Tap water has one of the lowest environmental impacts among all packaged drinks, while still tasting similar to bottled water when filtered.
Most bottled water comes from municipal tap water sources and is often sold to consumers under the pretence of coming from natural springs or being processed through water treatment plants.
Water prices depend on where you live, with tap water typically costing just pennies per gallon; buying bottled water could cost 2,000 times more.
Bottled water can be expensive and create massive waste and pollution. The bottles themselves are made of plastic which requires oil for production and shipping before eventually ending up in landfills or the ocean as landfill debris; only a tiny percentage are recycled.
Most bottled waters come from municipal sources, which could expose it to chemicals from nearby fields, pesticide runoff or even harmful bacteria – it is therefore crucial that consumers follow all environmental health and safety regulations.
While bottled water offers many advantages over tap water in terms of variety and sources available to choose from, such as higher costs associated with its purchase, its safety standards set by both bodies of government are comparable.
People who drink tap water can easily fill a reusable bottle before leaving home or bring one along to public drinking fountains and restaurants free of charge for refills. Some also opt to add ice cubes or fruit slices to make their water even more refreshing!
If a person wants to take extra precaution, they can invest in a filter that removes common contaminants from tap water such as chemicals, heavy metals and pathogens such as bacteria. People concerned with the quality of their tap water should contact their local water supplier or consult an Annual Water Quality Report from their city for more information.
However, bottled water often offers superior taste than tap and may be convenient for travelers in parts of the world without well-functioning municipal water systems. Bottled water also boasts long shelf lives and may contain essential minerals such as calcium or magnesium to meet one’s RDI (Reference Daily Intake) of these vital vitamins.
Bottled water has a greater environmental footprint than tap water due to its production processes, which require energy from fossil fuels that contributes to global warming and pollution. Plastic bottles themselves may contain harmful obesogens such as bisphenol-A or phthalates which interfere with hormones and cause weight gain; many remain nonrecyclable after being put in landfills as waste.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates tap water while Food and Drug Administration (FDA) establishes standards for bottled water. While both must meet health standards equivalent to tap water, manufacturers have more freedom when reporting contaminant levels due to FDA not using maximum allowable levels established by EPA due to unlikelyness of being found in bottled water products. If contamination exceeds their standards, however, FDA can either block distribution or force recall action against manufacturers.
Bottled water production requires significant energy resources and waste production costs; its source water must be filtered, processed and transported from its source to destination. Furthermore, plastic bottles used to transport this bottled water release chemicals such as BPA and phthalates into the environment that have been identified as potential endocrine disruptors that could interfere with hormone function, contribute to obesity or cause other health complications.
While many bottled water companies strive to be eco-friendly, their production can still cause environmental concerns. Bottled water requires enormous amounts of energy for production; its single use plastic bottles often end up in landfills or bodies of water where they release harmful toxins into the environment. Furthermore, it may contain obesogens which interfere with metabolism and contribute to weight gain.
North American tap water is considered among the world’s safest. Our municipal water treatment plants remove any chemicals or particles not intended to be present and it’s then monitored by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
While drinking tap water might contain small levels of contaminants, they should not be enough to make anyone sick. If you live in a rural community where environmental contamination might occur or rely on an unregulated private well that might contain fecal coliform bacteria or heavy metals for your water source, your risk may increase substantially more than someone living in an urban setting.
Bottled water must meet more stringent FDA standards than tap, and any contaminants not allowed in tap aren’t safe to consume either. Furthermore, if one bottle of bottled water has to be recalled because of harmful chemicals or contaminants being present that shouldn’t be there then its distribution could be blocked until another batch can be created and distributed instead.
People often choose bottled water over tap for its taste, yet research has demonstrated that in blind tasting tests most can’t distinguish between the two water sources. Plus, tap water tends to be cheaper and better for the environment than its bottled counterpart.