Bottled water vs tap water.. is it just a matter of taste?
Many people all over the globe choose to drink bottled water for a multitude of different reasons. Taste, cleanliness and accessibility all enter the equation, but we have delved into some bottled water facts to see if you think bottled water is better!
Although all water is made up of two hydrogen atoms and an oxygen atom, this is not all that is in the water we drink. Water that is only made up of these collections of atoms is known as ultra-pure water and can actually do you harm! The water we drink is packed full of small particles, salts, sugars and additives that means it can be absorbed by your cells, but also alters the way it tastes.
Most of the water we drink from the tap comes from reservoirs, lakes, streams and other sources of surface water. This means it has to be purified in quite a harsh way that removes the bacteria, but also some of those vital particles that help it taste better. Because that water is then pumped through closed system pipes, chlorine has to be added as this kills the bacteria that grows on the inside of water mains and storage tanks. Chlorine is a highly toxic substance, so even though there is not enough in the water to make you ill, it definitely doesn’t help the flavour!
Bottled water however is bottled under much more delicate conditions. The water that Edgar’s Water supplies for example, comes from deep underground where the ground has already naturally filtered out most of the toxins. We then draw it up through our borehole in Kent before it then gets gently filtered and stored in specially-designed breathable stainless-steel tanks. This means our water – and bottled water in general – retains loads more of those all-important flavour particles!
“Why isn’t all water made this way?” I hear you ask!
The reason is down to cost. The harsher filtration methods and chlorination are cheap and easy methods for local councils to carry out. The reason you pay a premium for bottled water is down to the cost of making it, local councils simply wouldn’t be able to meet demand for the cost we pay for bulk tap water.
In the UK we are very lucky to have ‘safe’ drinking water along with most developed countries such as New Zealand, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Austria, France, Norway and Switzerland just to name a few. Safe drinking water is not a given in a vast majority of countries, and if travelling abroad – even if the water is deemed safe – it is always a good idea to drink bottled water as your body may not be used to the local additives or surviving bacteria. Bottled water is normally always safe due to the way it is made, just remember to check that the cap is security sealed before you consume it.