Water – tap or bottle

5 February, 2018

Water is a crucial element of our world. Widely used in all areas of everyday life – from agriculture, through industry to domestic use. The human body consists of 60 – 70% of water. Drinking fluids is important for proper functioning and efficiency of the organism. With the growth of world’s population, we are experiencing rapid growth of water demand. But what do we actually know about it? Which water is better for us? Is there any difference in taste and features?

Water is the main element of every cell in human body. For this reason, it is not a surprise that we need a right level of hydration to function. Maintaining the high level of body fluids has an impact on brain’s work, therefore, improves our mood, drops the level of anxiety and fatigue.

Water helps to reduce toxins in blood through more efficient kidneys performance. It is also a great tool to control body weight by improving bowels movements, reducing hunger and speeding up the metabolism.

It also energizes muscles and hydrates joints what helps during exercises. Water makes our skin shine, soft and smooth so we look healthier because we are healthier. Lack of water in our organism (dehydration) can be a dangerous condition especially for infants and elderly people. Symptoms are:

  • less frequent urination,
  • dizziness,
  • weakness,
  • confusion,
  • thirst,
  • dry mouth

and in babies additionally, no tears while crying, dry soft spot, no wet diapers, lethargy and irritability. Treatment is very straightforward – drinking fluids like water, juices and diluted squashes. In more serious conditions you should see your GP.

Once we decide to drink water, we face another dilemma. Shall we buy the bottled? Should it be mineral or spring? Or the best solution is to fill up the bottle from the tap? The answers to these questions are not easy.

Spring water is collected from underground and must be bottled at the source. It contains traces of minerals and undergoes the process of filtration to match the pollution regulations. Natural mineral water, like spring water, is collected from an underground source but has to be officially recognised and can’t be treated. Instead, it is tested for minimum 2 years before it can be approved as safe to drink. The source is then monitored on regular basis to keep certification. It has to contain a minimum of 250 ppm of trace mineral to be considered as “mineral”.

Tap water is delivered from the public sources that are put under very strict tests and regulations. Level of pollutants is checked on a daily basis to make sure that it is safe for consumption. Tap water may contain traces of heavy metals because of the piping used for transportation but they cannot exceed safety norms. It is also treated with chlorine to prevent bacterial infections. By contrast, bottled water is put under different regulations (similar to food products) and is tested much less frequently even though it is more likely to develop harmful substances once unsealed. The time between manufacturing bottled water and consumption can take up to a few months. It doesn’t contain chlorine and when opened has to be drunk in 2 – 3 days. It is confirmed that PET bottles are made of most dangerous sort of plastic that can transmit toxins to the water when it is kept too long inside.

Collection, bottle production, treatment, storage, packaging and transportation increase the cost of bottled water significantly. Some sources inform that cost might be even 1000 times higher. Taste tests carried out on clients proved that there is no difference between both of them.

In the last few decades consumption of bottled water has increased to become £2bn business annually just in the UK. From the quality and taste point of view, there is no difference comparing it to the tap water. However, the environmental impact of it is much more destructive. Water wastage, greenhouse gases emission, toxic chemicals and energy usage can have an irreversible influence on our planet.

We all should have a choice and make smart decisions. Bottled water is not an evil invention and can be sometimes very useful but we have to be clever when reaching for another plastic bottle from the shop shelf. We should think of filtering water at home and refilling the bottles. In the world where 10% of the population still don’t have reliable access to clean water, it should be a cheap and easily accessible pleasure for everyone.