The human body is composed primarily of water, which is why we must continually top up our internal supply. The minimum daily amount that the average person must take in to keep on living is 2.3 liters. When it comes to our drinking water, we have a variety of options today. The best source of drinking water will depend on the part of the world you live in, as there are many regions where the local water supply is unsafe. In areas where tap water is a viable option, there are pros and cons of drinking this municipal water supply over bottled water, which are worth exploring.
Benefits of Regulated Tap Water
If you are fortunate enough to live in a region where the government already regulates your tap water supply for safety, there are benefits to choosing the tap over the bottle. Choosing tap water is more sustainable on an international level, because so much extra water is used in the actual production of manufactured bottled water. The Pacific Institute estimates that it takes 3 liters of water to produce a single liter of bottled water. When there are worldwide shortages of adequate drinking water, this is a major problem. Further pros to choosing tap water include the fact that it is often fluoridated, which helps strengthen teeth. It costs far less than bottled water, making it a more economical option.
Drawbacks of Regulated Tap Water
Even in regions where the water is regularly tested to ensure it meets health and safety standards, there may still be contaminants that sneak through the cracks. In the United States for example, 89% of municipal water is deemed by the Environmental Protection Agency to be fit for human consumption. However, even in this supply there are still traces of arsenic, bacteria, and pharmaceuticals. Houses built before 1930 may have lead pipes, which can also leave traces of lead in the water. An extra step of home filtration is usually needed to remove these additional contaminants, this can include traditional filter jug or modern home filtration systems such as the Virgin Pure.
Rather than sinking money into the bottled water industry, this money could be used to improve municipal treatment plants. Taking a more active interest in improving the global tap water supply could lead to safer international sources of water in the future.
What do you drink – tap water or bottled water?
Photo: Paul. B