Bottled Water Vs. Filtered Water: A Water Quality Guide in Maryland
Let’s be honest. Finding safe drinking water for your family can be a tad bit intimidating. It seems simple, but when you really start exploring your options, it can get overwhelming rather quickly!
The ongoing battle of bottled water versus filtered water is a heated topic that will continue for many more years to come. But even though bottled water might seem cleaner than filtered water, it certainly doesn’t mean that it is the way to go if you are trying to save money and drink clean water at the same time.
So, which is better? We have put this debate to rest. Keep reading!
How can I learn more about the water quality in my area?
The municipal water supply in the United States is of one of the best quality in the world. It is safe and healthy for consumption, simply because the federal government requires local providers to test their water quality several times a year.
In fact, you can request free DIY water testing kits from your local administration any time you need to check the quality of your water. Still, many people have reservations when it comes to drinking water directly from the tap. And it is possible to have contaminants get leaked into the water as it courses through the pipes into your faucets. So, if you have doubts about the water quality in Maryland, it is always safe to explore your options.
Generally, when looking to improve the quality of their drinking water, Marylanders resort to either filtered water or bottled water. If you are confused between these, too, we have made your job easier. Read on to know which one is better for you.
Supply and availability
Bottled water may be convenient but it isn’t steady in supply. While the price might make you want to reduce your water use, it won’t be the most effective way to do so. And if you ever run out of it, you will perpetually be dependent on your local shops to restock something as essential as drinking water in your home.
Filtered water, on the other hand, is readily available and in abundance. All you have to do is install a filtration system in your house and enjoy safe drinking water.
Safety and packaging
Water filters are designed to improve your drinking water by removing harmful contaminants, metals, and chemicals commonly found in tap water. The purification process in a water filtration system reduces the number of contaminants in the regular tap water to acceptable and safe levels.
For this reason, filtered water is free of lead and mercury, harmful bacteria like e-Coli and salmonella, and chlorine that’s commonly found in tap water. Bottled water, on the other hand, may not be of the same quality. They may have “added minerals” but the chemicals in them might not make them a healthy choice.
According to a report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), even the most popular brands of bottled water contained “disinfection byproducts, industrial chemicals, prescription drugs and even bacteria.”
Additionally, local water suppliers have to conduct regular water testing in Maryland to know if it is fit for consumption, and unlike bottled water manufacturers, they can’t hide that knowledge from the public.
Besides, as safe as bottled water may appear, it is often packaged in plastic. This plastic isn’t free of bisphenol A (BPA) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The contaminants from the plastic can easily leak into the water and make it unsafe for regular consumption.
If you choose to drink bottled water, you are not paying for the water. You are paying for packaging and marketing costs, not quality or purity. Bottled water companies get their water from the same source as tap water, purify it, and sell it at a much higher cost.
Filtered water is much cheaper. To make sure your household has clean drinking water, all you have to do is check the water quality and install a water filtration system that addresses your needs. Sure, a filtration system will cost you more upfront, but it is good to look at it as an investment as a single filter can last 6 to 12 months, depending on your use.
The production of bottled water is a process that generates a lot of waste and the containers themselves aren’t recycled. It takes about 2,000 times more energy to produce bottles and even then, only 30% of them is recycled; the rest become part of the aquatic habitat.
Bottles can also leach cancerous chemicals into the water, and some studies suggest that the quality of the water is not always better than what you would get from your faucet. Not to mention, the landfills that are caused every time we toss a bottle in the trash.
Filtered water, on the other hand, is a great way to reduce your environmental footprint at home. It requires no packaging or storage space and ends up costing you less than buying it in bottles.
So, if you are an environmentalist or just someone who is concerned about reducing their carbon footprint, filtered water is undoubtedly a clear winner.
Overall, filtered water seems to take the cake. It is cost-effective, healthy, and better for the planet as it doesn’t contribute to additional waste. Filtered water is also ideal for long-term use.