Tap Water Just as Good as Bottled, Filtered Variants, Experts Say

In pursuit of being able to drink the best kind of water they can on a regular basis, people have taken to purchasing all kinds of bottled water and using filters, but some experts say that tap water is just as good.

NPR interviewed different experts and ask about how tap water stacked up to the other options available.

First off, Dan Heil, a professor of health and human performance at Montana State University said that as long as the tap water flowing into people's homes meets all the health and safety standards, then it should be "perfectly fine."

Heil believes that with the prevalence of other options, the tap has become "underrated" in terms of being a source of healthy water.

Stuart Batterman, a professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Michigan, added that "In general, the drinking water quality in the U.S. is very good."

Water made available to U.S. residents via the tap is monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency. The agency has set up thresholds for the amount of chemicals, microorganisms and other contaminants in the water.

When discussing how filters can improve the tap water people are drinking, the experts said that they don't actually do that much.

Tanis Fenton, a registered dietitian and epidemiologist at the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary, said that filters can't do much to make people any safer because they "don't do anything" to weed out the amoeba, bacteria and viruses that could contaminate the water.

Neil Ward, an analytical chemistry professor at the University of Surrey in the U.K., even noted that drinking over-purified water could potentially be bad for people because they could have a reaction the next time they drink water that is not purified to the same degree.

Chief technical officer for the water filter company Mitte, Faebian Bastiman, said, however, that having a filter could protect people if there is something unsafe that has grown in the water pipes.

Batterman added that the systems operated by water utilities already feature disinfectants designed to prevent microbial growth.

The CDC noted that drinking water helps keep a person's body temperature normal, while also providing lubrication for the joints. Sensitive tissues and even the spinal cord can also be protected better by consuming water.

Water also helps people expel the waste buildup in their bodies in a variety of ways.