Which is better for your family, tap water or bottled water? It’s a long-running argument that you may have had with your friends, parents or spouse. The truth is there is no clear winner. Tap water and bottled water are regulated differently, which makes it hard to do a true comparison of the quality. Learning more about the process each takes to reach your home may help you to make an informed decision. Here is what you need to know about the differences between bottled and tap water.
Tap water is monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) before it reaches your home. As part of the process, water is filtered through a facility run by the EPA. This allows the EPA a chance to remove any chemicals or contaminants that may have entered the groundwater supply. Once the process of filtration is complete, these elements may not be completely removed, but they are at a level that the government has declared safe for consumption. Any time there is an issue or water is found to be contaminated, the EPA will notify people in the local area and give recommendations on how long to boil water for before drinking.
Bottled water is considered a food item, and is therefore regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Just like with food products, the FDA sets guidelines and regulations for the production of bottled water, but they do not test the product before it goes out. As a result, it is up to each individual company to check the quality of the bottled water and report any issues to the FDA. This means if you drink bottled water, you should try to pay attention to any news reports or recalls so you do not drink any water with an issue.
Whether or not you should drink tap water is a personal choice, but there are some other factors that can weigh in on your decision. Obviously, tap water is a more economical choice, as bottled water can get expensive to keep buying, especially if you have a large family. You can use a filtration pitcher or system to further clean the tap water, but this also comes with the recurring cost of buying filters to change them regularly.
If you really have doubts about the quality of your tap water and do not want to use bottled water regularly, you may want to install a water filtration system that cleans your water before it enters the home. These types of systems should be installed by a professional to ensure they connect properly to your water supply.