Is it better to drink tap water or filtered water?
Back in the old days, before all types of studies and tests were done on water which comes from different sources, when people referred to “drinking water”, it was obvious that they were talking about tap water, no matter if it came from a well or the municipal source. Satisfying your thirst wasn’t complicated as there were no worries regarding the safety of ingesting the liquid, to begin with. However, now that we are aware of the real dangers lurking in tap water, matters are more complicated. There is the issue of choosing what the source of hydration should be for you – tap or filtered.
Tap water refers to the water which comes out of your faucet, and it can come from one of two sources – a well or the municipal system. Before it actually reaches your tap, the water is passed through standard filtration methods and chemicals are added, so you can say that it is somewhat safe to consume as this treatment process tends to eliminate certain contaminants. However, its efficiency is not all that great and seeing how it travels through rusty pipes until it actually reaches the faucet, it’s definitely safe to say that cleanliness is not the strong point of tap water.
Analysis of the pollution issue
Woefully, issues related to tap water quality in the US are a worrying matter as there are hundreds of health-threatening pollutants which reside in it. Here is a listing of some of the most dangerous pollutants which most likely reside in the water which comes out of your tap:
- 1,4-Dioxane – According to tests, this pollutant has been detected in the municipal water from 45 of the 50 US states. This is a solvent which the EPA has classified as a human carcinogen, ending up in the water through landfill runoff and industrial wastewater discharges.
- Chromium-6 – Hexavalent chromium is a carcinogenic which contaminates the water in all the states across the US. Its appearance is either due to natural occurrences in groundwater or due to industrial pollution. Regardless, it is one of the worst contaminants you could ingest.
- Lead – Another common contaminant which is found in tap water all across the 50 states, lead latches from plumbing fixtures and pipes. While it is dangerous for adults, when children ingest it, it’s even worse as it harms their behavior and learning abilities.
- VOCs – What makes volatile organic compounds so dangerous is the fact that they increase the risk of cancer and produce a lot of harm to the nervous system. In pregnant women, VOCs affect fetal growth, while in children, they affect their development. Alas, 49 out of the 50 American states are faced with contamination with carcinogenic VOCs.
- Disinfection byproducts – Found in the water all across America, disinfection byproducts form during water treatment where chlorine and other harmful solutions are used. Harmful for everyone when ingested, there are even worse consequences to be had when infants and pregnant women consume the water.
- Other dangerous common pollutants – Radiological contaminants, perfluorinated chemicals, nitrate, nitrosamines, perchlorate, copper, manganese, arsenic, and atrazine.
It is more than obvious by now that tap water is a definite “no” for those who care about their health and don’t want to ingest cancer-causing pollutants each time they hydrate. However, does this make filtered water more efficient and the preferred choice? Find out immediately!
Just like tap water, filtered water is treated for the contaminants inside it to be removed. However, the big difference lies in the efficiency of the process, filtered water, regardless of the filtration method used, being a better option as it is actually tap water which undergoes the filtration process right before hitting your glass. This way, lead, for example, is sure to not lurk in the water you drink anymore as the water is purified straight before running out of the tap, not earlier when contaminants can still get in it along the way.
How you actually end up saving money drinking filtered water
If the increased efficiency in contaminant removal isn’t enough to convince you that a water filter is a requirement in modern US households rather than a luxury, then maybe the financial positives will do it. Clearly, you cannot rely on tap water for your hydration if you want to stray from getting who knows what disease or, worst of all, developing cancer. Thus, it means that you are left with buying bottled water, which is a bad idea financial-wise and when it comes to the ecosystem. Financially, you will be affected as it is an expensive purchase to make, and you pay for brand recognition rather than quality. When it comes to the ecosystem, you have a severe negative impact as you participate in pollution through plastic bottle waste, and you encourage the rise of the carbon footprint as well.
Of course, we cannot overlook the fact that bottled water, due to storage conditions, the length of the road until it reaches the shelf off of which you buy it, the efficiency of the filtration process through which it has been passed, and so on, could actually be even more damaging to your health than tap water. Even if the filtration system you install costs in the order of hundreds upfront, you end up saving money in the long run as you pay a few cents to hydrate with pure water at all times. Therefore, it is indeed a smart acquisition to make.
Why filtered water it is clearly better for your health
With filtered water, which is tap water that is passed through a thorough filtration process inside your home, efficiency depends on the type of system you install. There are quite a few types of water filtration systems to select between, whole house systems, under counter filters, reverse osmosis systems, to name a few. The smartest move for you to make is to test the water before acquiring the filtration system so that you know what the pollutants you are dealing with are. As you have a clear picture of what is the issue at hand, you can pick a system that is specially designed to handle removing those specific contaminants, and you are sure to drink 100% purified water each and every single day!