You know how important it is to stay hydrated right? And you know the best liquid for that is water yes? But with tap water, bottled water, flavored water, designer water et al, how do you know which is the best? Is it tap water, and can you give up spending your dollars on fancy stuff from the supermarket and just fill up at home? There is no definitive answer to this because the quality of your tap water is very much subject to the vagaries of your location. However, there are some things you should know about your tap water to help you make a more informed choice.
1. Tap Water is Regulated
One of many things you should know about tap water is that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates tap water in the United States. (Other countries will have similar regulatory bodies.) It means tap water approved by the EPA is completely safe to drink. Some people often feel skeptical about it and avoid tap water altogether. You don't have to worry about drinking tap water because regular testing and reporting makes it as safe as bottled water
2. Avoid Private Well Water
The use of private well water may seem interesting, but it's definitely not as safe as the EPA approved tap water is. It is important that you drink water from a well only if it's tested regularly. You need to understand that untreated, unfiltered well water is home to pesticides, chemicals, nitrates, arsenic, and other bacteria.
3. Know Its Quality and Drink It
Many people consider bottled water as the only way of keeping their bodies hydrated, which is a misconception. Of course, you need to know the quality of tap water in your area, but it's usually not all that bad. In fact, the experts have found that sometimes drinking water doesn't meet a federal health guideline, but it doesn't always make someone ill. There can be contaminants in tap water, but most of them are hazardous only if you consume them for years. The researchers have also found that when consumed at low doses, even toxic chemicals pose few risks. It means, if it's approved, it's usually safe to drink.
4. Bottled and Tap Water May Contain Contaminants
Another of the things you should know about tap water and bottled water is that both of them can be contaminated. Tap water can be impure for obvious reasons, but bottled water may also lose its quality during the treatment process – the quality of the plastic bottle will also have an impact on how unsafe bottled water can be.
5. Labels Can Be Misleading
Some people drink bottled water only because they find some nice stuff printed on labels. What you should understand is that though the bottled water industry is regulated, it's nothing compared to how your tap water is regulated by the EPA. It means that you never know if your bottled water is coming from the same source that you use at home. Some companies may use tap water after some testing and filtering, and they do it because they don't have to mention water source on the label. Moreover, your bottled water may not contain all the nutrients mentioned on the label. So, be careful – choose sensibly!
6. Invest in a Water Filter
Even when your tap water is fit to drink, you may not like its taste. Investing on a water filter is always the better alternative than switching to bottled water. An attachable filter will do the job – it improves the taste of your water and removes any contaminants that may have escaped the city's water processing. Interestingly, there are filtration products available in the market that deliver the purest form of drinking water – it is usually purer than the best bottled water, and you get such high quality water for pennies instead of dollars a gallon.
7. Bottled is Not Healthier than Your Tap Water
Using a good filter will make it as healthy as bottled water is. In fact, the availability of some high-end filtration products has largely obviated the need for bottled water. It is worth mentioning though that some bottled water may be infused with additional nutrients, which sometimes make it better than tap water. In general, your regular bottled water isn't better than your regulated tap water.
What’s your main source of drinking water? Do you trust the quality of your tap water?