Here’s what we think you need to know about when drinking bottled or tap water…
1) Bottled water should be natural
According to the National Hydration Council, most bottled water here in the UK is from natural sources. Spring water and natural mineral water has to be bottled at its specific, protected and natural underground source and be safe to drink without needing any treatment at all. Bottled ‘natural mineral water’ (it has to say ‘natural’, naturally) also has to have a stable and characteristic mineral composition.
2) Your tap water has been treated
Our tap water comes to us via our local water treatment works where ground or surface water is disinfected with chlorine to remove bacteria. This treated water is then sent through our mains system – miles and miles of pipes running from the treatment works to the pipes in your building. Some of those pipes may be a bit old and rusty (just saying). Here’s a bit more about mains water treatment and our own water purification process.
3) Bottled water comes in, like… bottles, yeah?
Most bottled water comes in lightweight plastic bottles specifically designed to be recycled once emptied – not to re-use again and again. As the National Hydration Council says, the plastic used for most food and drink is PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) and must comply with all European and national legal requirements so should be completely safe and not contaminate the water.
These squidgy plastic bottles are 100% recyclable – but can you honestly say that every single plastic bottle you’re done with always goes in the recycling bin?
Re-using these plastic bottles could lead to your water getting contaminated with bacteria, as The Huffington Post recently wrote about.
It’s fine to wash and re-use the type of hard plastic or stainless steel bottles designed for taking running or cycling – as it is to re-use glass bottles, simply because they shouldn’t break down and be subject to the type of wear and tear that encourages bacteria growth.
by Bob Fear