Water and Your Health: Top Reasons to Avoid Drinking Bottled H2O

Even with a robust plumbing and public water system, bottled water has not only survived, but thrived — partially because of the prevailing idea that tap water isn’t at all healthy for you (but more on that later).

Bottled water is a popular commodity that often shows up at businesses and professional meetings, in the average home for parties or just to have around the house.

While bottled water can be useful in a business setting, at large gatherings or as a means for storing water in the event of a disaster, its place in our everyday lives is a bit of an anomaly for several reasons.

The old adage “You get what you pay for” doesn’t really apply to bottled water, because at the end of the day, it’s still just that– water.

Image Courtesy of ShutterStock

Image Courtesy of ShutterStock

So, with respect to the valid reasons for bottled water’s existence, let’s look at some of the reasons that may not be worth paying for:

1. Not Safer or Better Than Tap Water

We’ve been led to believe that across the board, bottled water is cleaner and safer than tap water. In some cases this might be true, depending on whether you’re using a city water line or well water. There are all kinds of quality concerns that come into place, but generally speaking, the water from your tap is perfectly safe to drink.

At the end of the day, water is water, regardless of whether it comes from a bottle or from the faucet. With the highly advanced plumbing and purification systems in our country, you shouldn’t base your desire for bottled water on the assumption that it’s safer for consumption.

2. More Expensive

Buying bottled water means that you’re essentially paying more than what you would pay if you just drank water from your tap, but after discovering that it is not necessarily safer for you to drink, is it still worth the price?

You already get a water bill every month, so if we’re willing to concede that tap water isn’t any worse or better than bottled water, buying bottled water (which costs more per gallon than tap water) is a waste of money.

3. Exempt from FDA Guidelines

Testing for E. coli and fecal bacteria is heavily enforced for tap water by the FDA, but the same cannot be said when it comes to bottled water. While tap water is tested upwards of 100-times per month for contamination, bottled water is usually only tested once a week.

So, this should put the safety argument to rest. If anything, you’ve got reason to believe that tap water, because of heavier regulation, is the safer option.


Maybe you’re not a fan of bottled water, but the water from your tap just doesn’t seem “kosher.” It might taste funny to you, have a slight sulfuric odor or there’s something about it you just don’t trust. If that’s the case, you do have some other options.

Brita filters are fairly reliable, though the replacement cartridges are a bit expensive. Other companies, like Bobble and Nava, make water bottles and pitchers with filtering systems built into the bottle itself.

The bottom line is that you don’t have to spend a constant outgoing flow of money on bottled water under false pretenses. You can fix weird tap water, but you can’t get back all the money that you spend on the bottled stuff.

Today’s guest writer is Virginia Cunningham, a freelance writer and health enthusiast in Southern California. As a writer for NorthWest, she has the opportunity to share everything she has learned about personal health and wellness. What else have you been led to believe about bottled H2O? Share your comments below!

Categories: Nutrition & Wellness

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