The importance of water is well explained through the saying 'water is life'. Healthy living starts with proper and safe drinking water. There are two types of drinking water as mentioned below. Furthermore, before the two can be compared, one needs to understand each of them first.
It is also referred to as running water, and is the common household water that every individual receives in the house. In developing countries, majority of the population use this water for drinking. Hence, public health issues are more or less associated with availability of clean and pure water.
There is a possibility that drinking water may contain disinfectants (chlorine and chlorine dioxide), disinfection byproducts (chlorite and bromate), organic chemicals (chlorobenzene), and inorganic chemicals (barium and copper). Some government policies suggested adding fluoride in the same, as a step for good dental health. However, many people are opposed to the idea and hence, adding fluoride compounds in it has become a controversial issue.
It is the water packaged in bottles and sold commercially in the market for drinking purposes. In the United States, it is the fastest growing commercial beverage. Each state has its own regulations regarding the quality of drinking water. However, the rules are more stringent in developed countries as compared to developing countries. For example, in the United States, the government has set certain quality standards for this water. It is also mandatory for every manufacturing company to label the water quality and the bottle.
A Comparison, therefore...
The debate whether which one is safer among the two for drinking purposes is still ongoing. It is to be noted that the level of contamination in tap water varies depending upon the country. In the United States, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) establishes public drinking water (tap water) standards; whereas it is the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) that regulates bottled water standards.
The basic issue is the affordability; the tap water is much cheaper than the bottled water. Hence, for many people, difference in the cost is the major consideration.
Though, the latter is claimed to be safer than the former, there are no standard requirements for testing parasite content and toxic chemicals in the latter; whereas certain requirements are set for former, before it is released for public use. For this reason, people with a compromised immune system, such as the people affected by diabetes and cancer are not recommended to use bottled water.
According to a study conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council (Sierra Club) in 1999, it was found that the quality of the two were the same. In fact, more than 25 percent of bottled water was tap water, packaged in bottles. Campaigns were organized in order to make the public aware of the water facts and minimize the use of bottled water. Following this issue, its use of was banned in many states, such as San Francisco and Chicago.
Also, the use of the same results in several environmental issues. It is a fact that for manufacturing one liter, more than six liters of water is required, thereby resulting in the wastage of water. Though, the bottles can be sent for plastic recycling, many are dumped in trash bins. Hence, due to these reasons, environmentalists strongly oppose their use.
Disclaimer: This NutriNeat article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.