Bottled Vs Tap

Is bottled water healthier or safer than tap?

Story by Sarah Schmidt. This article originally appeared in Plenty in October 2008.

There’s really no reason to think bottled water is healthier or more pure than tap. In fact, recent testing suggests that bottled water is, in the case of some brands, just tap water poured into plastic. Beverage companies aren’t required to disclose the origins of their water, or the results of any in-house testing they do for contaminants (except in California). That means that they can pretty much fill those resource-and-energy-hogging plastic bottles with any old H20, slap a picture of a mountain on it, and charge you an arm and a leg for it. The Environmental Working Group just tested 10 brands of bottled water and found everything from arsenic to chlorine to fertilizer residue in them. Some brands were completely indistinguishable from municipal supplies, and contained byproducts of the disinfectants used in tap water. Funny thing, that.

The bottled water industry, not surprisingly, contends that a study of 10 brands is not big enough to represent the market as a whole, but the fact is that there’s no law preventing companies from bottling ordinary tap water and selling it as something more special. Your tap water may be just as good as bottled water—and it’s literally 1,900 times cheaper on average. If you want to make sure you’re drinking the purest water possible, you’re better off investing in one of the dozens of kinds of filters on the market. And yeah, we know, sometimes you’re away from home, you’re thirsty, you forgot your trusty reusable bottle, and you find public drinking fountains more reprehensible than the thought of increasing your carbon footprint a smidgen. Sometimes it does make sense to go for that bottle of water. We won’t tell. No need for massive guilt trips. Just keep in mind that you’re only paying for convenience, not for exceptional purity of the water.
Posted on: July 5, 2010admin

5 thoughts on “Bottled Vs Tap

  1. This is so true! Jer and I own a water store and only drink distilled water ourselves. Read your labels if you buy bottled water, they are pretty good at not putting info on there to implicate themselves for using municipal city water in bottles, but if it’s not distilled or put through reverse osmosis, I wouldn’t drink it!

  2. Bitty has turned me into a water snob, my family cringes at the taste of anything but distilled. It’s well worth it to make sure your getting what you pay for!

  3. I drank distilled water once and about gagged!!! Is it an accuired taste? Bahaha…seriously!!! Did you guys just drink it and like it. because I could hardly pallate the stuff! Is it better cold? hahaha questions, questions 🙂

  4. Sherrie….that’s the LACK of chemicals that you taste….. or DON’T taste I guess. Drink it for 2 weeks, you’ll never drink tap water again. Promise.

  5. I may just have to take the ” Two Week-Distilled Water Challenge” hahaha…I’ll definitely have to try it…two weeks huh? Dread…I may just hurl-but I shall give it a whirl 🙂

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