Bottled Water vs. Tap Water: How Do You Choose?

Water is the most essential substance the body requires, so it is important to consume it daily. However, what’s even more important is the quality of the water we consume. Our drinking water should be free of any and all physical or chemical contaminations. Yet, the best source for drinking water is often the subject of debate. Tap or bottled? Let’s explore these two options.

Tap water is by far the most common source of drinking water, due mainly to its easy access and affordability. Despite these advantages, however, the quality of tap water is brought into question in many instances.

Bottled water is often used as an alternative to sugary drinks, and is a great way for individuals to replace or remove unhealthy fluids from their diet. At the same time, bottled water also provides a clean, safe form of drinking water.


Unlike most tap water options, bottled water is put through a series of filtration and treatment processes that include distillation, micro-filtration, carbon filtration and/or UV treatment to get rid of toxins.


Bottled water is also prepared in such a way that it meets all standards set forth by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This is one of a few organizations that ensure that all bottled water is safe for drinking. The FDA Standards of Quality (SOQs) for bottled water must be as protective of public health as EPA standards (known as Maximum Contaminant Levels) for safe drinking water.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates tap water provided by water utilities (EPA standards) to guarantee safe drinking water, under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). This act works to protect the public by regulating all public drinking water supply and water sources and to guarantee safe drinking water. However, it is important to note that the EPA does not regulate private wells. So if your tap water comes from a private well, you should test your water every year for contaminants.

According to a report published by the Drinking Water Research Foundation (DWRF), the biggest disadvantage of tap water consumption is that it can be easily compromised by many factors.


Harmful micro-contaminants can go unnoticed by consumers until an adverse effect upon one’s health is discovered or unearthed. At the same time, the public water systems have the exclusive power to provide water to different geographical areas and communities. Therefore, end users do not have a say on which public water system will provide the water they consume on a daily basis.


One of the more notable differences between tap water and bottled water is the method of delivery. Community water systems deliver water to consumers (at businesses and private residences) through miles of underground iron pipes, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes, and lead service lines that can be subject to leakage due to aging systems and occasional breakdowns. Thus – the inherent risk or post-treatment contamination of the water that is delivered by these pipes and lines, to homes and businesses. Bottled water is delivered to consumers in sanitary, sealed containers that were filled in a bottling facility under controlled conditions.

Visit to learn more about these quality standards

When you have a choice between bottled water and tap water, either filtered or unfiltered, which do you prefer, and why?

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