The age-old question regarding the water sources that are safe and respect the quality standards deeming them suitable for human consumption is still up for debate nowadays. Advocates of public tap water clash with the supporters of privately drilled well. At the same time, there are those who maintain that purified and distilled water constitute the best options. There are, of course, arguments pertaining to each choice. The following guide aims to provide readers with the necessary details required to make an educated choice.

Where does most of the water come from?

At global scale, studies estimate that approximately 30% of the fresh water sources consist of underground streams. Lakes and rivers contain the rest of the fresh water, but it can’t always be safely or inexpensively harvested, filtered and purified. In the United States, public and privately owned water sources are, in an overwhelming 78%, underground streams. Evidently, the remaining 22% of the US’ reserves are the lakes and rivers. So, where does the dispute stem from? The method of extraction and government bodies regulating and upholding the standards of purity.

Tap water


Flowing from the reservoirs of the municipal water sources and down the pipelines into people’s homes, the quality of the tap water is regulated by the EPA. After passing through the centralized filters and being treated with chemicals considered safe by the government, the pipes hooking up your faucets, heaters, toilets, dishwashers and other appliances deliver it into your house.

While the municipal water supply supporters argue that it’s the safest one to drink because it’s up to code with the EPA standards, in reality the city managers are the ones who decide how often the water delivery and filtration infrastructure is checked and undergoes maintenance.

Well water

It has been said that privately drilled wells are not as safe as the municipal water infrastructure because there is currently no regulatory body testing the purity of the streams. However, it is safe to assume that homeowners who prefer to tap into the local water resources for one reason or another (lower running costs, municipal infrastructure is out of reach, concerns regarding the public water supply, etc.) also ensure that the water is fit for consumption.

This operation involve working with a professional well company, drilling the well according to building codes, installing filtration devices and hooking up the pipelines to home appliances correctly. In spite of the fact that the authorities are not required to verify the purity levels of the private well, it is in the best interest of the homeowner to uphold the quality standards and perform maintenance when it is required.

Purified or distilled water (bottled)

The purification processes pertaining to bottled water imply the removal of all pathogens, chemicals and minerals present in the water. Practices employed deionization, carbon filtrations and/or even reversed osmosis for this purpose. The resulting fluid is considerably purer and high above the requirements instituted by the EPA in this sense, but there is also a downside: minerals are also eliminated from the contents. Considering that drinking water also has the role of ensuring that our daily intake of minerals is on par with the body’s needs, the purification process taken to this extent doesn’t make the water better for you.