What kind of water is best

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What kind of water is best for drinking, cooking and other household uses

What kind of water is best? Tap or bottled? Depending upon what you read, the answer can be a complex one. As well, what type of qualities are you looking for in your H2O? Taste? Or are you more interested in what's actually in the stuff -- The health implications?

Below, we'll take a quick look at both questions: taste and health concerns. We'll break down a Boston University study done on taste and also look at what constitutes bottled and tap varieties. In the end, it will be about personal preference, environmental notions, local supply quality, and bottling techniques.


At Boston University, students performed a test to see whether or not drinkers could tell the difference between tap and bottled varieties. They used tap from Boston and Vermont Pure bottled H2O as their two samples. Each student/test drinker took a smell of coffee grounds to help clear their palate before drinking each of the samples.

After taking sips from each cup, they put down their vote for which sample tasted the best and which they thought was tap. In the end -- of a total sample size of 67 testers -- only one-third of them could correctly identify the sample that was tap. Another third incorrectly identified the tap as bottled, while the remaining third who cast ballots couldn't tell a difference between the two.

It was found that the tap and bottled samples were safe to drink by both Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration standards. The Vermont Pure brand contained magnesium and calcium at higher levels, while the tap had more lead, copper, and phosphorous in its mix.

In addition to findings that show most people have a difficult time of telling tap and bottled apart, the BU study found that tap H2O was -- for the most part -- safe to consume.


Over at Yahoo, Thomas Trager delves into the issue of safety and health as it pertains to tap and bottled H2O. He cites a two year study completed by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) which found some startling conclusions on the bottled variety.

The tests done by the EWG found that the purity of bottled H2O was not always what it was made out to be. Case in point: Dasani bottles had to be recalled in the UK due to bromate contamination. And this wasn't all; it was found that Dasani was simply standard tap that was put through treatments prior to its bottling.

For most bottling questions, one must take into consideration bottling practices, location, and packaging. There has been contamination found in certain tap areas just like in the bottled variety. So, how do we find out more; find out if what we're drinking is really safe?

What Do We Do?

Head over to the EWG site to find local reports for your area. You'll be able to find out about your local H2O supply, browse through the lowest and highest ranked supplies in the U.S., and find links to environmental issues and more.

One can also look to the EPA site to find out about their local H2O quality report. For those looking to use tap and skip the bottled variety, home filtration systems can be the answer, as well. Whole home filtration systems provide some of the best technology and components in the marketplace today.

If it's not about taste, then it should be about health. Use bottled when necessary, but for ease of use and to be a little bit better to the environment, test out your tap options. With reports at the ready and filtration units filtering out clean and healthy water to your family, you'll know what kind of water is best.

Resources: Bottled vs. Tap: Which Tastes Better? Bottled Water or Tap Water: Which is Better for Your Health?

Above photo attributed to sskennel

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