3 reasons why drinking tap water is better

Published in For the Health of It Author: Janet Handrigan,MD

It’s better to drink bottled water than a sugary drink but tap water is an even better choice. I’ll explain why.

Environmental impact

Most people think of the environment when they choose tap water. A million plastic bottles are purchased every minute in the world. Only about nine percent of those bottles are recycled. The rest end up in landfills or the ocean.

Health impact

What many people don’t consider is how bottled water affects your body. Let’s start at the top with your mouth.

In the U.S., community water sources have added fluoride to levels designed to prevent tooth decay. Regularly rinsing with and drinking tap water helps keep your mouth clean of bacteria. Tooth decay is preventable but still one of the most common chronic diseases that affect U.S. children and adolescents. Did you know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified adding fluoride to tap water as one of the 10 most important public health achievements of the 20th century?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates tap water to ensure it meets the Safe Drinking Water Act standards. Minnesota’s water safety also is regulated by the state. More than 75 percent of Minnesotans get their drinking water from community water sources.

Most bottled water containers are made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and contain additional additives from plastic synthesis processes. These chemicals can leach into the water — especially if the bottles are degraded from heat or wear and tear. For this reason, you should never refill a plastic water bottle.

Financial impact

According to the Beverage Marketing Corporation, Americans spend $16 billion per year on bottled water. And think of the resources spent to package, ship and dispose of water bottles.

Water is the best healthy beverage choice. And tap water is safe, better for the environment, less expensive and offers health benefits such as fluoride that may be lacking in many bottled water products.