water is one of those topics that just seems to be discussed more often than many others. We use water on a regular basis for everything from washing clothes to staying hydrated.

Through it all, you will hear debates, especially when it comes to the water we use for drinking and cooking as to whether you should use water out of the tap or bottled water. It’s a question that is the source of many debates and it is also one that deserves some attention.

Healthline has something to say on the subject that really can help to point us in the right direction. If you have some serious concerns over the use of tap water because of health and safety, you might be able to put that stress to rest.

Photo: PublicDomainPictures

The water that you get from the tap is likely from a nearby source of water, including groundwater or even water from the surface, such as a reservoir. Between the time that it is from the source to your tap, it is processed so that it meets certain requirements that make it safe for consumption.

Public water systems have to have those processes in place to meet the standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency. In order to be considered safe, it must have fewer than 90 potential contaminants. This could include any type of contaminants, such as bacteria and heavy metals.

Perhaps you are concerned over the possibility that there is unsafe water coming out of your tap. On occasion, you may receive a boil notice from your local water utility department or they may tell you to avoid using tap water for a certain amount of time.

Photo: flickr/Thad Zajdowicz

Those notices come as a result of something significant occurring that increases the contaminants within the water. Typically, it occurs as a result of an event, such as a break in the water line or flooding.

They test the water on a regular basis to ensure that these problems are not occurring. In addition, you may be able to find a water quality report from your local community that allows you to see what the levels are.

Now that we’ve established that tap water is generally as safe as bottled water, it’s also important to consider the taste. That is especially true if you are drinking the water or using it for cooking (or making coffee).

Photo: Pixabay/Simon Kadula

In a blind taste test, it is unlikely that you will be able to tell the difference between tap water and bottled water. If you live in an older home, there may be a difference in taste because of the plumbing system but this can often be overcome by using a water filter.

This may make you wonder why some bottled waters have an expiration date. In reality, it is just to satisfy some legal requirements that many people consider to be outdated. That isn’t to say that you should always drink water that has been sitting around in a plastic bottle for years. The plastic can eventually begin to break down and affect the taste.

So, if you are wondering whether you should be drinking from the tap or using bottled water, the answer is really one that is a personal decision. For the most part, you will not be able to tell the difference and there isn’t really a difference in the health of the water. The real difference comes in the cost and in the plastic waste generated from single-use water bottles.

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