In the UK, local water companies are required by law to provide wholesome drinking water that is fit for every household need. To make sure this happens, the Drinking Water Inspectorate carries out millions of tests each year to ensure that these water suppliers meet water quality requirements.
The issue with the municipal water supply, however, is that it still relies on certain outdated water treatment practices (e.g. chlorination), and although they indeed do a god job at treating water at the source, they don’t always have the ability to control every aspect of its delivery through the water pipe system. Old or damaged water pipes and broken water mains can give way to dangerous contaminants ending up in your tap water.
In this context, the trustworthiness of tap water is questionable in the very least, and raises several other questions: Is tap water safe in the UK? Can you and should you drink tap water?
Tap water in the UK is generally safe, and around 94% of consumers report being satisfied with its quality. However, palatability does not always equal healthiness, and one of the biggest threats to consumer’s long-time health is chlorination. While chlorine is very cost-effective and fairly efficient at killing harmful microorganisms that may cause serious diseases, unfortunately, long-time exposure to chlorine is not healthy either. In some areas, fluoridation of water is another problem, given that fluoride is another toxic substance, whose purported advantages are yet to be supported by strong scientific evidence. Another problem with UK tap water is its hardness level, which in some areas can be a problem. While hard water is not unhealthy per se, it can cause kitchen appliance breakdowns, reduce the efficiency of laundry detergents, and cause other disruptions in your household due to scale build-up on any surface that gets into contact in water.
These issues should not stop you from using tap water as a source of drinking water. With a proper water filter, you will be able to get rid of these contaminants and reduce water hardness levels. A good water filter gives you the ability to fine tune the quality of water you want to have access to by helping you deal with the exact contaminant you want to remove from your tap water. Filtered tap water is the single most eco-friendly and cheapest alternative to the costly bottled water that is a troublesome environmental burden. Therefore, tap water should not be ignored in favour of bottled water.