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Go Ahead, Congress, Drink Local Tap Water

Go Ahead, Congress, Drink Local Tap Water

It’s astounding that, even today, people still drink bottled water.  Shockingly, bottled water consumption is increasing in the United States, even though regulation has historically been much more lax on the bottled water industry.  Yet the general public doesn’t seem phased and bottled water companies will try every advertising trick in the book, from using picturesque scenes of a cool mountain stream to celebrity endorsements, to get consumers to think bottled water is “better” than tap water.  Hint: it’s not.

Bottled water, first and foremost, is extremely wasteful given the amount of plastic bottles needed for production and the amount of fossil fuels needed for shipment.  It’s also costly and for absolutely no good reason when you can get perfectly fine drinking water for virtually nothing from your tap.  Consider this: tap water costs a mere penny a gallon, while bottled water costs 100 times more.  So, even if health and the environment aren’t your top priorities in life, you can save a lot of money by simply drinking tap water out of a reusable thermos.

The bottle water war recently became political when George S. Hawkins, general manager of the Washington, DC water authority, made a plea to Congress urging them to use tap water instead of bottled water for the presidential inauguration this winter. Hawkins wrote a letter to Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, who announced earlier this month that Saratoga Springs Water would be the water supplier for the event.  Mr. Hawkins touted the local DC water quality and even offered to provide reusable water bottles to members of Congress in place of bottled water.  Even so, it doesn’t appear likely Congress will change its mind.

Is bottled water a good use of our tax dollars?  I don’t think so.  Congress should set an example and heed Mr. Hawkins’ advice. Bottled water should be reserved for emergency situations or for when local water sources suddenly become contaminated, which is unfortunately happening more and more in areas where toxic runoff and hydraulic fracturing takes place. Still, barring any unforeseen circumstances, let’s keep the water local and sustainable and let’s stick to our refreshing tap.

Related Stories:

Concord, MA, Closer to Becoming First U.S. Town to Ban Bottled Water

Bottled Water Consumption Grows in U.S.

Tap Water is Cleaner Than Bottled Water (And Other Shocking Facts)

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4:50AM PDT on Sep 4, 2012

Sorry, but if the tapwater here was safe to drink, it wouldn't give me stomach cramps and diarrhea every time I do. I've tried several times, and it's made me sick every time. The bottled water doesn't. So, until I can afford an extremely expensive water purifier - which on my budget will likely happen some day around 'never', like the solar panels or wind generator I wish I had - then either I get bottled water or I do not have water I can drink.

12:23PM PDT on Sep 1, 2012

I will NOT drink tap water. I can taste the fluoride and chlorine, I can sometimes SEE the rust from the pipes. Tap water tastes disgusting. I think it is IRRESPONSIBLE of Care2 to say it is okay to drink tap water. Bottled water wastes a lot of plastic, but distilled water is the best option until there is a filter on the market that I feel I can actually trust. Until then it is steam distilled gallon jugs for me.

3:25AM PDT on Sep 1, 2012

Bottled water is not good. That's a fact. Stop drinking it for various reasons.


If you live in the US, don't start drinking simply tap water, because there the water has been polluted with fluorid for decades already. This has been SOLD to the public as a necessary step for health, but scientific reports show that it does more harm to health than any good.

You need a water purifier with osmosis. That's the only way to remove fluorid. You can bring your own water bottle anywhere you need it.

ALSO stop using toothpaste including fluorid. It's very harmful for your health, and was just SOLD to the public to be able to get rid off this chemical "leftover" (that's what it is actually).


7:36AM PDT on Aug 31, 2012

thank you.

11:10AM PDT on Aug 30, 2012

I hate to break the news to you, but if you are drinking tap water that is filtered, you are STILL getting all the pharmaceuticals that are in the water. Unless you use a REVERSE OSMOSIS filter, those chemicals and meds are STILL in your water. Your basic store-bought filter is NOT removing that stuff, which is why your tap water still tastes weird. Bottled SPRING water has no additives. Bottled "purified" or bottled "drinking" water probably has additives, since it is TAP water. As I said, I am sticking to bottled spring water. By the way, do NOT refill those bottles, they are for ONE TIME use, as the plastic will harbor germs from your saliva, but especially do not refill them with germ-laden tap water. Yuck!

10:00AM PDT on Aug 30, 2012

Willimantic has really great, prize-winning tap water. Those living in bad water towns should consider either boiling their water (in the heating season) or using SOLIS (putting tap water in polyethelene bottles out in full sun for a day or two to kill any germs in it)..

8:21AM PDT on Aug 30, 2012

I am hesitant to drink tap water when it comes out brown, or whitish. WE use bottled water at home as well as filtered tap water. I have not yet heard of bottled water causing the deaths and lifelong illnesses caused by e-coli in tap water in Walkerton, Ontario.

3:20AM PDT on Aug 30, 2012

thanks for posting

3:05AM PDT on Aug 30, 2012

OK great we know this...BUT WHY can't we get this information out to the main public?
here is where good advertising come in...They do why can't the city do the same!
Make the public know about there water on commercials?

2:07AM PDT on Aug 30, 2012

I'm happy to drink the water from my kitchen tap - and I grew up drinking water from a galvanised iron rainwater tank. There are far more pressing concerns for me to worry about than buying bottled water.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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