During dinner the other night my son asked me, “Is tap water bad for you?”
Good question. Really good. I wasn’t quite sure how to answer him, because like so many things today, the answer is muddled by all the information out there.
This article at ReadersDigest.com gives some of the poop – I mean scoop on bottled water versus tap. Or maybe, more accurately – the tap water that comes out of the tap and the tap water that comes out of a bottle. It seems that a percentage of expensive bottled water doesn’t actually come from those pastoral mountain springs, filtered by rocks and dirt like water is supposed to be. Some of it comes out of pipes at the water bottling plant. Yum!
Now, at my house, we’ve been drinking bottled water for years. The reason I started paying to bring home three to four plastic gallon water jugs every week from the supermarket was because I was told the unseemly history of the pipes in my house. They’re old. Like – made of lead old, and that lead can seep into the water and cause lead poisoning.
For me, that’s reason enough to spend $0.75-$0.89 per gallon for something to drink. Even if it just comes out of copper pipes, at least it’s better than what I’m getting out of the sink. We still brush our teeth with town water, which fortunately in our little boro is not fluoridated. The pets drink tap water. Maybe that’s the reason they’re a little...you know...nuts? I don’t know, but I’m not taking any chances.
In addition to the lead thing, bottled water just tastes better, I think. And I was fine with that reasoning. Lead aside, I’m willing to pay for water that tastes good. [Not that I don’t pay for tap water mind you, but it’s a whole lot less.] Now I find out that while the water in my bottle might be only slightly healthier than what comes out of the tap, the container it comes in could be leeching harmful chemicals into it. The thought of getting cancer from my bottled water makes drinking something flavored with rocks and dirt seem more appealing. Heck, it makes the lead seem more appealing.
So what’s the solution? Is tap water bad for us? I told my son it was okay for him to grab a gulp from the water fountain at school after gym. Better than passing out from dehydration. Now I have to ask myself the question: Is bottled water better or worse than tap? Tap? Tap? Tap?