Let’s face it we talk about water a lot! It is the number one most important beverage that you need to consume every day due to its variety of health benefits. Some of those include aiding in weight loss, alleviating sicknesses and illnesses such as a cold or flu, keeps you hydrated which allows your body, brain, skin and muscles to function better. And it is easily the best beverage to support a healthy lifestyle. But since we talk about water so much, do we take the time to fully understand it? Or the source of the water that we consume? Let’s dive a little deeper and ask do you know the safety of the water you are drinking? We already know the advantages and the health benefits of consuming water, but do we know the source of the water we are consuming?
Easily the most convenient source of water is running tap water, we simply just turn on the tap, fill up a glass and drink the water. Our primary relationship with tap water is that we need to stay hydrated, in most cases there’s not much thought or awareness with this process, but just that we get in that healthy consumption of water for the day. But let’s talk about tap water a little bit so that we get a better understanding. To begin with, running tap water is much cheaper due to its easy availability. We consume tap water not only for drinking but for a variety of household commitments such as cooking, cleaning and watering the garden. Tap water in most cases is maintained by the municipality in your city or state and regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which has the authority to monitor all public water systems and sets safety standards regarding the contaminants in drinking water. Public water systems could be a lake, reservoir or dam which are the source of the water that comes into your home. These systems are maintained with laws and regulations that allow for the safe consumption of drinking water from any form of contamination. Contamination could be in a variety of ways, it could be bacteria and parasites from human and animal faecal matter, it could be a case of chemicals from industrial waste or conventional farming methods which requires spraying of crops and artificial fertilizers. Lead poisoning in municipal water is a case of lead leaching either from old underground lead pipes or the improper disposal of waste and pollutants. These forms of contaminants in water may cause health problems which is why the simple processes of sometimes filtering your water with a home water filter or distilling your water, where you boil your water first before drinking, may lower the risk of contaminants in your water. That’s not to say there are no contaminants in tap water, as tap water goes through a lengthy process and various mediums before it reaches your home. Filtration and distillation is an active choice of ensuring your own personal safety and how you consume your tap water in your home.
There is just something about bottled water, maybe it’s the fancy bottling and labels that come with bottled water that makes it so enticing. Or maybe it’s the associated health benefits that are attached to bottled water that makes us choose bottled water at any given chance, whether in our homes, at a restaurant, at a gathering or even at the gym. There is just something about bottled water that has made it a popular lifestyle choice and preferred beverage consumption in the past decade. So why bottled water? Bottled water has become an increasing lifestyle trend over the years, with an increase in consumption and a preference for a bottled water brand; such as Essentia, Evian and Waiakea just to name a few. Bottled water has become quite noticeable for not only its associated health benefits but the preference to have convenience in everyday life from having water stored in your car, at the gym or even in the comfort of your own home. The source of bottled water runs down to well water, spring water and mineral water – that has been commercially derived, stored, treated and monitored to eventually become bottled water that can be bought in shopping outlets. Bottled water is FDA regulated (American Food and Drug Administration), which means bottled water is essentially labelled as food and goes through the process of identification of the source (if it is mineral water or spring water). It goes through the regulation of any microbial or chemical contaminants with requirements on good manufacturing practices such as standard of boiling, bottling and labelling. So what are the health benefits of bottled water? Well, bottled water goes through a treatment process, much like tap water but bottled water is commercially stored before being packaged into bottles and shipped off. So high cases of contamination and poisoning may not be as adverse. But bottled water has its drawbacks when it comes to the pollution of plastic bottles (microplastics), and once opened the shelf life of the said water does not last very long if not properly stored which increases the problem of plastic pollution by throwing away the water and the bottle. Once more commercially stored water over a period of time could prove to be hazardous as the water is packed with chlorine before bottling and packaging. To conclude, the FDA does not have a strict mandatory testing program much like the EPA does with public water systems to check and monitor the safety of the water.
So are you team tap water or are you team bottled water? Well, that answer comes down to you, and what your lifestyle choices are. You can pick one over the other or you can choose to have them both. The two biggest factors are the quality of your water and the source of your water. In Between that, what other methods are you choosing to adopt or implement for the safety of your water to help you ease your mind? Other water filter options that can guarantee you water quality and peace of mind in your own home that you can adopt are activated carbon filters, ion exchange units, reverse osmosis units and distillation units. At the end of the day, water contaminants cannot be entirely avoided but can be managed to lessen their impact and effects on your drinking water. So open your tap or get yourself some bottled water, get a glass and pour up some water to drink, your body needs it.