Tap or Bottle?
‘Is tap water good for you?’ it’s an age-old question that I feel I’ve heard a range of answers to. Having heard different pros and cons from people, I decided to do some research to find out what exactly are the effects of tap water.
There are many pros for drinking tap water. According to water.org, tap water is the most supervised drink, with millions of tests performed on it annually to ensure that it is at the best quality possible. If you live in the UK you can even check your region’s latest tap water quality result on your specific water company’s website. The high level and standard of testing of tap water means that bacterial and chemical contaminants are very unlikely to be found. Affordability wise it’s hard to beat and it’s pretty convenient too (with it literally being free from most taps!)
However, there are some downsides to tap water. The biggest issue is that in order to sanitise tap water correctly chemical disinfectants such as chlorine and chloramine must be used. This process (although very carefully regulated) has its risks and can affect those affected by skin diseases such as eczema. Chemical disinfection can also give tap water a bit of a strange taste and smell which can turn some people off drinking it.
Whilst looking into the effects of tap water pH appeared to be quite heavily connected to it, so I thought I would try and delve into this further. Part of the testing of tap water involves ensuring that pH is kept strictly within the parameters of water is considered to be safe; this is between 6.5 to 9.5 but tends to be on the more alkaline side. This fact in itself can be an advantage or a disadvantage! Alkaline water is considered to be better for you; there are thought to be many benefits of drinking it such as aiding of the immune system, weight loss and even possible anti-aging properties! However, there is still more scientific research needed to definitively prove this. Conversely, too much alkaline water can lead to metabolic alkalosis which can cause symptoms such as nausea, hand tremors and confusion.
So, is tap water better for us or should we all just stick to the bottled alternative? Tap water has many benefits and risks and at the end of the day it’s up to you to make that decision for yourself, but with 94% of the British population reporting to be satisfied with their tap water it would seem that, for many, the pros outweigh the cons.