The Disadvantages of Bottled Water and Tap Water

The Disadvantages of Bottled Water and Tap Water

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Drinking tap water is more healthy and economical as compared to drinking bottled water.


Water is the basis of all life because every animal and plant depends on it for survival. The human body composes of 60% water, which makes it necessary for people to drink large volume of water daily. People prefer drinking clean water because it is healthy and quenches thirst more effectively. Clean drinking water is not abundant, but people have tried many ways of providing clean water to the community. The limited availability of water in some areas has resulted into companies coming up with bottled water to serve people. Both tap water and bottled water have their advantages and disadvantages associated with them. Making a decision towards the best drinking water depends on an individual choice, but I would recommend tap water not bottled water. Most people prefer bottled water because they assume it is free from germs as compared to tapped water.

The fact that water is essential for life means drinking water from a bottle is of significant to our body however, the water could contain traces of PET and BPA that leaches from the plastic bottle making it unhealthy for drinking. In addition, plastic bottles are disposed to the environment causing a threat to the flora and fauna. Even though, tapped water has some disadvantages, people should turn from using bottled water because it poses many health threats and environmental effects (Gleick, 2010).

Main argument

Bottled water is associated with a lot of problems related to waste and transportation. In addition, landfills get filled with disposed plastic bottles making it more expensive to put other things in them. Moreover, producing plastic bottles consumes a lot of energy that could be used to fuel vehicles and other machines. Many instances of political instability are common in today’s nations, and water has been turned into a profitable business. Bottled water is marketed to those who have the capability of buying it while they have access to clean tap water in their homesteads. A lot of money is spent in the manufacture of water bottles, and processing of water as compared to the treatment of tap water. The urge for money makes many nations spend a lot of time and energy producing bottled water for selling while they neglect the essential quality of tap water. In addition, the used bottled are a nuisance to the environment when not well disposed. Out of the total number of bottles produced each year, only 23 % are recycled. The environmental problems associated with bottled water and the economic cost of producing it can be used in improving the quality of tap water (Gleick, P., & Cooley, 2009).

Disadvantages of tap water

The production of tap water follows many procedures that involve various chemical additives for water purification. Tapped water is the best for drinking, but it is associated with the following cons. First, tap water is cleaned using lead and chlorine chemicals that poses a lot of threats to people if not well mixed. Second, tap water has a higher probability of being contaminated with germs especially when a leakage occurs on an underground pipe. In addition, tapped water is liable for contamination with germs where the water fountains are used by many people. Moreover, contamination occurs because of the materials used for collecting water, for example dirty jerry cans, and tanks (New York Times, 2007).

Disadvantages of bottled water

Food and Drug administration (FDA) regulates bottled water production. The production of bottled water is well monitored, and many activities are involved. Bottled water is extremely expensive especially when used frequently, and only the rich people afford it. More cost is incurred to take a bottle of water compared to filling a glass of water from a sink. Second, bottled water is wasteful because only the bottle remains. In addition, some minerals are taken away during production of bottled water useful to the body. On the other hand, bottled water costs more than tap water because of the many processes involved. Moreover, many environmental repercussions are associated with bottled water (Gleick, 2009).

Environmental effects of water bottles

Plastics have adverse effects on individual’s physical health, and to the planet’s health at large. Water bottle production in industries requires a lot of energy generated from burning carbons. The carbon releases toxic carbon dioxide to the atmosphere resulting to global warming, a very serious environmental hazard. In addition, large volume of water is used in production of these bottles that could be treated and fed into domestic pipes for use. After drinking water, the bottles become waste, and more cost is incurred while disposing them. Most of these exposed bottles end up in landfills, about 23% of the total used bottles. Most bottles end up in incinerators, or are left outside to the natural ecosystem. Landfills are being filled up at a very fast rate, and valuable space is wasted by these water bottles. If the government could come up with policies regulating the production of bottled water, a lot of space could be saved in landfills for other biodegradable waste materials (Gleick, 2009). According to New York Times (2007), bottles spread all over the ground due to poor recycling methods. These create dwelling places for harmful insects, like mosquitoes, causing a threat to people’s lives. Most countries have realized the need for turning on the tap water and withdrawing from bottled water since it saves more cash leading to a more stable economy.

Health issues

Many people prefer bottled water in fear of health issues related to tap water. Bottled water is the most contaminated because it contains some traces of chemicals used in the manufacture of bottles, and also during its purification. Buying bottled water is unhealthy because a person ends up being exposed to chemical compounds that have serious health effects. Research done in America found out that some samples of bottled water contained toluene, a gasoline constituent used in paint thinners. This compound is associated with cancer causing agents (US Environmental Protection Agency, 2005). Water bottle health effects are felt after a long time because the toxins accumulate in the body as people continues drinking bottled water. Moreover, some bottles are recycled increasing the effects of infection because of the methods used for recycling (Standage, 2005).

Why drink tapped water

Tapped water is the safest because it is less costly, and has less health effects. All nations ensure they produce clean municipal water, and nobody should think of drinking bottled water, especially in America. On the other hand, physicians recommend that an individual should take at least 8 glasses of clean water daily. A person following this argument would end up spending almost 1400 dollars per year on bottled water compared to 49 cents spent on tapped water. In addition, tap water has no environmental effects. Some states have banned people from buying bottled water because of the impact it causes to the natural environment. Most companies producing bottled water extracts it from the ground water leading into depletion of the natural water sources. In U.S, the large water bodies are changing due to depletion of service water. Moreover, tap water leaves no remnants on landfills across the continent (New York Times, 2007).


Drinking bottled water has no advantages over tap water even though the tap water is not 100% safe. Tap water saves a nation a lot of revenue because it has low cost of production and maintenance. In addition, it is most convenient for use in the developing countries since most people are below the poverty line, and would not afford drinking bottle water daily. The health issues associated with bottle water could be minimized if the government focuses on giving citizens clean and adequate tap water (Zak, 2011).


Both tap water and bottled water have their own disadvantages that make a consumer choose which type to use. More reforms are necessary to produce high quality water that is environmentally conscious and cost effective. People should spare bottled water for use during emergency cases for people whose health only requires very clean water. Drinking tapped water is more economical, and has no environmental effects associated with it. Countries should ensure water treatment plants are well maintained in order for them to produce clean water and discourage production of bottled water. I prefer drinking tap water to bottled water.

ReferencesGleick, P., & Cooley, H. (2009). Energy Implications of Bottled Water. Oakland, CA: IOP


Gleick, P. H. (2010). Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water.

Washington DC: Island Press.

New York Times (2007). In Praise of Tap Water. Retrieved from:, T. (2005). Bad to Last Drop.

US Environmental Protection Agency. (2005). Safe Water. Retrieved from Water & Health

Series: Bottled Water Basics. Retrieved from:

Zak, M. (2011). Defying the Nelgene. Retrieved from: