Bottled Water vs Tap Water. Is bottled water better than tap water?
If it isn't, this is one of the biggest legal scams in existence.
From an environmental perspective, tap water is the hands down winner. Recent studies have demonstrated the environmental impact of a bottle of water is almost 100 times that of tap water.
But environmental issues aside, how does bottled water stack up against filtered tap water?
The truth is that bottled water is NOT better regulated, safer or better protected than municipal water supplies and some of them have even been found to be much worse. Bottlers are not required to list the source of the water on the label and at least 25% of bottled waters are municipal tap water in a plastic bottle sold to you at hundreds of times what it cost coming out of the tap.
Public water supplies are strictly regulated and tested frequently for the presence of pathogens and higher than acceptable levels of minerals and salts.
The bottled water industry is poorly regulated and although some companies are actually bottling pristine water from mountain springs (or the like), many admit, unapologetically, that they're using a municipal water source as their "pure" water.
Between 1990 and 2007 a number of bottled water companies have pulled their own products from shelves due to contamination from coliform, benzene, mold and insects such as crickets. It's unlikely that any of these contaminants would have made it to a faucet within a municipal water system.
The biggest difference between bottled and tap water is advertising. We're now happily paying more for a litre of water than a litre of gasoline thanks to the persuasion of big business.
Admittedly, even though tap water safety isn't an issue, taste sometimes is. The taste of water is affected by minerals and salts that are present in varying amounts. Even safe levels of some minerals can produce an unpleasant taste, some can be eliminated with water filtration systems.
Sodium cannot be removed except through reverse osmosis or distillation. Distilled water is NOT recommended for human consumption on a regular basis. (Not because its harmful but because it has been stripped of beneficial minerals).
The hands down winner in every independent study that has been conducted is Tap Water
Even if you have a water supply that is undrinkable the disposable plastic bottle is not the soultion. If you want it all; clean, safe water and environmental responsibility; choose a stainless steel water bottle and fill it from the tap or reusable 5 gallon jugs.
Turns out that the only ones to benefit from bottled water are the companies that sell it and persuasive advertising agencies.