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Filtered, tap, or spring water? What is the difference, really?

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When bottled water was introduced in Australian in the 1980s, it was seen somewhat as a joke. Why would we pay money for something that we could turn on a tap and get for free? And yet today, look down the drinks aisle of any supermarket or the fridge at your local service station of café, and you’ll see every different type of water, water bottle, and water flavour that there is to offer.

Australians spend over $500 million on bottled water every year. So why has bottled water become so popular and is there really a difference between the different types of water available today?

Tap Water

Tap water comes from a central source, and has been certified safe for drinking. The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines specify that water "should contain no harmful concentrations of chemicals or pathogenic micro-organisms, and ideally it should be aesthetically pleasing in regard to appearance, taste and odour".

Local water authorities use settling, coagulation, filtering and disinfecting to ensure the safety of drinking water, using sufficient disinfectant to stop the re-growth of microorganisms as the water travels through pipe systems to your home. Safe drinking water requires additives you can often smell or taste, such as chlorine, a disinfectant widely used by Australian water suppliers.

Tap water can contain many impurities, both natural and artificial. Some are harmless, or only affect what the water looks, tastes or smells like. Others can give you an immediate infection or slowly damage your health over a long period of time.

Some chemicals (such as chlorine and fluoride) are added to your water in the treatment plant. There are ongoing discussions over potential health risks as a result of this.

Bottled Spring Water

A lot of bottled water in Australia is labelled as spring water, but the source of that water is often a mystery.

Bottled water is generally spring water that is from an underground source and may or may not have been treated and purified. Studies have found that some bottled water that has been labelled spring water, has been found to contain contaminants such as coliform, arsenic and phthalates.

According to CHOICE Australia1, bottled water is more expensive than milk, soft drink and even petrol, so there's no doubt bottled water has pitched itself as a premium product. In fact, you can buy more than 1,000L of Sydney tap water for the same cost as a 600ml bottle of Mount Franklin water. But does bottled water trump tap in terms of quality? Probably not. Both tap and bottled water have numerous organic and inorganic contaminants in them. Cumulative exposure to these contaminants over time can weaken your immune system and cause damage.

Some facts about Bottled Spring Water

  • It takes up to seven litres of water and one litre of oil to produce one litre of bottled water
  • Tap water has 1 per cent of the environmental impact of bottled water
  • Bottled water production makes 600 times more CO2 than tap water
  • One bottle of water has the same impact on our environment as driving a car 1km
  • Most water bottles end up in landfill
  • Australians drank 115 Olympic swimming pools worth of bottled water last year
  • Discarded drink bottles account for 38 per cent of the total rubbish volume
  • The average cost of a litre of tap water in Australia .001¢
  • The average cost of a litre of bottled water in Australia is $2.83

Filtered Water

Tap water can be made safer by filtering out some of the contaminants that it may often contain. Filtered drinking water from your tap is the safest, healthiest, and least expensive option to ensure your family is drinking the purest water available.

The three stage under sink water filter system from Filtered Water Solutions is a heavy duty filtration unit that removes contaminants via three stages of purification to give you the best quality drinking water from your tap.

And for a limited time we are offering a free upgrade to a designer filter tap with every order. Talk to us today to see how we can supply contaminant free water to your home or office.

1 https://www.choice.com.au/food-and-drink/drinks/water/articles/bottled-water


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