There are many different drinking options you can choose from for your home water. Some people stick with drinking their tap water while others who dislike the taste or are fearful of contaminants in municipally supplied water choose different options. In this post, we will compare the various drinking water options you have for your home water and list the pros and cons of each one. We will look at tap water, small and large bottled water, pitcher water filters, reverse osmosis, and distilled water.
If you are currently unhappy with your drinking water and are looking to change your source of home water, why not contact the drinking water experts at WaterSmart? Our trained and knowledgeable staff would be happy to discuss all of your options and help you make an informed choice.
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The following chart summarizes the pros and cons of each type of home water.
Most municipal tap water is safe to drink in Canada, however, no system is 100% foolproof as evidenced by the Walkerton E. coli water contamination of 2000. For more information on the safety of tap water in Canada read our blog Is Canadian Tap Water Safe To Drink?
- It is very convenient
- It in inexpensive
- Many people do not like the taste of minerals and chlorine in tap water
- It may contain VOC's (volatile organic compounds) such as pesticides, heavy metal like lead and mercury, or endocrine disrupting chemicals which may interfere with the normal hormones in the body, and fluoride
Small individual bottles of water
Purchasing small individual bottles of water has been very popular for many years, however, its popularity has recently begun to decline as consumers have become more environmentally aware. Add to this the fact that according to webmed.com, many of the major bottlers of water, such as Dasani and Aquafina, simply use purified tap water.
- They are very convenient
- They may taste better than tap water
- In many cases, the water itself is not different than tap water
- It costs a lot more than tap water
- It is environmentally unfriendly as it requires massive resources to produce and recycle used bottles
- Chemicals from the plastic bottle itself can seep into the water
Large Bottled Water
If you like the convenience of small bottled water but you are concerned about the environment, you may want to consider using large, reusable bottles of water.
- You can choose to purchase spring, distilled, or reverse osmosis treated water
- More economical than purchasing smaller bottles, especially if you choose to fill your own bottle
- Can purchase BPA free bottles
- Better tasting than tap water
- More expensive than tap water
- Less convenient than tap water, however, you can order it online and have it delivered for free - learn more here
Pitcher Water Filters
Pitcher water filters such as Brita are a popular choice for people looking to improve the chlorine taste of their water. According to wellnessmama.com, the carbon used in these filters is not solid so it does not remove all of the toxins. Faucet-mounted external filters use the same technology as pitcher water filters.
- They are inexpensive to purchase upfront
- They improve the taste of your water
- They constantly need their cartridges replaced so they actually cost you more money in the long run
- They constantly need refilling, especially if you have a larger family
- They do not remove all of the toxins from your water such as VOC's (volatile organic compounds), heavy metals, endocrine disruptors, or fluoride.
Reverse osmosis is a water filtration process which forces water through a semi-permeable membrane with very small holes or "pores". The pores allow clean water to pass through while trapping the impurities that are too big. These impurities are then flushed away. Read more about reverse osmosis here.
Reverse osmosis can remove dissolved solids, salts, minerals that cause hardness, organic chemicals, and other impurities. It can improve the taste of water for people who do not like the taste of dissolved mineral solids.
- It improves the taste of your water, especially if you don't like the taste of dissolved mineral solids
- Removes a lot of contaminants such as fluoride, dissolved solids, salts, minerals, organic chemicals, and other impurities
- It also reduces arsenic, asbestos, and heavy metals
- It is a great option if your drinking water comes from a private source such as a well and is not safe from microbiological, chemical, or other types of contamination
- Treated water will not produce scale in kettles and coffee makers
- Because sodium and potassium are removed, people on a medically prescribed sodium- or potassium-restricted diet may benefit
- Uses more water than it produces
- Does not reduce VOC's or endocrine disruptors
Distilling water involves heating the water up until it becomes steam. This steam rises and is directed and collected in a cooling chamber where it turns back to water. Many contaminants are left behind in the original container.
- It removes a lot of contaminants and fluoride
- It reduces arsenic, asbestos, and heavy metals
- It effectively kills bacteria
- Does not reduce VOC's or endocrine disruptors
- Distillation systems are large and expensive
- They use a lot of electricity
- They remove necessary minerals from the water and may cause long-term mineral deficiencies.
Which Home Water Option Is Best?
Water chemistry is complex and there is no single water treatment device that can remove all types of substances from water. Each water treatment device has its own advantages and disadvantages. You need to determine whether or not additional water treatment is needed for your household. If you are unsure, contact the water treatment experts at WaterSmart. They can help you decide which option or combination of options will best meet your home water needs.
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