Wednesday, August 5, 2009

4 reasons why you should go for tap water instead of bottled water

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One thing that differentiates London from other cities in continental Europe is that tap water over here is potable though some may argue that it is barely.

Laden with calcium and other impurities, many believe that tap water cannot compare with bottled water. Some even ventured that London's tap water is poisonous. But here's four good reasons why you should opt for tap water the next time you dine out.

1. It's free

This is perhaps the greatest advantage tap water has over bottled water. I have yet to encounter a restaurant that charges for its tap water. That's probably because enough people actually ordered bottled water and that covered the costs of providing tap water. Since tap water served in restaurants comes free, there's no service charge imposed on them as well, another reason why tap water comes up top.

With the current economic climate, it pays to stretch your budget a bit. Besides, it might be more worthwhile putting the savings into Euromillions or get you a copy of Big Issue to redeem your soul.

2. Save the Earth
Since when you did your bit for mother Earth? Regardless what the bottled water companies say about how biodegradable the bottles are, bottled water can never be more environmental friendly than tap water. The bottled water industry in Britain alone is worth £2 billion a year, imagine the number of plastic bottles produced as a result of that. Do your bit for the Earth and save a bit of money in the process.

3. Calcium supplements
There is no denying that London's tap water is laden with calcium. Having a heavy dose of calcium might just keep osteoporosis at bay. The much misunderstood glass of tap water is literally a free health supplement.

4. Taste
Contrary to the popular belief, tap water is not inferior in taste compared to bottled water. In a blind test conducted with a panel of wine tasters in 2007, London tap water consistently tasted better than bottled water. In fact, you could simply add some ice to improve the taste of tap water; reducing its temperature increases the solubility of atmospheric oxygen, which is what made water taste good in the first place.

What about you? Do you go for tap water or bottled water?

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8 comments:

Reeta said...

Always had tap water. I do ask for tap water when I dine out too...hehe. Never bought bottled water unless I'm on holiday in a 3rd world country or something...Having said that, the tap water in Malaysia tastes quite bad though...don't know why that is..

Dutchie said...

I first learned to drink from the taps from hubby ! In SG to this day, I always make sure that enough boiled water is left in the fridge to cool for the day's consumption. Hubby n I carry a liter each on our day out around town - my folks laughed at our quaint habit *rolled eyes*. It's the best thirst quencher than sweetened soft drinks n it's alot cheaper too !

In Italy, restaurants served only bottled drinks which tastes like there's MSG in it - yaks ! The fountains in the town square has free supply of tap water. We dare not take the chance n try it out, tho lots of backpapers were seen filling up their bottles.

The water in LA smells of chloride - that we found in the motels. We bought gallons of fresh water at the gas station to make our own cuppa then.

William Wallace said...

I really hate the taste of tap water in London, it just doesn’t taste right for me. I don't know if it is because the tap water back home in Scotland tasted so good and even when I was living in Barbados it tasted delicious. I seriously think the tap water in London is bad for your health!

I was recently in a restaurant in Shepherds Bush and they were masquerading London tap water as spring water, for £1.50 a jug. The waiter inadvertently let it slip that the spring water was actually good old London tap water……

drcrab said...

I filter my water. Though I don't live in London but in the SE, we filter the water from the tap as a compromise to bottled water. We did this accidental 'experiment' once and it convinced us to filter our tap water from then.

take some squash/cordial. mix it with some tap water in a clear glass. You will see 'bits' in the glass (looking like the bits in freshly squeezed orange juice).

Do the same, but with filtered water. You will not see 'bits' in the glass.

Conclusion - the bits are part of the water... but what part? The calcium???

Having lived further up north in England, I must say the water is very different up there... mucho better tasting and better for the skin/hair and washing machines/kettles!!

C K said...

@Dutchie,
I used to do that until I went to the Army. We top up our one-litre water bottles whenever we find an available tap. Boiling water? Not unless you are looking for verbal abuses. :)

I don't remember how the bottled water in Italy taste like. MSG laden? That must have tasted quite wierd... as for chlorine, well, look on the bright side, the chlorine must have killed any bacteria in the water.


@William,
I didn't get a chance to taste the tap water when I was at Edinburgh. For some reason, I got bottled water over there, don't ask me why, I just did.

Are you serious about the restaurant charging 1.5 quid for tap water?! I'm surprised that you didn't raised a huge rakus over that... or did you?


@drcrab,
Haha, you just stumbled upon a chemistry experiment! The acid in orange juice neutralises with the alkali in tap water to form an insoluble salt, which is probably the 'bits' you saw. Shall not go on further lest I go on to show how little I can recall from my chem lessons.

Might be that the north has less lime beneath the ground? Hmm...

What do you think of the tap water back home? Do you boil it before drinking?

yanjie said...

continental europe's tap water not portable meh? I drank tap water all the way.....

drcrab said...

so by filtering the tap water, it removes the alkali? I don't remember my chem lessons AT ALL!!! it's a miracle I passed!

I don't know what it is that the water in London has or not, but the water down here is vvv hard. Water up there is soft (and yummier, and better for skin/hair..)!

C K said...

@yanjie,
Did you notice that you were the only one doing that? :)

If I'm not wrong, there are specific taps to drink from in continental Europe. Well, since you are obviously alive and kicking, the tap water should be potable!


@drcrab,
You know what? I have absolutely no idea what filtering removes. Other than large sediments, I suppose calcium content is reduced as well. For one, I know that there's less scale in my kettle after I started filtering my water.