Most consumers today in developed nations assume that their tap water and purchased bottled water from the grocery store is clean and verified by either national or international standards. We take water for granted and don’t really put that much thought into it.
But have you ever stopped to think about if your “healthy” water really is safe for consumption?
By definition, we consider healthy water to be water that is both clean and mineralized.
Clean water is water that exists without contaminants and toxins in it. It’s safe for consumption without risk. Clean water is regulated by the World Health Organization, and on a national level, by the Environmental Protection Agency. Public water systems then treat it before it reaches households, filtering out particles and bacteria.
The drawback: This water is only protected until it enters the location. Clean drinking water monitoring by the government is underfunded in the U.S., and according to the EPA, 40% of the country’s tap water systems fail to meet their standards. Yikes.
Mineral water is water that contains minerals that are beneficial for our bodies and overall performance. This water is typically found in mineral springs, bottled, and distributed to consumers today. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. and the European Union in Europe regulate mineral water.
The drawback: The FDA looks at mineral water like it looks at food. There are “allowable levels” for chemical, physical, and microbial contaminants in bottled water. Since the FDA manages mineral water, it doesn’t have the same EPA infrastructure to ensure that it’s clean by the time it hits our shelves.
What Should You Do?
In order to ensure a standard for healthy water is being met around the world, we all need to do our part. For starters, try and reduce plastic consumption by cutting back on water bottles and buying one biodegradable bottle that you fill with water and carry around with you each day. The small steps will add up.