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Is Tap Water Cleaner Than Bottled Water? Which is Better?

Published by: Paulo Baker

Tap Water vs Bottled Water

Consumption of bottled water has increased remarkably in recent times. People now perceive it to be much tastier and safer as compared to tap water. In the USA, every individual consumes bottled water of nearly 114 liters or 30 gallons every year. 

But because of the ecological problems as well as possible health impacts, a lot of individuals have been starting to question the credibility of bottled water.  

In this article, we will see some differences between tap water vs bottled water, and see which one is cleaner and better out of the two. 

What is Tap Water?

Also known as municipal water, tap water originates from several sources such as rivers, wells, reservoirs, and lakes. It usually undergoes the process of water treatment before it is directed towards your houses or industries. 

Although polluted water may be a major problem in a few areas, typically, tap water has been proven to be highly effective, safe, as well as eco-friendly. 

Benefits and Disadvantages of Drinking Tap Water

1. Safety 

The USA secures its place in the list of the countries with the safest and cleanest drinking water.

The EPA is in charge of determining and establishing margins on the number of pollutants that may be found in tap or groundwater. These comprise several microorganisms as well as toxic chemicals. However, not all water pollutants are liable for restriction. 

To keep a check on the water quality from their taps, individuals have the right to reach out to the regional water corporation. 

To enhance water cleanliness and safety, people may try using an RO or other filtration systems for tap water in their house.  

2. Taste

It has been constantly proved that the majority of people cannot distinguish between bottled and tap water during blind taste experiments. 

For instance, a report by Trusted Source said that most people were not able to describe the distinction between 6 varied bottles of mineral water along with 6 glasses of tap water. It is important to mention that the specific tap water used in the study was free of chlorine. 

The majority of the people gave greater preference to water that had fair mineralization despite the water source. Merely 36% of people could make out the difference between tap and bottled water. 

Although tap water in some areas is not as nice in taste as bottled water, this should not imply in any way that the quality of the particular water is bad. A common reason behind this may be a greater amount of minerals or chlorination. 

An appropriate way of enhancing your tap water’s taste is filtration. Apart from that, you may also consider adding some lemon and ice to every glass of tap water that you drink. 

3. Expense and Accessibility 

Tap water, as it may be apparent, is highly convenient as well as cheap. All that you need to do is rotate your faucet and pour clean and healthy water into your glass.  

It is also easily obtainable at various hotels as well as from some municipal water sources at zero cost. 

4. Ecological Effects

To avoid the presence of water contaminants, municipal firms use various chemicals to treat the water. After that, it is pumped into tanks. 

Moreover, when an individual consumes water through a glass, he/she will probably clean it using a dishwasher or a soap. 

Due to these methods, a lot of chemicals, as well as energy, get used up, affecting the environment.

Nonetheless, the ecological effects of tap water are way lesser as compared to bottled water. This is primarily because tap water doesn’t involve the use of disposable packaging which would land up in a recycling hub or landfill. 

What is Bottled Water?

There is a huge number of water sources in the case of bottled water. A lot of bottles that you will see will merely include tap water in them whereas many others have different sources such as water from fresh spring. 

Underground water sources for this kind of water typically have an FDA-approved label such as well water, mineral water, artesian well water, and spring water. 

Although many people reckon that bottled water is much safer, tastier, as well as convenient as compared to tap water, others are more concerned about its ecological effects and safety. 

Benefits and Disadvantages of Drinking Bottled Water

1. May Include Microplastics

Although bottled water may sometimes be infamous for including water pollutants, it is usually proven to be safe. However, certain products have been found to include some tiny chunks of plastic, known as microplastics. 


Various studies have from time to time told that these microplastics facilitate inflammation and can have some adverse effects on human health built up for a long time. 

A study in 2018 took an experiment on 11 of some famous bottled waters from nine different nations. At the end of the research, it was found that out of these 259 sampled water bottles, 93% included microplastics. This adulteration happened during the steps of processing and packaging itself. 

2. Taste

The majority of the people can not differentiate between tap and bottled water. Nonetheless, bottled water’s flavor is highly different from the former, varying on the source as well as the packaging.

3. Ecological Effects 

This is one of the major disadvantages of drinking this type of water. 

Bottled water makes use of great quantities of energy for several steps including treating, bottling, transporting, and refrigerating. 

In 2016 in the USA, the production of this type of water made use of 1.8 billion kilograms of plastic separately.  Moreover, merely 20% of bottles get recycled every year. The majority of them are found in different water bodies or landfills. 

This is highly disturbing considering plastic water bottles discharge toxins while degrading. 

To limit the damaging effects of bottled water on the environment, many communities around the globe have been banning the purchase of one-time-use plastic bottles. 

Moreover, a few firms have been working on preparing their water bottles using biodegradable substances. This may certainly reduce their ecological impact. 

4. Convenient but Costly

Many people consider bottled water to be highly convenient especially while traveling. However, they come at a costly price which decreases their value for money for some people. 

Conclusion â€” Tap Water Vs Bottled Water

While both bottled water and tap water have their share of benefits and disadvantages, it is considered that tap water is usually a better choice. Not only is it cheaper out of the two but it is also more eco-friendly and has fewer chances of including microplastics. 

Moreover, if you have a reusable bottle in your house, it will be equally useful as bottled water.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Is bottled water tastier than tap water?

Generally, the majority of the people cannot make a clear difference between the taste of the two types of water. They taste and smell nearly the same when the tap water is free of chlorine.

What to do if the tap water in my area is of poor quality?

At times like these, bottled water may seem like a better choice. However, you can make use of RO or water filter pitchers in your homes to enhance the cleanliness of your tap water. You can also boil your water before drinking it.

Moreover, you can improve its taste by adding a few cucumber or watermelon slices.

What’s a cost-friendly choice: Tap or bottled water?

Tap water is certainly the cost-friendly choice out of the two. You get to drink much greater quantities of water at a much cheaper price as compared to bottled water. Bottled water is 2000 times costlier as compared to tap water.

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Article by:

Paulo Baker

Paulo is a senior writer at Dash Appliances, where he research, writes, and reviews home and commercial water filters. Paulo is covering home-related things like water filters, vacuum cleaners, and more since 2019. When he's not researching and testing, he's traveling and playing golf.

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