For my next blog assignment I had to distinguish the pros and cons of tap water vs. bottle water. First, I had to find out the source of my home's tap water. I live in Mira Loma and the source of water comes from the Santa Ana River Water Company which is also part of the Western Municipal Water District. Drinking water in Western’s service area comes from Northern California from the State Water Project, the Colorado River and local groundwater from the Bunker Hill Basin. The Western Municipal Water District's website provides the annual Water Quality Report. In their annual report, they state "Western’s water is safe and healthy to drink and meets all quality standards". This year, Western was given $528,000 in federal funding from the EPA for new biodenitrification system design for the Arlington Desalter. The Arlington Desalter extracts and treats groundwater heavy in salts from the Arlington Basin. Biodenitrification reduces harmful chemicals from groundwater, which including nitrate and perchlorate. Nitrate is the most common groundwater contaminant in the nation. Perchlorate impacts the drinking water supplies of 41 million consumers in 22 states.
The EPA also has a PDF on their site, "Water on the Tap, What You Need to Know" which gives through information regarding tap water. It answers more general questions regarding our nation's tap water. The U.S. EPA and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) require that all water agencies produce an annual water quality report for customers about their drinking water.
In bottled water's case, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates bottled water. Their standards and regulations for testing are lower compared to the EPA. They also do no require annual water quality reports.
In conclusion drinking water, both bottled water and tap, may contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The difference between bottled water and tap is that bottled water is regulated by the EPA and bottled water is regulated by the FDA. The EPA requires water companies to do annual drinking water reports. The EPA and the CDPH also do an extensive amount of testing.
In the US we have been told to believe that bottled water is safer, tastier and more convenient compared to the tap. But really how much safer is it if the FDA is not setting the same testing standards as the EPA. In taste, people favor tap water compared to bottled water and according to the "Story of Bottled Water" Pepsi's Aquafina and Coke's Desani are really just filtered tap water. Convenience in this case are not economically or environmentally sound. The cost of production of plastic water and the waste produced by this product are causing more harm to the environment than good. Recently, people are also realizing that the chemicals released from the plastic, Bisphenol A (BPA), is also harmful to one's health.