Pollution, contaminants, chemicals and price are some of the things that come to mind when thinking about drinking water. Is the water that you drink safe? Bottled water or tap water: which is safer? Should you drink bottled water because it is treated or should you drink tap water because it’s cheaper? Let’s take a look at some facts surrounding bottled water and tap water.
The label on the bottle can be misleading. Although, it may depict a pristine mountain stream, it doesn’t mean that the water it contains is pristine and pure. In some cases, the water is just glorified tap water being sold thousand times its original cost. Some companies may provide bottled water that comes from natural springs and pristine sources, but some just treat water from the municipal supply.
Bottled water is easier to carry around, they are refreshing and some of them also taste better than tap water. But bottled water is not better protected or better regulated than tap water. It cannot be said that bottled water is safer than tap water.
Plastic bottles are not biodegradable and if they are not recycled, they can stay for years and have an impact on the environment. A range of chemicals are used in the manufacture of plastic bottles which have the potential to cause harm to human health. The chemicals that are present in the bottle can leech into the water and cause diseases such as liver diseases, brain disorders, obesity, ovarian disease, diabetes and many others.
The Environmental Protection Agency overseas and regulates tap water. They have made it mandatory for water utility companies to provide an annual report to their customers that contain information about the water source, contaminant levels and whether there are potential health effects. But EPA does not regulate water that comes from private wells. So if you know that your water supply is linked to a private well, it is important that you carry out water testing more frequently to ensure that the water is safe for drinking.
Tap water contains a range of healthy minerals such as magnesium and calcium. But, fluoride is often added to the water at its source to promote healthy bones and teeth. It is important to note that fluoride is not naturally found in many foods and this is the reason, it is added to water.
The EPA has set standards as to how much fluoride should be added to drinking water. So if your water is regulated by EPA you don’t have to worry about the health effects of fluoride. However, if your water comes from a private source such as a well, then it may contain fluoride in amounts that is greater than the standard set out by the EPA. High levels of fluoride in drinking water can cause pain and tenderness in bones. It can increase risk of fractures in adults and cause holes and pits in tooth of small children.
Bottled water and tap water are comparable in terms of safety. But it cannot be said which water is safer. Tap water is regulated, but the source also matters. Bottled water is clean and pristine depending on the source, but there are always issues surrounding the use of plastics. Bottled water can be good if you are susceptible to the contaminants in tap water and if your doctor has advised you to drink bottled water which is especially true for people with a weaker immune system. But if your tap water comes from a clean source and is regulated, then there is no harm in saving money.