Most people would be surprised to learn that there is actually very little difference between most types of store-bought bottled water and tap water that you filter at home. Unless the label on the bottle specifically states that it contains mineral water from a named natural source, then you are basically drinking tap water that has been filtered or purified in some other way.
Labels that state that the water has been purified is no better than filtered water. In fact, some of these types of water can be more harmful than filtered water. Purified may mean that chemicals such as chlorine have been added to the water to eliminate most harmful impurities and microorganisms such as bacteria. These chemicals are toxic and can be harmful to the body especially when consumed over an extended period of time or in large volumes.
Let’s take a look at the different types of purified bottled water in comparison with filtered tap water to find out which is best.
Filtered Bottled Water
This type of water can be referred to in a number of different ways such as treated water, filtered water or even purified water. A range of different industrial filtering techniques is used in order to remove harmful chemicals and/or microorganisms and particles from the water. These techniques are similar to the filtration methods that can be used in the home except that they are applied on a much larger scale. The bottled water is therefore very much the same as household tap water that has been filtered.
However, there is one major difference between the two and that is in the bottle itself. Toxins from plastic bottles can leak into the water and can be hazardous to your health. Never reuse disposable plastic water bottles. These bottles are also not environmentally friendly no matter what it says on the label. It is far better for your health and to reduce your carbon footprint by opting for filtered tap water than buying bottled water. Not to mention how much money you will save.
Purified bottled water may or may not be filtered. The purification technique that is used normally involves chemicals that are added to the water. These chemicals kill or destroy harmful pathogens in the water in order to purify it. The chemicals that are used in this purification process are also toxic to the human body. The most common chemical that is used in purification is chlorine. The same chemical that is added to your pool to keep the water clean, clear and sparkling.
Water treatment plants also use chlorine to provide safer and cleaner tap water. Unfortunately, regular home filtration systems do not remove chlorine or chloride from the water. However, purified bottled water contains more chemicals than tap water because they are added to tap water that already contains these chemicals. It is best to think carefully about the chemicals that you are putting into your body the next time you reach for a bottle of purified water.
Reverse osmosis uses a filtration method that removes the tiniest particles from the water (bypassing the liquid through a very fine filter) including the harmful chemicals that are contained in purified or tap water. This is one of the methods that are used to deliver truly pure water. However, the purification process also removes minerals that are extremely important to your health including calcium and magnesium. Studies have shown that people who only drink reverse osmosis water suffer from mineral deficiencies and electrolyte imbalances that affect their health. There have even been a few reported deaths as a result of these deficiencies.
Filtering water ensures that all those essential minerals are left behind while all harmful pathogens are removed from your drinking water. While the process does leave behind some of the chemicals that are used to treat tap water, these have never resulted in fatalities or serious illness.
Distilled water has been boiled to produce steam or vapor which is then collected and bottled. This process eliminates all harmful pathogens, chemicals, and minerals from the water. Although this is another method of achieving entirely purified water, the lack of minerals is once again a problem. In addition, the distillation process does result in the loss of some water into a vapor that does not condense, especially if distillation is being performed at home without the correct equipment.
Mineral water refers to water that is obtained from a natural source. This water is generally not purified or filtered other than to remove any visible particles. This water is packed with the minerals zinc, magnesium and calcium which are good for your health. However, the one detracting feature is once again that plastic bottle which is hazardous to the environment and your health.
Filtered Tap Water
Filtered tap water retains all those essential minerals while eliminating any potentially harmful impurities. Although the filtration method does not remove purification chemicals like chlorine (chloride), some filtration systems can remove fluoride which is added to tap water. Although bottled water may seem more convenient in the long run, it can be far more beneficial to your health and the environment to bottle your own filtered tap water.
Placed in a sealed container, your filtered water can be stored for up to six months. However, it is best to use glass, ceramic or stainless steel containers that have been sterilized rather than plastic water bottles. Water should also be stored in a cool dark place like your refrigerator. Remember that your water filtration system should be well maintained and the filters changed on a regular basis. There is a wide range of water filtration systems available to suit your purification needs.
While all types of water, including household filtered water, can be called purified water as it has passed through a process that is meant to eliminate impurities, they do not all provide the same benefits. Filtered tap water is the same as, if not better than, most types of bottled water.