Tap Water vs Bottled Water
water is essential for good health
Our bodies need water
Water is vital for all body functions. For example, water helps:
- regulate body temperature
- carry nutrients and oxygen to cells
- aid digestion and remove waste from the body
- protect the body by providing a cushioning layer around the eyes, brain, and other sensitive structures
Lack of water can lead to dehydration. Severe dehydration is a medical emergency.
drinking tap water is a smart choice
Some people think bottled water is better than tap water, but they don't have all the facts. Tap water is almost always the smarter choice. It's less expensive and better for the environment.
Bottled water is better for the planet
It's important to limit the use of bottled water.
- Fossil fuels are burned to make, fill, package and transport plastic water bottles. Bottles are made out of a petroleum product. These fossil fuels are non-renewable and burning them creates pollution.
- Millions of water bottles still end up in landfills, even though they can be recycled.
It takes far less energy and creates less waste to store, treat and deliver tap water.
tap water is just as safe as or safer than bottled water
By law, public water systems must meet strict testing and quality standards. They must also:
- provide an annual report on water quality
- notify the public if there's a health risk
Bottled water is regulated differently. For example, standards for certain chemicals can very by the bottler's location and may be less strict. Problems with bottled water may also go unreported. Unless there is an advisory in your area, tap water is the safe choice.
testing requirements for tap water are strict & strictly enforced
In contrast, water bottlers may not have to use state-certified labs or report results. Facility inspections aren't as tightly regulated, either.
Note:: If your tap water comes from a private well, it's not regulated by the EPA or automatically tested. Have it tested periodically by a state-certified lab.
the source is clear with tap water
It's easy to find out where public water comes from and how it's treated. This can be from rivers, lakes, reservoirs, or aquifers. Just call your water supplier and ask. By law, the source is also listed in it's annual report.
It's not always easy to learn a bottled water's source. People often assume it's a special source, but a lot of bottled water just comes from the public water supply. Some of it may get extra treatments and may be called "purified" water, for example That is not always the case.
Tap water is way better for your wallet
Americans pay less than a penny for a gallon of tap water, on average. You'd be hard-pressed to find a gallon of bottled water for less than $1.
bottled water does not always mean better taste
The taste can vary by brand. Water may also absorb and off taste from bottles over time.
It's easy to get great taste out of tap water
The taste of both tap and bottled water varies. It's affected by the water source and treatement. Many people lover their tap water as is. Others find it tastes best:
- chilled in the fridge
- in a glass container with a lid
- with a drop of two of lemon juice added
- filtered - filtering water pitchers are easy to find or you can add a filtering device to the faucet you use most often
Tap water is convenient
- Go right to the tap to save trips to the store or vending machine
- Keep reusable water bottles handy for when you're on the go. Carry one in your bag or backpack. Fill it before you leave home. Refill it throughout the day. Be sure the wash it after each use. Choose "BPA-free" water bottles. There's some concern about possible health effects from the chemical BPA (bisphenol A).
Fluoride in tap water can help your teeth
Fluoride is often added to public drinking water. It helps prevent tooth decay. You can get fluoride through other sources, but these cost you more money. Also, you must remember to use them regularly. Most bottled water is not fluoridated.
the safe drinking water act gives tap water strong protection
This federal law gives the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to:
- set legally enforceable standards for water quality in public water systems
- oversee enforcement of standards by state and tribe governments
The EPA doesn't have authority over bottled water. Bottled water is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) instead. The FDA set sits own standards and has more limited powers of enforcement