What's in the Water?


It seems like everywhere I go, the tap water tastes different than at my house. I always wondered what sorts of things are in tap water. It seems a little dirty to me and when I travel I would sooner bring my own water or soda than drink the tap water there. About 300 million Americans get their tap water from public water systems that are government regulated. I have always wondered what gave tap water it's distinctive taste bottled water doesn't have.



There are over 2,000 contaminants that could be in public drinking water in any given region, so I am just going to stick with informing everyone on the major ones.


There are several different microscopic organisms that could be present in tap water. Too much exposure to these could lead to several different health problems in humans, including vomiting, diarrhea, and cramps.

Disinfectants/Disinfection Byproducts:

This is the most shocking contaminant in tap water in my opinion, with the health repercussions trailing on and on. Drinking too much of the disinfectant-contaminated tap water can result in anemia, increased risk of cancer, eye and nose irritation, stomach upset, liver, kidney, and central nervous system problems.

Inorganic/Organic Chemicals:

There are many, many different health problems associated with ingesting chemicals. Just to name a few, you could experience reproductive difficulties, blood problems, liver and kidney problems, skin changes, and stomach problems.


My verdict is that we shouldn't exactly be afraid to drink tap water, however we should all start to try and filter most of our tap water. They have water bottles with filters, to make it easier for us college students on the go, and ones you can attach to your kitchen sink for at home. Happy Drinking :-)





I thought this blog was really informing. I myself drink tap water and always wonder it taste different than y house. I didn't know about the contaminants in tap water. Also, the effects tap water can do to you. Great idea about bring up filters because a lot of people forget that there are ways to clean your water. I think letting readers know about some good filters can help. Here are good water filter for the year 2014:http://water-filter-systems-review.toptenreviews.com/

I have always realized how tap water tasted differently everywhere you go, and for whatever reason always loved the way tap water down the shore tasted because its built into my sensory memory as linked to the shore. I didn't think that I was ingesting all of those things like micro organisms and inorganic chemicals i always just figured it would probably just be like a little something minor like more salt in the water down the shore then here, due to the ocean. I think its also surprising that water can cause these health problems and while it probably doesn't happen all the time, water usually is a go to when your feeling sick or anything. So to hear that it could sometimes maybe causing the sickness is a surprise. Another thing about tap water is that it also caries pesticides and heavy metals, both bad for your health. I don't get why they just don't filter all water anyway, it can't hurt to filter all water always, I think sink heads should all be made to filter water anyway.http://www.tdsmeter.com/education?id=0016

I hate tap water. It is one of my biggest pet peeves. I'm from Mumbai, and in the city, you do NOT drink tap water. Ever. And honestly just the thought of drinking tap water freaks me out.
I've also always been one of those people that cannot stand the taste of tap water. I also cannot stand the taste of filtered tap water.
Though this article from BU shows that both tap and bottled water were safe to drink, according to FDA standards. Tap had a higher concentration of phosphorous lead and copper while bottled had more magnesium and calcium.
While magnesium and calcium are safe and do not affect the taste, the others are not. However in the quantities that they are found, they are not seen as harmful - but they do affect the taste, which I cannot abide, so I will definitely be sticking to bottled water!
Here's the article: http://www.bu.edu/today/2011/bottled-vs-tap-which-tastes-better/

I have noticed that tap water is different every where I go, and there is especially a difference from my tap water back home and my water in State College. Have you ever heard someone describe the water around hear as "hard water"? Hard water means that there are minerals in your water such as calcium and magnesium. These can create problems for you house maintenance wise, but the good news is that it is actually beneficial for you to drink! Check this out: http://www.sheknows.com/home-and-gardening/articles/809742/hard-water-facts-and-solutions

I'm glad that someone wrote a post on this. I grew up living on a well system, which when the water is running appears very grey and tastes kind of funky due to it's higher iron content. The water is of course filtered multiple times for maximum safety. Whenever I would go to my friends houses though, I could always tell the difference in water quality. Something about public water always made me nervous (and still does as I am on public water in my apartment). Visiting Mexico five years ago only strengthened these feelings. Now every time I want non-bottled water I have to use a water filter.

I loved reading this article because tap water is something I am never able to drink. For some reason it always grosses me out, and maybe it's because it tastes different everywhere I go. I think it is really interesting that such a simple thing such as water contains so much such as the microoganisms and chemicals. I was curious as to how much it cost for companies to purify water, considering clean water is scarce in so many locations. According to the link below, it costs companies around 44 million a year to prevent bacteria from entering the water. Two of the most damaging chemicals are phosphorus and Nitrogen, and those are two natural elements which is surprising. Having read this, I will not take clean water for granted!


I like the points you bring up in this post. I myself also drink tap water from time to time and notice how each faucet or source of tap water tastes different. But I have to agree about the bacteria because there is always microorganisms in the water of any source (I guess distilled is exempt from that, but not many people use that water for drinking). But it also should be noticed that most bottled water is the same as tap water as well if it doesn't come from a natural spring, and even then the natural spring is going to have the same if not more microorganisms in it.

the facts about tap water is that it often goes against our intuition. For example, you wouldn't think of the New York City tap water as being pure, but it is some of the most pure water you can get. It is even cleaner than some of the bottled water that you drink. Also, some of the stuff that is in the water is added by people like fluoride.

I absolutely can’t stand tap water. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to – probably because I’ve just always thought it was filthy and gross. In my house we only drink filtered water and I personally barely drink that. I stick to the bottled water 90% of the time. I found a video that tests purified water vs. tap water in Sydney, Australia. The results were absolutely disgusting as by the end of the test, while the purified water remained clear and pure , the tap water started turning brown and green. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iie858QArkw

Like many of the people that commented here, I strongly dislike the taste of tap water. I tend to avoid drinking it whenever possible. However, I've actually heard that there have been many studies that contradict the findings of your post. For example, in this article...


...researchers argue that when water has been filtered or distilled, it not only eliminates harmful contaminants, but also beneficial minerals. Miles price, a nutritionist from Hong Kong, believes that, "We need minerals because, even in daily routines such as working on computers, we lose a bit of sodium, magnesium and potassium." In addition, some water filters, if not changed frequently, can actually store and leak harmful bacteria into a person's water.

I always drank my own water at home, which came from a well. When I came here, I stopped drinking tap water without a Brita filter. I knew that my well water at home was totally safe, but who knows what's in the water here? I've heard of different water having negative effects on those who may not be adapted to it. I also will not drink city water. To me, it tastes completely disgusting. Here is an article about why city water tastes so different and what other things can affect the taste of water: http://www.springhillatcanfield.com/taste.html (sorry for how ugly it is).

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