Dispelling The Myths About Tap Water

Drinking water is vital to human health and there are varying recommendations on how much to drink and when to drink it, but, most importantly, where to drink it from. American Water is always focused on providing our customers with clean, safe, reliable drinking water. We are constantly looking for ways to improve water quality using innovative technology that provides smarter, safer and more efficient water service. With so much confusion around the topic, there are a few myths surrounding drinking tap water – and we’re ready to tap into the truth. 

MYTH: You should avoid drinking tap water—it’s not always safe.   

The TRUTH: Tap water is completely safe to drink. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the United States has one of the safest sources of drinking water. As an American Water customer, you can trust that we work tirelessly to provide you with clean, safe drinking water. We consistently meet or surpass all local and federal drinking water quality standards. 

MYTH: Bottled water is better quality than tap water.

The TRUTH: Tap water and bottled water are often virtually the same. More than 25% of bottled water comes from a municipal supply. The EPA, which regulates tap water, has more rigorous water quality standards, stronger inspection rigor and stricter consumer information disclosure practices than the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates bottled water. By meeting and surpassing federal and local drinking water quality standards, we know our customers can feel confident in the safety and quality of the water that flows from their taps.   

MYTH: How you get your water doesn’t affect the environment.

The TRUTH: Choosing tap water is environmentally friendly. By refilling reusable containers with tap water, you are also cutting down on single-use plastic. The energy used each year making the bottles needed to meet the demand for bottled water in the United States is equivalent to more than 17 million barrels of oil—enough to fuel over 1 million cars for a year. Every year, about 6 billion pounds of plastic bottles are thrown out. Only 30% are recycled and, of that, only one-fifth will be processed into fresh plastic bottles. When not recycled, that bottle that takes just three minutes to drink, can take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade. It is estimated that over half a trillion plastic bottles will be sold in 2020.

We strive to help reduce the need for bottled water by delivering quality drinking water directly to our customers. By choosing tap water and using a reusable container, you can take pride in the fact that you are reducing plastic waste and contributing to a more sustainable future for yourself and future generations.

MYTH: Buying bottled water is worth it.

The TRUTH: Drinking tap water can save you A LOT of money. When bottled water is collected from a municipal supply, then treated and purified, it is often sold at a thousand-fold increase in price. According to the International Bottled Water Association, the trade group representing bottlers and distributors of packaged water, bottled water now outranks soda as the largest beverage category by volume in the U.S., with wholesales nearing $16 billion in 2016.

On average, bottled water costs nearly 2,000 times more than the water coming out of your faucet. By providing quality drinking water through that affordable tap, we hope to help the environment and meet our customers’ needs at a fraction of the cost. 

To learn more about the quality of your water, click here and view your local water quality report.