Bottled water has traditionally been viewed as superior to tap water. But out of ever-increasing environmental concerns, more and more people are reconsidering their choice.
Can you safely switch to tap water and limit plastic waste?
This write-up will answer that, as well as draw a comparison between the two options from different perspectives.
Health And Safety
If you happen to be living in the U.S., you have access to one of the safest tap water supplies.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for regulating water quality, which includes a multi-staged process to restrict contaminant levels. This is followed by pH adjustment, which improves the taste, and fluoride addition for teeth protection.
Although generally safe, water contamination still occurs in certain cases. This comes from the fact some regions are susceptible to industrial pollutants, whereas old plumbing releases lead and other contaminants.
On the other hand, bottled water standards are regulated by Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
These involve a strict treatment process to eliminate contaminants/bacteria and regulate mineral levels, followed by safe transportation methods. All of this ensures that you get safe drinking water at the end.
Most people can’t differentiate the taste of bottled water from tap water if it has the same municipal source.
However, bottled water could have other origins as well. Besides purified water, here are other types of commercially available water:
• Artesian water
• Spring water
• Well water
Because of this, you might detect a slight difference in tastes among these varying FDA-approved labels.
Cost And Convenience
Understandably, tap water is much cheaper than bottled water.
But if your local water has high contaminant levels, you’ll have to install a water filter. Besides upfront investment and inconvenience, be ready for ongoing maintenance if that’s the case.
On the other side of the spectrum, bottled water is expensive but the extra cost buys you convenience. There’s no need to buy a separate filter and you can grab it on the go (when there’s no access to the faucet).
Besides plain water, bottled water brings a few more variations.
The first being sparkling water, which is considered a popular substitute to still. The downside with this is that some sparkling waters have added calories and sugar, posing a health risk.
Talk about healthier counterparts—electrolyte water and alkaline water.
Mainly used by athletes, electrolyte water packs electrically-charged minerals. It maintains a healthy body function by making up for the loss of electrolytes out of sweating.
Alkaline water hosts a higher pH level (with the presence of alkaline components) than regular water. The extra pH adds more value to plain water and aids in effectively neutralizing the acid content in your bloodstream.
Conclusion—Which One Is Better?
Both tap and bottled water can connivingly be used as a safe choice of drinking water.
Tap water undergoes a rigorous treatment process, overseen by EPA. And if you’re still not satisfied with the quality, you could use the right filter system to clean it further.
Meanwhile, bottled water is standardized by FDA, which renders it equally safe. The price goes high with this, but it comes with a couple of plus points.
First, you get the convenience of having it at your disposal when you’re out and about. Secondly, there are healthier options like electrolyte and alkaline water.
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Water Treatment | Public Water Systems | Drinking Water | Healthy Water | CDC
Is Bottled Water Healthier Than Tap Water? | University Hospitals (uhhospitals.org)
Tap Water vs. Bottled Water: Which Is Better? (healthline.com)