Tap water (running water) is part of indoor plumbing, which became available in the late 19th century and common in the mid-20th century. The provision of tap water requires a massive infrastructure of piping, pumps, and water purification works. The direct cost of the tap water alone, however, is a small fraction of that of bottled water, often as little as 0.01%.
In most parts of the world, the same water supply that is used for drinking is also used for washing, flushing toilets (water closets), washing machines, and dishwashers. Experimental attempts have been made to introduce non-potable greywater or rainwater for these secondary uses in order to reduce enormous environmental and energy costs. In urban China, drinking water can be optionally delivered by a separate tap.
In other parts of the world (particularly third-world countries), tap water is not clean enough to drink. It may have to be boiled, filtered, or (more recently) ozonized at home. People who live in these parts of the world often prefer to purchase bottled water.
The availability of clean tap water brings major public health benefits. Usually, the same administration that provides tap water is also responsible for the removal and treatment before discharge or reclamation of wastewater.
In many areas, fluoride is added to the tap water as a means to improve public dental health. This remains a controversial issue in the health, freedoms and rights of the individual.
Tap water may contain various types of natural but relatively harmless contaminants such as scaling agents like calcium carbonate in hard water and metal ions such as magnesium and iron, and odoriferous gases such as hydrogen sulfide. Local geological conditions affecting groundwater are determining factors of the presence of these substances in water.
Tap water is an alternative to bottled water, and is preferred by many Americans because their water wholesalers and water companies claim to provide pure, clean and healthy water to consumers.
In the year 2007, it was found that some bottled water companies were selling water that was contaminated and less healthy for consumers than tap water. The Natural Resources Defense Council conducted a four year study on bottled water. The results of this study show that one-third of the bottled water tested contained levels of contamination which exceeds allowable limits under either state or bottled water industry standards or guidelines.
Many large corporations and some water companies and wholesalers, especially in the California Bay Area are now making a large effort to promote tap water over bottled water. Some of the Bay Area cities that promote tap over bottled water include San Francisco, Emeryville, Santa Clara, and Oakland. The Santa Clara Valley Water District in Santa Clara County launched its tap v bottled water campaign, with the slogan, “Tap Water, the Clear Choice”, in 2007. The District's campaign is found at its Tap v Bottled Site. During the 2007 U.S Conference of Mayors, the mayors of San Francisco, Salt Lake City and Minneapolis signed a pledge to promote tap water over bottled water as part of the “Think Outside the Bottle” campaign.
Bottled water is drinking water packaged in bottles for individual consumption and retail sale.
The water used can be glacial water, spring water, well water, purified water as well as public water sources (ie, tap water). Many countries, particularly developed countries, regulate the quality of bottled water through government standards, typically used to ensure that water quality is safe and labels accurately reflect bottle contents. In many developing countries, however, such standards are variable and are often less stringent than those of developed nations.
Today, bottled water companies are under attack as consumer's concerns about the environment increase. Packaging and shipping water consumes energy and contributes to global warming. Empty bottles add to litter and solid waste. And, as a rule, bottled water is no safer or healthier than the H2O that flows from municipal water systems. The Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club and World Wildlife Federation have all urged their supporters to consume less bottled water and more and more corporate accountability campaigns like "Think Outside the Bottle" are starting to appear. Many believe that bottled water is no better than tap water and that home water filtration may also be a viable option.
About 25% of bottled water sold is simply re-processed/used municipal(city) water according to a 1999 study in the United States. Both Aquafina from Pepsi-Cola Company and Dasani from The Coca-Cola Company are reprocessed from municipal water systems. Some bottled waters, such as Penta Water make unverified health benefit claims. While there have been few comprehensive studies, one analysis several years ago found that about 22 percent of brands that were tested contain, in at least one sample, chemical contaminants at levels above strict state health limits. If consumed over a long period of time, some of these contaminants could cause cancer or other health problems. In addition, 60 to 70 percent of all bottled water in the U.S. is packaged and sold in a state that is not regulated by the FDA. In the United States, 1 in 5 states do not regulate bottled water. The FDA reports that:"about 75 percent of bottled water sold in the U.S. comes from natural underground sources, which include rivers, lakes, springs and artesian wells." The other 25% comes from municipal sources, which are the “sources” of two leading brands of bottled water--Dasani (Coca-Cola) and Aquafina (PepsiCo). Bottled water processed with distillation or reverse osmosis lacks fluoride ions which are sometimes naturally present in groundwater, or added at a water treatment plant and which has an effect on the inhibition of cavity formation; the drinking of distilled water may conceivably increase the risk of tooth decay due to a lack of this element.However, most people continue to cook with common tap water and this is thought to potentially provide sufficient fluoride to maintain normal prophylaxis in many instances. Any other minerals in tap water such as calcium and magnesium are present in such minuscule amounts that their absence is compensated for many thousands of times over by other dietary sources. On the other hand, some people wish to avoid exposure to fluoride, particularly systemic ingestion of fluoride in drinking water, and may choose such bottled water for this feature. Bottled water is typically printed with expiration dates. Even if the water itself is pure, a plastic container may leak chemicals such as phthalates, or Bisphenol A into the bottled water. . Storage in cool and dark places helps reduce leaching of these chemicals. Industry associations claim "bottled water can be used indefinitely if stored properly." If the original water bottled is not pure, especially if it contained biological contaminants, then the water quality will continue to degrade regardless of the storage container or conditions.
Mineral water is water containing minerals or other dissolved substances that alter its taste or give it therapeutic value. Salts, sulfur compounds, and gases are among the substances that can be dissolved in the water. Mineral water can often be effervescent. Mineral water can be prepared or can occur naturally.
Traditionally mineral waters would be used or consumed at their source, often referred to as taking the waters or taking the cure, and such sites were referred to as spas, baths or wells. Spa would be used when the water was consumed and bathed in, bath when the water was not generally consumed, and well when the water was not generally bathed in. Often an active tourist centre would grow up around a mineral water site (even in ancient times). Such tourist development resulted in spa towns and hydropathic hotels (often shortened to Hydros).
In modern times, it is far more common for mineral waters to be bottled at source for distributed consumption. Travelling to the mineral water site for direct access to the water is now uncommon, and in many cases not possible (because of exclusive commercial ownership rights). There are over 3000 brands of mineral water commercially available worldwide. The U.S. FDA classifies mineral water as water containing at least 250 parts per million total dissolved solids (TDS), and is also water coming from a source tapped at one or more bore holes or spring, originating from a geologically and physically protected underground water source. No minerals may be added to this water.
· 1 decade ago