Why I Drink Tap Water

\"H20\" by Diana Prichard

There was a time when I wouldn’t dream of drinking tap water. I’m not even really sure why that was anymore, but I think it had to do with my perception that it was somehow less than. Bottled water just seemed more appealing to me. However, over the past 12-18 months my perception on water has changed significantly.

What caused the change? I became concerned about some of the chemicals that are found in plastic water bottles when the Canadian government decided to prohibit the use of bisphenol A in baby bottles due to possible health concerns. I am not a baby, but at the time that these announcements were happening I was pregnant and then breastfeeding. The chemicals that enter my body, therefore, may be passed to my baby. And if bisphenol A was a concern, then what other chemicals might be lurking in a plastic water bottle?

The concerns over bottled water do not end with possible chemical contaminants. Bottling water is an energy-intensive process. It takes 3 times as much water to produce a bottle than the bottle itself contains, and 17 million barrels of oil are used to produce water bottles each year. That’s enough to fuel 1 million cars. And then the bottles full of water are shipped from the factory to destinations which can be on the other side of the globe, using even more energy.

When you’re finished with the water, what happens to the bottle? When you consider that almost all bottled water is sold in single-size bottles, you realize that is a lot of waste. It’s estimated at 28 billion bottles in the US alone, and only 1 in 5 are recycled. That means that tens of billions of plastic bottles end up in the landfill, where they will remain for tens of thousands of years before they decompose.

Tap water is clearly a much greener choice. It is also far, far cheaper. Where I live, I pay an annual utilities bill regardless of how much water I use. For me, tap water is essentially free, whereas bottled water is definitely not. In my hometown, and across North America, tap water is also subjected to far stricter regulations and monitoring than bottled water. You know what you are getting when you drink water from the tap, and you know where it is coming from.

How did I make the switch? I’ve opted to just drink my tap water straight up. At first I didn’t like the taste, but within a week or so I adapted and now I actually prefer it. My husband wasn’t so keen, so he started making ice cubes. By always having fresh ice on hand he can keep his water at the temperature that he likes straight from the tap, and he enjoys it more that way. And our whole family invested in some quality, durable re-usable water bottles, so that we can always have fresh water on the go.

What about you? Do you opt for tap or bottled, or do you use a filter? I’d love to know!

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You can catch up with Amber’s daily adventures on her blog at Strocel.com.

*Photo Credit: “H2O” by Diana Prichard

11 Responses to Why I Drink Tap Water
  1. Amy @ Raising Arrows
    December 28, 2009 | 6:21 pm

    I’m a fellow tap water drinker! Although I am tossing around the Burkey as an option.

  2. me and not you
    December 28, 2009 | 7:18 pm

    tap water all the way. We used to have a filter as the water here is apparently really hard and my husband refused to drink it (I think it’s better than where I grew up, which is probably why it doesn’t bother me). A lot of people around here don’t like water. We didn’t really use it enough, and so the water would go stale, and he still wasn’t drinking water, so when it broke, we didn’t replace it.

    I don’t do bottles because inevitably I forget them. I have a glass I use at my desk at work.

  3. Shannon
    December 28, 2009 | 9:11 pm

    I like the idea of using tap water. But our water really tastes nasty… sometimes totally gross. I occationally go to our neighbors house with plastic bottles and fill them up to use at home. I also put emergen-c in my water to take the taste of… and then sometimes I buy bottled water- reluctantly and with irritation. If I owned my house I’d probably get the well check and a filter put on it…. but I don’t and I just can’t afford that. Tap water or water from home that is run through a filter is the way to go though.

  4. Heather @ Marine Corps Nomads
    December 28, 2009 | 11:19 pm

    We have salty tap water, so it’s definitely NOT a good thing to drink. We can’t even use it in the coffee maker as it destroys it. :( We refill 3 and 5 gallon water bottles for our water cooler. We don’t use individual plastic water bottles. We like to fill up our stainless steel water bottles for when we’re out and about. (Well, my daughter and husband use them at home as well…)

  5. Philippa
    December 29, 2009 | 9:58 pm

    Tap water everyday for me. I have a worn out bottle that I have been using for almost a year and carry with me EVERYWHERE. Sometimes I use the water on my fridge door which is filtered.

  6. Paulina
    December 31, 2009 | 11:46 am

    We use tap water, but my husband (who is a licensed plumber) installed a reverse osmosis system under our kitchen sink. It’s the only water we drink in the house as the rest is just from the public utility. We sometimes have “boil water” orders and they don’t always get posted in a timely fashion. The reverse osmosis system sends the water through three filters, then in the holding tank, cleans with a black light anything that made it past the filter. I want to say it was about $200 and the replacement filters are about $50 and have to be changed every two years (or so, depending on use), but it has been worth not lugging and paying for bottled water. I have two half gallon jugs I fill and take with me to work – we all drink a lot of water now. I would recommend it highly to the people who commented on their water taste and/or quality.

    Another side note is that we use the RO water in our fish tank and have had the same 6 fish for over a year now…pretty good for $.19 fish!! :)

  7. Sara
    January 6, 2010 | 1:26 pm

    I prefer tap water when I am home. My sons doctor also recommends it as there is a good amount of iron in our city water. However, when I visit my parents house, I prefer filtered or bottled water. Their tap water tastes like a tin can.

  8. Susan (5 Minutes for Mom)
    January 16, 2010 | 4:03 pm

    I also have become more concerned about plastic water bottles.

    I drink water from the tap but use a Brita water filter. I hate the taste of chlorine if it’s not filtered.

  9. Sheep Dog
    January 18, 2010 | 1:02 pm

    While I agree with you that the excess use of plastic bottles is a sin, I would suggest you use glass bottled water, and refill it with spring water. Tap water, at least that produced and distributed by regulated governmental entities, has harmful chemicals added, such as chlorine and fluoride. Many countries believe this is forced medication. I agree with their assessment.

  10. Tap Water Quality
    February 22, 2010 | 2:48 pm

    I reuse glass bottles with filtered water.

  11. Leslie
    February 23, 2010 | 4:30 pm

    You know what…I use to be overly concerned about drinking water out of our tap, but then a friend of mine, who is extremely green, healthy, and only cooks with organic food, lovingly pointed out that if you shower/bathe/brush your teeth/etc in the same water that comes out of your tap, you are getting just as many chemicals in your body that way.

    Don’t know if she is right, but it does make sense to me. Especially if you shower in it! Might as well drink it!