Is Bottled Water Safer than Tap Water?

For a while now there’s been an ongoing debate as to whether bottled water is safer than tap water and vice versa. Do you tend to feel more at ease drinking bottled water versus tap water? If you’re a tap water drinker, do you drink it straight from the tap or use a filter to help make sure your water is even cleaner?

People can’t often tell the difference between bottled water and tap water. Are they different? If so, what makes them different? Humans are made up of about 60% water. Hydration is important, and you want to make sure that the water you are drinking won’t make you sick. So, let’s get to the bottom of it and find out if bottled water really is safer than what comes out of the tap.

Tap Water

Tap water comes from local springs and rivers and is filtered through a water treatment plant before it reaches your cup. Tap water in the U.S. is regulated by EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency. EPA tests water for harmful contaminants and assures that the water you get is safe and healthy. They look out for over 90 contaminants. Safety limits are set for each contaminant to make sure they will not make people sick.

Unfortunately, there are still occurrences of tap water becoming contaminated. In these cases, either the water is completely undrinkable for a set amount of time, or the public is advised to boil their water before consuming it. Contamination can occur due to the local environment. Cities with large industrial plants or agriculture can put the local water supply at a higher risk.

Another potential issue is the quality of the pipes your tap water is running through. Older, badly maintained pipes and pipes made with older, no longer accepted materials like lead, will likely contaminate your water.

Drinking tap water has a lot of benefits. It is convenient, inexpensive, and does not negatively impact the environment. You also have the option to use a filter to further clean your tap water before drinking it. Just in case, you should continuously look out for color changes, cloudiness, and bad smells that could all be signs of contamination.

Bottled Water

You may not know where your bottled water is coming from. In fact, some bottled water is actually just water from the tap! Bottled water can also come from natural resources like fresh springs, or wells. You’ve probably also come across bottled mineral water. Depending on the nature of the source, this information can often be found right on the label. It’s regulated by the FDA instead of the EPA.

There are a lot more things to look out for when regulating bottled water. It’s delivered differently and has stringent requirements. The bottling company and transport company, for example, must meet sanitary standards.

Just like tap water, bottled water may contain potentially harmful contaminants. There is a chance for bottled water to contain microplastics. Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastics. It is not clear whether small amounts are harmful to humans. If found to be contaminated, bottled water is recalled.


There are pros and cons to both tap water and bottled water. In the end, both come out about the same when it comes to safety. Bottled water is more convenient but is a lot harder on the environment and costs more. Tap water is easier to access but you may want to get a filter to make sure it’s even cleaner. Both are regulated but can still become contaminated. It’s important to know how to spot the signs of dangerous water before consuming it. In addition to the systems that are in place to make sure you get good water, AquaKnow is also dedicated to making sure you’re drinking healthy water. We test the U.S. water to ensure it is safe. Click here to learn more.