Bottled water has been glorified for years as the better, safer and healthier alternative to tap water. Bottled water has become the best-selling soft drink in the world as it is often associated with health and purity. But does bottled water live up to these expectations? Is bottled water safe? And how safe is bottled water compared to tap water?

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Contrary to what you may think, bottled water is not safer nor healthier than the tap variety. On top of all this, bottled water has a disturbingly high carbon footprint, and it is also a drain on your wallet.

Tap water vs. bottled water

The question of bottled water vs. tap water has been long debated, and consumers seem to be in favour of the former. Pristine water springs and idyllic mountain sceneries depicted on the labels of bottled water have managed to win over the hearts of consumers. Unfortunately, bottled water is not all it’s cracked up to be as many bottled water brands are just glorified tap water at 500-1000 times the cost. It is not uncommon either that even bottled water that actually comes from springs and deep water wells contain bacteria and chemicals over the limits permitted for tap water.

Compared to bottled water, tap water is more regulated. For example, in the United Kingdom tap water undergoes several tests on a weekly and even daily basis. In contrast, bottled water does not have to conform to so many tests, and compulsory testing has to be carried out at the source only once a month. Tap water is also an eco-friendlier alternative, while bottled water is an extremely high burden on the environment. Some reports estimate that a half-litre bottled water has a carbon footprint of approximately 82.8 g of CO2. This may seem insignificant, but with billions of people drinking it all over the world, the numbers become concerning.

Of course tap water isn’t completely safe either. Sustained exposure to chemical disinfectants used in the treatment process of tap water and to destroy disease-causing bacteria may be harmful for our health as well.

Which type of water is a better alternative?

Given that there is no assurance that bottled water is safer than tap water, if one would have to choose between the two, then tap water would be a better alternative than the bottled variety. An even better alternative is filtered water, which is obtained by installing a water filter system in your home. These inexpensive devices can clean your tap water from any residual chemicals, bacteria or other contaminants missed by the municipal treatment process. Thus, a water filter can make sure that water lives up to your expectations in terms of safety, taste, and health benefits. Filtered water is also cheaper than bottled water, and it is more environmentally friendly.

On you can choose from plenty of water filter models ranging from simple point-of-use filters like 3-way kitchen taps to more complex models like reverse osmosis systems.


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