“What’s the best water to drink: tap or filtered?” This is a question that the health community has been asking for quite a while. Tap water and filtered water are technically very similar fluids. They come from the same source, for instance, and are handled mostly the same way. So, the real question is, what does filtered water bring to the dining table that tap water cannot?
To answer this, one must understand the “journey” natural water takes from the freshwater source to the user’s sink. This journey is also called water treatment, and it’s carried out by the respective government of a country, as well as other designated institutions to give the public a potable water source.
Most people will claim that drinking water straight from your own faucet is gross, which is understandable because when you think about water sources that are accessible to cities and what they contain, you would imagine animal waste, plastic materials, trees, dead fauna and more. All of these factors will bring new hazards to the drinking water. Therefore, before reaching the people, everything from waterborne infectious organisms to chemical waste must be filtered out.
Without getting too much into details, tap water usually goes through several processes with the help of the water treatment facilities. For instance, to kill any kind of infectious organism, chemical substances are added and their pond-like flavor is removed. Afterward, it goes through industrial-grade sand filters before being treated with chemicals such as fluoride and chlorine.
Although from a health point of view, chlorine doesn’t do much harm to the human body, some experts and the public still consider tap water to be dangerous. That might push users towards drinking carbonated drinks, alcohol or even bottled water. That being said, let’s talk about what’s the best water to drink: tap or filtered?
Right from the get-go, it’s important to address the existence of bottled water. Bottled water is, without a doubt, one of the easiest ways of acquiring a reliable drink at a fair price. Or is it?
Oftentimes, manufacturers will claim that they sell natural spring water. Wherein, in the end, turns out to be filtered tap water. That aside, the packaging is the biggest issue with bottled water.
Plastic bottles contribute to the carbon footprint, being a conscious attack on the environment. Thus, drinking either tap or filtered water can reduce the carbon footprint and save the user a lot of money, all while providing the same amount of nutrition. However, further filtering tap water might be better than directly drinking the treated water coming from the faucet.
While tap water is usually a very safe source of drinking water. Isolated instances have taught mankind that it is better to be safe again than to be sorry. From viruses and bacteria to heavy metals leaking into the water flow and pipes. A number of health risks can be associated with unfiltered tap water.
True, these instances are very uncommon because, as mentioned above, the state controls and regulates water treatment equipment, but who would want to take the risk, right?
UV filters can be very expensive for the average consumer, but it is definitely a worthy investment. For one, they’re very energy efficient and potent in killing all waterborne pathogens. Your water is not only filtered but also sterilized by bringing the water to UV light.
Nonetheless, this costly measure should be taken only by those who suffer from very weak immune systems since there are other effective and more affordable options.
Reverse osmosis is basically a chemical-free way of removing any type of contaminants from tap water. By using a semipermeable membrane, the user will receive nothing but clean water.
It’s very wasteful because a lot of water is discarded in the filtration phase. For each gallon of clear water, about four gallons of water is usually wasted.
Active carbon is the most common type of filtration method. It’s great for removing chemicals, colors, and odors from tap water. The very dense and porous active charcoal will trap contaminants such as chlorine. This turns gross tap water into essentially bottled water.
This is the most cost-effective way to maintain a tasty and safe supply of water. Another plus of the active carbon filters is the ability to apply them to a number of items. They can give the user freedom to bring safe drinking water anywhere they go.
Government officials and a lot of organizations around the world are currently trying to do more for a cleaner future. Together with the rapidly increasing population, having restricted resources makes excellent resource management a priority. Although the solution itself is global, in order to be efficient it must be implemented at an individual level.
That implies that a more sustainable way of life is to drink tap or filtered water. The carbon footprint generated by plastic bottle manufacturers is a major contributor to the greenhouse effect. So, it’s important that everyone pitches in if humans are to survive for another 600,000 years.
Admittedly, tap water can have a nasty taste, so investing in a filter might be the easiest way of helping the environment. Charcoal filters are arguably cheap and yield copious amounts of water before they need to be replaced. While certain users might require more sophisticated solutions, these are generally the best value choice for the average consumer.
In the spirit of proper resource management, make sure to keep a cool head when shopping for a water filter. Filters tend to get more expensive as the technology used becomes more sophisticated.
That is why it’s important to find out what contaminants are present in the water supply in question. There are also simple tests that can initially check your tap water’s condition similar to water filters used at home.
Jack Wilson is a water treatment consultant as well as a topic researcher and post editor for all posts on bestpurifiation.com.