Bottled or tap water?


Bottled or tap water?

Human Health Benefits

According to the FDA, bottled water and tap water have the same regulations (tap water is subject to the federal Safe Drinking Water Act) and are subject to the same contaminants. In fact, according to the LA Times, tap water is often cleaner than bottled water, because public water supplies are tested for contaminants more often than bottled water supplies are.

In addition, tap water contains fluoride, which is not added to most bottled water sources. And most plastic bottles contain the harmful chemical BPA, which has been linked to cancer and infertility.

Environmental Benefits

The environmental impact of bottled water is significantly greater than the environmental impact of tap water. Bottling water uses oil and fossil fuels. The delivery process is also energy-intensive: the 5 gallon jugs used in offices at Yale are delivered by truck from Greenwich, Connecticut. According to calculations by blogger Pablo Paster, manufacturing and shipping a one-liter bottle of Fji water uses almost seven times the amount of water in the bottle and creates over half a pound of greenhouse gas emissions. And, according to PBS, the energy used to produce and ship bottled water is enough to power 190,000 homes.

After use, most plastic water bottles end up in the landfill – according to, 30 million water bottles are thrown away daily.

What You Can Do:

Contact your building manager about the possibility of switching from 5-gallon water jugs to a filtered water system.  If there is a water source available in your office, filtering units are available for rent from Poland Springs through Yale Procurement and are easy to install.

To limit your personal bottled water use, start carrying a re-usable water bottle.


2 responses to “Bottled or tap water?

  1. Joann DelVecchio

    We’ve made the switch to filtered water and purchased mugs for the department which are all kept in the kitchen. We’ve cut down a whole bunch on folks using water bottles and purchasing paper cups. Funny, everyone thought this was a great idea and they even wash out their own mugs!

  2. This bottled water craze is crazy. The U.S. has some of the cleanest tap water in the world. Some states, like my own, have some of the cleanest tap water in the country. Yes, there are impurities, but nothing compared to the other things most of us ingest throughout the day, and night.

    The energy and resources required to make all these plastic water bottles is a ridiculous waste. No wonder it costs more than gasoline costs, even at the high prices at which we’ve recently seen it.

    The amount of litter these things create is also shameful.

    Every once in awhile I’ll buy a bottle of water because there’s nothing else cold available to drink, and I make a point of keeping that bottle and refilling it as many times as I can until I decide to put it in a recycle bin, not throw it on the beach or on the side of the road as so many people do.

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