I work for the lab of a city water department. We are required to do a ton of testing and usually do even more. From bacteria to water quality parameters to metals to organics and radiation - we have tested for it. We have to send every customer an annual report on our water quality so you know just what is in it. If there is a violation we have to inform the public. Tap water is regulated by the EPA with tough regulations. Bottled water is not - it is regulated like food. You jus have to turn on the news and see people sick from eggs or beef to know how stringent our food regs are.
I don't think bottled water is dangerous or anything, because the bottlers know they'll go broke if someone gets sick. Most water-borne illnesses are pretty easy to track back to the source. But I've always known that tap water is safer, unless you live in a city with really loose testing and regulation.
I went to graduate school in New Orleans, which has always had trouble with water (and with that whole idea of enforcing any sort of rule or regulation.) At one point, my roommates and I decided to buy bottled water to drink. We'd been paying our hard-earned money (starving students) for about six weeks when one of us looked closely at the bottles and discovered it came from.... You guessed it! The New Orleans and/or Houston municipal water system. If there's anyplace with worse water than New Orleans, it would probably be Houston. So we stopped paying extra for the same tap water.
Fitness Minutes: (21,481)
4/14/11 12:32 P
What, are you kidding me!
Fitness Minutes: (5,638)
4/14/11 12:31 P
I am fortunate to have the best tasting (and regularly tested) well water. I occasionally buy bottled water, but only to replace very worn out water bottles that I bleach and re-use filling them with my free well water.
Fitness Minutes: (8,195)
692 4/14/11 7:57 A
I'm an environmental engineer, specializing in water treatment. Any water from a municipal tap is perfectly safe to drink. Thats what regulations are for. In my opinion, bottled water is a scam. Do I sometimes buy it? Yes. But I have Nalgene bottles that I glue to my hip, haha. I'm not sure about the regulations on bottled water, but most companies take municipal tap water and just change the mineral content, which changes taste. There is no health benefit. I have been drinking tap for years and trust it more than bottled.
4/14/11 6:58 A
I drink straight from the tap. It hasn't killed me yet.
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