• Seaside Sustainability

Bottled Water vs. Your Tap

Updated: Sep 28

Written by: Krishayla Franklin

On your normal trip to the grocery store, you get your essentials: fruits and veggies, meats/proteins and…water? Many of us tend to go for that convenient 24 pack of our favorite brand of water or even just a bottle when we’re on the go. Well, did you know that you are doing more harm than good to yourself and the environment? The water itself may not always be safe for consumption. Unfortunately, 70 million bottles each day end up in landfills in the United States alone. 


Here is what we know: Plastics are created when fossil fuels, such as oil and gases, bond together. Over time, plastics break down those toxic chemicals and it goes directly into the water that you drink. Plastics are known to cause hormonal and neurological problems. There are even findings that plastics cause diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure. This is an issue because we can’t be positive that bottled water is free of contaminants as plastics break down over time. 


On top of the harm plastic can cause to us, we need to consider the harm it can do to our environment. When we toss our water bottles into the trash, they will most likely end up in landfills. Doesn’t seem so bad since you toss it in the trash, right? It’s important to understand that once it reaches the landfill, it will break down and start to mix with rainwater and other harmful substances in the landfill. What this creates is called Leachate. Leachate ends up back in our water as some is left over after treatment; still dangerous to people and the environment when it’s dumped back into our waterways


Tap water, the same water that you get at home, in public water fountains and your favorite restaurants, goes through municipal treatment facilities and is overseen by the EPA. The Safe Drinking Water Act empowers the EPA to require water testing by certified laboratories and requires that violations be reported. The EPA does not test bottled water; that is the job of the FDA. The FDA does not require bottled water facilities to reveal or test for many contaminants. 


Drinking bottled water has become a norm to many Americans, but there is a need to be more aware of what’s in the water you drink and what you put in your body. Trust your tap water. This information is not meant to be scary but informative. If all else fails, you can buy a water purifier attachment. Most Americans are willing to spend $100 or more on bottled water annually just because they can. But what about all the water you could just grab from your home? It would still be fractions of a penny on your water bill!