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New Research Has Found Bottled Water as Contaminated as Tap Water

Bottled Water No Better Than Tap

Many of us have moved from bottled water to reusable water bottles filled with tap water in an effort to keep bottles out of the landfills. Just the other day, when my sister and I went to the gym, she was toting her bottled water and said, "I know I should switch, but bottled water just seems so much cleaner." I know she is not alone in thinking this — in fact it's common to believe that bottle water is cleaner than tap — but is it really?

To find out the answer, just


No. Not only is some bottled water just repackaged tap water, but new research from the Washington-based Environmental Working Group has found that leading brands of bottled water in the United States contain many of the same contaminants as tap water. In fact, one researcher said, "In some cases, it appears bottled water is no less polluted than tap water and, at 1,900 times the cost, consumers should expect better." Two brands (Sam's Choice sold by Wal-Mart and Acadia of Giant Food supermarkets) did not even meet California state standards for chlorine.

So keep hydrated, especially when you're active, but try to erase the belief that bottled water is better, because often times it's not.

Fit's Tip: And keep in mind that since we're all budgeting these days, tap water (for the most part) is also cheap, if not free.


Join The Conversation
harryjenks harryjenks 8 years
I'm a tap water guy myself - I do some work for the American Chemistry Council, and since chlorine is so effective at killing bacteria and other nasty stuff that could make us sick, I'm more than happy to drink the free stuff.
sh1nynewlove sh1nynewlove 8 years
I am strongly thinking about ditching the water bottles and just boil the tap water, put it through brita filter, then put into a stainless steel or aluminium bottle to reuse...
aka-Daria aka-Daria 8 years
tap water grosses me out. whenever i drink from the sink it makes my throat itch. i'd rather drink bottled water.
Miss-Demona Miss-Demona 8 years
I have a filter in my fridge, and I think my water tastes just as good as bottled water, if not better. The only time I buy bottled water is when I don't have a bottle to fill with water. Also, cities in the US have departments that moniter city water, and that's not the case with bottled water companies.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i'm not necessarily against tap water depending on where i am. i have a filter at my house so we just reuse our bottle and fill from the tap but when i was in mexico last week, we refused to drink from the tap - cause we didn't know if it was clean enough.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I was just going to say what cally said--Tap water has to be tested very regularly and stringently, but there aren't as many restrictions on bottled water. I know our city has very good water and you can actually look up the levels of various chemicals in your city's tap water...our city puts out a drinking water quality report every year where they disclose everything that's in the water, even things they aren't required to test for. We have a Brita tap filter to remove all the metal contaminants and definitely helps a lot.
CoralAmber CoralAmber 8 years
Also remember that tap water has added fluoride to protect your teeth.
cravinsugar cravinsugar 8 years
My parents have a well at almost sea level, and the water smells like sulfur and doesn't taste that good, even with the softeners, purifiers, etc. They drink bottled water as do their guests, but htey usually buy jugs of drinking water, not purified or anything. They know they are getting tap water, but they don't care as they can't drink their tap water.
bethinabox bethinabox 8 years
I'm also curious about Brita filters and if they actually really do anything. I do put my water through my brita, and I think here, at school, it's definitely something I need to do, because there have been several occasions where the water I put into the water bottle from the tap was a little cloudy... :o
cally8980 cally8980 8 years
I'm an environmental engineer, and believe it or not, there are sometimes less restrictions on the water quality of bottled water than tap. This in the US of course, I don't know about other countries.
secrethoughts secrethoughts 8 years
Bottled water is just too expensive and too wasteful! I use my Brita filter and drink up.
digitalshoujo digitalshoujo 8 years
Unfortunately it's not always possible to choose tap water - I grew up in a house with well water, which was run through a water softner to make it fit to bathe and wash clothes & dishes in, but because of the high salt (and other chemical) content, it wasn't safe to drink in large quantities. We had Poland Spring water delivered in the huge jugs all my life! I did drink tap at school sometimes, but I was conditioned to drink bottled only, and it's a hard conditioning to break! I live in a different house now, with well water that's supposed to be safe to drink, but I still find myself leaning towards jugs of bottled water instead.
mtiger mtiger 8 years
I drink 4 bottles of tap water a day. It has more vitamins and minerals in it. Luckily, I live in a city that has great water!
njau njau 8 years
This is a funny related story, but I am a tap drinker (the water here is pretty clean) and my boyfriend is a strict bottled water drinker. The weekends where he comes to visit me he'll drink from my brita filter - which I have had for a few years and haven't change the filter in probably 1 year or more but I just don't drink from it and it's only there for him. After his last visit I decided to take a look at it after he said he felt sick and there was a little film on the bottom of the filter... I threw it out right away but there you go my "purified" water was no better than my tap water at that moment.
Tami715 Tami715 8 years
I only drink bottled water, but only certain brands. NEVER Arrowhead, it tastes like crap. And tap water is out of the question. Gross Phoenix water.
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
I have a friend who ONLY drinks bottled water, but she says she likes the taste of it rather than it being cleaner. I've tried to get her to get a filter or something but to no avail. At least I got her to recycle them!
cravinsugar cravinsugar 8 years
Fit--Do Brita filters help or is it just a gimmick? my water seems to taste better with Brita, but if it doesn't matter I will not buy new filters and get rid of my pitcher.
OHmeetsBK OHmeetsBK 8 years
I drink NYC tap water - no boiling, no brita/filter. Tastes great to me.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
My brita broke when I dropped it about two months ago, and I've been drinking tap since then since I'm too lazy to replace it. So far I haven't sprouted extra heads, so I guess I'll keep on drinking it.
minhoca minhoca 8 years
ive lived to see my city spew out neon pink water out of its tap and then say "it's completely safe to drink"... and the past year.. to ban us from drinking our own water out of tap for more than a week (boil first) because of ecoli contaminents in the water. so.. i would say, yes, bottled water is cleaner in some cities... though... i brita mine :D
Lilavati Lilavati 8 years
Well, in Poland, you should never drink tap water without boiling it first.
michlny michlny 8 years
I boil my NYC tap water, put it through my Brita, then DRINK UP! It's the best!
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