Article Last Updated: December 2023
The Problem With Tap Water
Many prominent scientists have looked at every day water and noted the amount of substances that is contained in the average glass of tap water.
Sadly, the most significant dangers in the water you drink cannot always be detected by smell, taste, or sight.
Of course, there are many natural minerals and nutrients that organically occur within water but most drinking water (especially tap water) have had many things added to them.
In most cases these chemicals have been added to clean and purify the water, but in some cases government authorities add things to tap water to improve the health of the population e.g. fluoride.
There are also many substances routinely added to the water supply such as liquified chlorine, calcium hydroxide sodium silicofluoride and aluminium sulphate.
You should get a comprehensive water test if you want to be certain of what is in your tap water.
Even if the water leaves the source in a reasonably clean state, you must remember that water travels through pipes, and the cleanliness of the pipes is pivotal to the cleanliness of the water you receive from the tap, especially tap outlets that suffer from both rust and limescale.
What’s in Tap Water? (Comprehensive List)
Tap water is treated with many chemicals that kill bacteria and other harmful microorganisms.
The following list is a more comprehensive list of some of the typical content that you might find in tap water:
Typical Tap Water Content
- Trihalomethanes (THMs).
- Fluorine compounds.
- Salts of:
Water Quality: Contaminants in the Pipes?
One of the most dangerous problems that could occur is lead getting into the water from pipes.
Even ”lead-free” pipes can contain around 8% of lead.
Tap Water vs. Bottled Water
The first thing to note is that both forms of water are safe to drink although bottled water is likely to have gone through a further filtration process.
Some people consider that bottled water tastes better then tap water and doesn’t create limescale if used in your kettle.
It is thought that imported water brands use 300 times the CO2 emissions per litre when compared to the energy used to create tap water. It also takes around 162g of oil and 7 litres of water to manufacture a 1 litre bottle.
The other side of this are pitifully low recycling rates. For instance, some 14 billion plastic bottles still end up in the UK landfill every single year.
Water Quality: What Contaminants Are in Tap Water?
Water can be affected by dirt and other contaminants in many different ways.
For example, it could contain microorganisms like parasites and bacteria that come from human or even animal fecal matter.
Water could also contain chemicals from industrial waste like pesticides, nitrates that are used in fertilizers or some harmful minerals like lead or mercury.
Tap Water In The UK
In the UK? Well companies like Thames Water go to lengthy extents to explain how clean your drinking water is.
They also have a tool that lets you put in your post code to check how clean the water in your area is.
If you worry about water hardness, their website allows you to input your post code and get a diagnosis of how “hard” the water in your neighbourhood is.
If you need to contact Thames Water regarding any concerns you might have regarding your tap water I have added all their contact information below.
Contact Thames Water
|Call Thames Water||Email Thames Water||Write Thames Water|
|You can call Thames Water on 0800 316 9800 – 24 hours a day.
Textphone: 0800 316 9898. 0800 numbers are free to call from UK landlines, but may be chargeable from mobiles. Rates vary depending on your network and call plan.
If you are trying to contact them from outside the UK, call +44 1793 366011.
|Click here to use this form to contact Thames Water by email.||Water Quality
PO BOX 286
They aim to respond to all letters within ten working days.
So Is Tap Water Safe To Drink?
Broadly speaking tap water is safe for you to drink.
It is also the eco-friendly option when compared to bottled water and you don’t have the risk of BPA contamination with plastic bottles.
However, it also contains some non-harmful substances added by government authorities (e.g. fluoride) or appear (e.g. oestrogen).
If any of these is an issue for you then you might want to consider buying a portable water filter jug or installing a home filtering system so you have control of the content and quality of your drinking water.
AquaTru Water Filter
Berkey Water Filter
|- Arsenic: Approx 90% (unspecified). |
- Fluoride by 91.8% (WITHOUT extra filters).
- Lead 97.5%
- Benzene 99.9%
- Chlorine 96.6%
- Cysts 99.99%
|- Arsenic by 99.9% (special filters required).
- Fluoride by 99.9% (special filters required).
- Lead 97.5%
- Benzene 99.8%
|Available in 1-size only.||Available in various sizes.|
|Plastic materials.||Metal & plastic materials.|
|Number of filters: 3||Number of filters: 2 - 4|
|Filter methods: Mechanical, Reverse Osmosis & Activated Carbon filters.||Filter methods: Black microporous-filters & white fluoride Filters|
|4-stage filter process.||2-stage filter process.|
|Holds a maximum water capacity of 3-quarts.||2.25 Gallons|
|45.7 x 45.7 x 38.1 cm||19" High x 8.5" Diameter|
|System: 1 year limited warranty.||Filters: 2 years; System: 1 year.|
|Full Performance Data Sheet (AquaTru).||Berkey Contaminants List
NSF/ANSI test results
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