Bottled Water

Is bottled water better than tap water?

Bottled water is safer, cleaner and the better choice
Tap water is just as good or better than bottled water
Started by
Catherine Thorbecke

The Issue

Many people believe that bottled water is higher quality than tap water, but others have called into question its quality, price, and environmental impact. Despite the fact that people have access to free or cheap tap water in many public places and homes, the bottled water industry has continued to expand to a $100 billion global industry. The debate remains, however, as to whether bottled water is in fact superior to its much cheaper counterpart.

Most Divisive Question

2 stories vs 2 stories

Remaining Questions

7 questions total

Final Thoughts

What people think
Pro: Bottled
  • Picture
    Yunah Baeg

    It is interesting to find out that bottled water is not actually much cleaner than tap water. In fact, after reading this Nia, I realized that chemicals in from the bottle itself and the economical costs of producing bottles may be less cost efficient than drinking tap water.

    That being said, I always thought that bottled water tastes better compared to tap water. The bottle that contains the water lets us avoid the aftertaste of chloride treatment which I can frequently taste in regular tap water. Moreover, the types of bottled water varies a lot, depending on its manufacturers and its labels, and therefore depending on which bottled water you are drinking, I believe that the quality may vary even between bottled water.

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Anti: Bottled
  • 12ddb88ae748838c946ec4a1118f0864
    Jordan Grossman
    Founder of Niaterra News

    Surprisingly, this debate has turned it to an extremely clear-cut victory for tap water.

    The team was utterly unable to find any redeeming reason to buy bottled water aside from taste, and only because of chlorine in tap water, which filters can take care of.

    In the US, the quality of bottled water is worse, there are more health risks, it's more expensive, and it's an ecological disaster.

    I will happily continue to drink filtered tap water knowing it truly is the best option, and where I can't filter, regular tap water will be just fine. Save your money, save your health, and save the environment!

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  • 66e376040ea88b6aa5463bc3227560cb
    Lea Thali

    The evidence seems pretty clear on this one. Not only is tap water cheaper and more environmentally friendly than bottled water, but the evidence also seems to suggest that tap water is the safer, cleaner choice.

    As a student on a budget, I'd much rather carry my reusable water bottle around, filling it at water fountains for free, than constantly buying bottled water. And now that I know that the water coming out of the public water fountains is actually more regulated than water in the fancy bottles, I feel even better about that choice.

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  • Picture
    Catherine Thorbecke
    Nia Creator

    The evidence in this Nia against bottled water is startlingly complete. It seems the only thing that the bottled water industry is doing right is marketing itself to have people believe it is purer than the tap water.

    The issue that bothers me most about the bottled water vs tap water debate is the damage that the PET bottles causes to the environment in their construction and disposal. Some cities including Concord, MA and San Francisco, CA have outright banned plastic water bottles in their municipalities because of the environmental damage of polyethylene terephthalate.

    It does not personally bother me if someone chooses to pay for bottled water that is priced up hundreds of times higher than its actual cost, that is their personal prerogative and I have no right to judge them. What bothers me is if people choose to use plastic water bottles and it damages the environment, wastes nonrenewable resources, and creates toxic chemicals in its disposal. For this reason I am against bottled water, and this evidence in this Nia seems to argue that tap water is the better choice.

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  • 0 d5pusvojh0 dqhfofbyhsmrcez5lnanofchxsmzgvulzwetet 2bij22krlvzdb62qo5cooct2xs
    Greg Zimmerman

    After reading through this Nia I believe that consuming tap water is the superior choice. It is less expensive, tastes very similar and can even be more highly regulated than its bottled water peers. When you throw in the environmental implications of the additional bottles used, versus refilling a water bottle with tap water it puts it over the top for me.

    The one caveat that this Nia does not address is the issue of tap over in developing nations versus the United States. I would imagine that due to regulations, or lack thereof in certain nations, bottled water is the only consumable option. So when we are talking about tap water versus bottled water we need to specify that we are talking about the United States.

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  • Picture
    Dara Grossman

    The evidence is clear -- tap water is the better, cheaper, more ecological option. Although I do admit that some tap water can have a taste due to chlorine, water filters take care of that single downside. I am very happy to know that drinking filtered water is as clean or cleaner than bottled and is, by far, the better ecological option.

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  • Picture
    Qiao Xue

    Two of the most important questions here are 1. Is bottled water really cleaner? 2. Are there any risk from drinking bottled water? Clearly, the evidence on these two questions shows that tap water is better than bottled.
    There is no solid evidence to prove that bottled water is really as cleaner as it looks like. To the contrary, tab water has been proved to be safer.
    People always have the concern about if the plastic bottle may cause health risks. Studies have shown that chemicals called phthalates can leach into bottled water over time.
    Therefore, from the health point of view, tab water is a better choice than bottled water.

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