Which should I choose: tap, bottle, or filter?

To many people, drinking water didn't used to be such a big deal. As a child, you may have sipped from the tap or from park water fountains, or when you were hot you may have chugged down water straight from the gardening hose.

Nowadays, diligence about health and safety leads us to spend millions and millions each year on bottled water, filters, and water purifying systems. Is it worth it or are we pouring our money right down the drain; or, in the case of plastic water bottles, onto a landfill? Consider the following pros and cons as you decide which you should choose: tap, bottled, or filtered water.

Tap water

Pro: Tap water in Canada is tightly regulated by the provinces and territories through the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality.

Pro: Aside from municipal fees, tap water is practically free.

Con: To some, tap water tastes unpleasant. The taste of water varies from place to place, depending on its source and what is used in its treatment process.

Con: Despite methodical treatment, public water can become contaminated by environmental pollutants or during flooding.

Bottled water

Pro: For a busy, on-the-go populace, bottled water offers a convenient choice.

Pro: Health Canada regulates bottled water safety, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency enforces safety standards for bottled water. As new health and safety standards are created for tap water, bottled water standards adapt accordingly.

Pro: The type of plastic used in most bottled water containers, polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE), is considered a safe plastic. You'll know PET plastic by the recycling code No. 1, which is stamped on the bottom of bottles. Only use a PET plastic bottle for its intended single use and then properly recycle it. Using it more than once can turn the bottle into a microbe breeding ground.

Con: Drinking bottled water exclusively means that you might be missing out on the benefit of fluoride, which is added to some municipal water supplies.

Con: Bottled water is much more expensive. The cost of convenience extends beyond your wallet. A bottle of water passes through several costly channels in its lifespan: pre-treatment, purification, processing and filtration, mineral injection, testing, bottling, coding and labelling, and transportation. And that's just bottled water's path to your lips.

Con: Once you've finished with a one-use bottle, a whole new set of costly processes begins. Though recyclable, many water bottles are either incinerated or discarded, ending up in crowded landfills.

Filtered or purified water

Pro: A variety of choices exist, from small filtering pitchers for the fridge to systems that purify a home's entire water system. You can choose based on your individual needs and budget.

Pro: Filtration systems improve the taste of tap water. Chlorine gets added to municipal water to clean it, but it can leave behind a taste some people find displeasing.

Con: Maintenance costs can get pricey. Filters need to be changed regularly in order to remain effective.

Con: The filters on these systems mostly grab the larger particles and contaminants. Some of the finer, smaller pollutants may slip through and into your water.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2022. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/Water-Whats-New