Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tap or Bottled Water?

Sure tap water will save you tons of money, but is that the safer choice?
This week we will be discussing tap water vs. bottled water.

  • Quick Fact: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees bottled water, while the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates tap water. However, they use similar standards for ensuring safety.

  • The FDA requires bottled water producers to:

  1. Process, bottle, hold and transport bottled water under sanitary conditions
  2. Protect water sources from bacteria, chemicals and other contaminants
  3. Use quality control processes to ensure the bacteriological and chemical safety of the water
  4. Sample and test both source water and the final product for contaminants

  • The EPA mandates that water utilities provide annual quality reports to customers. These customer confidence reports provide information such as source (river, lake, aquifer), contaminant levels and potential health effects. However, the EPA doesn't regulate private wells. So if your tap water comes from a private well you should test your water every year for contaminants, more frequently if needed.

In our household we mainly drink bottled water. However I do not use bottled water for cooking, certain treats (like kool-aid), etc. For that we use tap water. Generally I will boil the water before use whether it be for cooking or drinking. But when it comes to water consumption to hydrate we drink bottled 98% of the time.
In my opinion bottled water vs. tap water comes down to matter of preference. Bottled water is usually cleaner, tastes better, and there are many kinds to choose from. Tap water unseen contaminants that can pose health risks to children, the elderly, or those with weakened immune systems. For that reason I try to use as little tap water as possible unless I boil it first just as a safety precaution.
Tap water travels miles underground in pipe lines that can leak or burst thus contaminating our drinking water and result in a boiling ban. Bottled water is packaged in sanitary sealed containers under usually strict sanitary conditions. And when you think about it how many bottled water recalls have you heard of compared to how often you've heard of a town under a boiling ban?

On the other side water bottles are a huge concern for our environment. Too many people do not recycle or dispose of their empty bottles properly. This results in major littering and causes harm to our environment. So if you do drink bottled water please dispose of properly because if you do your bottles can be recycled into more bottles.

I'm not downing either one but at least while my children are younger I stick to bottled water for hydrating purposes. I use tap with cooking and when needed to use tap for drinking I typically always boil it first. You can also buy brita water filters or pitchers as an extra piece of mind if you use tap water for cost related purposes. You will be amazed at how much particals actually filter out of the water.

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