Tapwater Vs. Bottled Water

If you buy bottled water because you like the taste, and believe it's cleaner than tap water, you're not alone. Bottled water is convenient, but it's expensive--and it's not necessarily safer or healthier, according to some studies.

  1. Drinking Water Sources

    • Tap water and bottled water can both come from resevoirs.
      Tap water and bottled water can both come from resevoirs.

      Bottled and tap water both originate from natural sources such as lakes, springs and aquifers. A lot of bottled water is actually tap water that's been filtered or treated with minerals. According to Dr. Stephen Edberg, an affiliate of the Yale University School of Medicine, there is no significant difference between tap water and bottled water in terms of safety and quality.

    Drinking Water Safety Guidelines

    • All drinking water, bottled or not, must meet safety guidelines.
      All drinking water, bottled or not, must meet safety guidelines.

      All tap water in the United States must comply with strict safety guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency. Tap water suppliers have to test for contaminants several times a day and publish an annual report. Water bottling plants, which are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, must test for contaminants at least once a once a week.

    Downsides of Bottled Water

    • Most plastic water bottles end up in the trash.
      Most plastic water bottles end up in the trash.

      According to the San Francisco Department of Public Health, bottled water costs at least 300 times more than regular tap water, and it's less environmentally friendly. The bottled water industry generates tens of billions of petroleum-based plastic bottles each year in the United States alone. The California Department of Conservation estimates that only 15% of these bottles are recycled.

    Bottled Water Alternatives

    • Most people buy bottled water for the convenience and taste. If you're a bottled water fan who wants to save money and live a greener lifestyle, consider purchasing a water-filtering system. This is an economical way to purify your water at home and improve its taste.

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  • Photo Credit bottles of minerale water image by Maria Brzostowska from Fotolia.com kielder resevoir image by Ron Downey from Fotolia.com tap image by Dr.Loop from Fotolia.com full trash can image by jimcox40 from Fotolia.com

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