The question of whether or not tap water is healthy for your consumption is kind of a loaded question. Some people would argue that water is water, so yes, you should feel fine and safe drinking a glass of water that comes straight from your tap. Others, will clutch their Brita filters fiercely and tell you that drinking tap water will cause a myriad of health problems. It’s possible, that either or neither of these is correct.
Is tap water safe?
The quality of the tap water is going to vary greatly depending on your location and the water treatment systems that are available in your area, but fundamentally, yes, tap water is safe for you to drink. Some areas have tap water that doesn’t taste very good, because of the minerals in the ground and other factors, and so most people in those areas choose to filter their water, despite it being safe to drink. But ultimately, unless your water has been contaminated, your tap water is safe to drink.
What is the difference between tap water and bottled water?
Aside from the fact that one type of water is served in a bottle? Tap water is regulated by the EPA to be safe for consumption when it comes out of your faucet. Bottled water is regulated by the FDA to be safe for consumption when it is placed in the bottles. Once the water has been placed in the bottle, it is not tested for safety. After the water is bottled, BPAs as well as other compounds that are used in plastic have been found contained in the water. When you drink from the tap, it is regulated to be safe right when it becomes available for you to drink it. The EPA takes into account the distance the water has to travel from the treatment plant to your faucet.
Should you use a filter?
In most cases, a filter is only really necessary when someone doesn’t like the taste of the tap water that is available to them. Your household water is already lightly filtered through an aerator (learn more here) installed in your faucet. If you choose to use a filter, you should use caution concerning the maintenance of your filter. Some filters, like the Brita filter, is made with a carbon filter. This carbon filter is responsible for absorbing particulates in the water. The filter will be able to reduce the amount of metal in the water, as well as alter the way the water tastes. Another option, if you don’t want to use a filter like the Brita, is to simply leave your tap water in a pitcher. This will cause the chlorine taste to disappear. The main issue with the Brita filter, is that if it is not kept filled to the appropriate level and the filter has a chance to dry out, it can cause dangerous bacteria to grow. So if you do choose to use a filter, like the brita filter, make sure that you are cautious and make sure that you change the filter regularly and make sure it is always full enough to prevent the growth of dangerous bacteria.
How do you ensure the quality of the water coming from the tap?
If you are worried about the quality of the tap water in your home, especially if you live in an older home, you can run your tap water for a minute or so to reduce the potential amount of lead solder in your water. Using cold water rather than hot water is another good way to ensure that the tap water you are using and consuming is safest. If you are particularly worried, especially if you live in an area where well water is used, you can get your water tested. The local and state health departments can help you perform the appropriate tests and let you know whether or not the results indicate that the water is safe. Municipalities send a yearly report to homes of their drinking water quality. If you are concerned about BPAs and other toxins in your water, invest in a reusable bottle like one that is made out of metal, to ensure you are not consuming toxins from bottled water.