Bottled vs. Tap Water: Four Things To Keep In Mind

The bottled water industry is seeing growth year after year. Drinking tap water is no longer considered a stigma, but it isn’t exactly “cool” either. Below, we consider both as drinking water options and discuss what you should weigh then you are deciding whether to turn on the tap or reach into the fridge. The criteria for judging are…

Cost: Bottled water is significantly more expensive than tap water. What may not seem expensive in cost at the time, will seem like a world apart when it comes to pricing in gallons. While the cost is small for a given transaction, it will certainly add up over time. That is to say that buying bottled water regularly is when the cost difference is really going to matter. Soon, you will be spending an exorbitant amount annually for bottled water, when you could have spent next to nothing to get that water from the tap.

Bottled water generally costs about 2000x as much as tap water. Use this as a rule of thumb, as it might not be exactly true given your local water pricing and preference for bottled water, but it’s pretty much correct. Think about it — does any other choice in your life has you spending 2000x more on something?

And then often bottled water is nothing more than tap water. If you’re going to be drinking filtered tap water, why not filter it out of the tap yourself instead? Invest in a faucet-mounted filter system for your kitchen and you will save a good amount of the money you were spending on bottled water.

Taste: Bottled water seems to win the contest here. Many people have their preference in brand of water, as micro-variants in the nutrient levels can effect the taste. That has us reaching for a Smart Water instead of a Core Water or Evian, etc. While that’s fine, what many people do not know is that it’s easy to improve on the taste of your tap water as well.

Safety: Bottled water appears to be safer than drinking tap water. Again, the word “appears” is to be noted. The standard for water safety is much the same for both bottled and tap water. Where the municipality has to state annually where the water it sources in its tap comes from, bottled water manufacturers rarely have to do so. They can proceed to sell water that doesn’t meet the same government safety standards as long as they put it on their label. On the other hand, municipal water suppliers have to furnish every bit of information about the water they supply.

Sustainability: The environmental cost of bottled water is far greater than tap water. Bottled water uses energy at every step of its production and then must be transported. Keep in mind water is very heavy, so shipping mineral water from Italy or artesian well water from Fiji is no small task. On top of everything, water bottles are difficult to dispose off. There is no such problem with tap water.

In conclusion, while bottled water has its privileges, its shortcomings far outnumber them. Tap water is a sustainable eco-friendly and safe water source that is also light on your pocket.