Is it safe to drink tap water?: 🤨🧐 - Healthy Eating

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Is it safe to drink tap water?

ZazenRiver345 profile image


52 Replies
Cooper27 profile image

It depends on where you live, but the tap water where I am is! Although I filter it to remove some of the chlorine taste :)

springcross profile image
springcross in reply to Cooper27

The same with us Cooper.

Yes I see the tap water quality varies from state to state in the US. Is it a similar situation in the UK? Hopefully not as bad as the US. I've heard about some really nasty things done here with our water.

BTCCET profile image
BTCCET in reply to ZazenRiver345

Way out in the country the tap water is so soft and clear that it tastes like spring water, the inner cities is much more hard and full of limescale 😱

Cooper27 profile image
Cooper27Administrator in reply to ZazenRiver345

Yes, Flint is a pretty terrible example!

The UK has a general standard that must be met, so you can safely drink tap water anywhere in the uk. Each water authority has the option to "improve" on the standards, e.g. by adding fluoride (lots of debate over whether that's an improvement though).

Oh yes, Flint was a nightmare. I'm glad to hear UKs tap water is doing better👍.

Here's another eye opening example of our water being contaminated due to oil drilling.

BTCCET profile image
BTCCET in reply to ZazenRiver345

Now that really is scarey!

Midori profile image
Midori in reply to ZazenRiver345

Wow! But that is well water. Sounds like the folk need to sue somebody.

Midori profile image
Midori in reply to ZazenRiver345

Tap water in the UK is safe; unless you are on a private water supply in the wilds!

If you are on the mains supply, it's fine. We have hard water if you are living on or near chalky soil. and if you are in Wales or Scotland it is soft water which comes from the basalt or granite country.

One good thing about soft water is that your kettles, washing machines and other water heating devices don't get a chalky build up. also that your shampoos and detergents go a great deal further than in hard water.

Cheers, Midori

Activity2004 profile image

We have a filter system on the kitchen sink faucet to use the cold water before we drink it. The hot water (unfiltered) is for boiling.

Cooper27 profile image
Cooper27Administrator in reply to Activity2004

I was taught by my dad (a water engineer) that you shouldn't drink water from the hot tap, even after boiling. The water that passes through the hot water system, passes through more pipework in the house, which may have deposits in them that make it unsafe to drink.

You should generally always use cold water for drinking water, even if boiling.

springcross profile image
springcross in reply to Cooper27

My hubby is a retired plumber and he has always said the same thing.

BTCCET profile image
BTCCET in reply to Cooper27

Definitely true Cooper my husband also works for the water board and would never advise anyone to boil up water from the hot tap for quickness to cook veggies or any thing!

Midori profile image
Midori in reply to BTCCET

I think that nowadays even hot water comes through the mains, rather than the tank in your loft, which could get contaminated with any rodents or birds dropping into it; which was why you were advised to boil it from the hot tap. Some older houses still have the old system, but if you have had a new boiler in the last 5 or so years, you should be totally safe, but get a plumber in to check if you are unsure.

PandQs profile image
PandQs in reply to Cooper27

I was told exactly the same. Water to be consumed, taken only from cold water that is direct from mains supply. We used to have a cold water storage tank for refilling the loo cistern, and a tap for handwashing only that came from same system but we've got rid of that now. I can only presume that in places where you see signs on hand washbasins that water is NOT for drinking, that it has come from similar cold water storage rather than the mains.

Cooper27 profile image
Cooper27Administrator in reply to PandQs

I think that's part of it, but I also think it's because of the environment the taps are in, and whether they're likely to have picked up bacteria that could be harmful.

Midori profile image
Midori in reply to Cooper27

It's mainly been brought about by the growth in showers. At one time showers could be dangerous, as the mixture could be interrupted by somebody turning a cold tap on, resulting in scalding to a person in the shower. Nowadays in modern houses all water comes direct from the mains, so there is no need for a 'header' tank, and the water heating is more consistent.

Hi Zazen,

I am from California so it is a no go for me. It’s completely suicidal to drink tap water out of a faucet because it has the worse water quality, some area’s water system contains arsenic and uranium. 🙅‍♀️🙅‍♀️🙅‍♀️

Here’s the link you can check out which state is bad:

Okay, boiling water? Definitely NOT because it can kill microorganisms but you know water usually contains chlorine and lead. By boiling it, it is even more concentrated and actually more dangerous! ☠️☠️☠️ It’s better be left alone than boil it! 😅

Always filtered water for me! 😋😋😋👍

I had an uncle who lived in California and I remember looking at his tap water and thinking do people actually drink this? My aunt and uncle both drank it☠. He did end up dying of cancer and wasnt very old. Great point about the boiled water. When you boil water in your kettle and see the limescale, what do you think about it? 🤨

Oh boy I’m sorry to hear that about your uncle. I actually did a paper on water quality in my environmental health class during undergrad so here’s the thing about limescale or so-called hard water. They are actually just minerals. From top of my head, they are calcium and magnesium which are perfectly good for our body actually. Cosmetically looking good on the wall of the glass? No! 😂🤣

Where we live in London we have a lot of limescale and unless treated it can destroy washing machines, dishwashers and other appliances and as you say, it looks disgusting on the shower screen and tiles if not regularly cleaned😱

hypercat54 profile image
hypercat54 in reply to BTCCET

London has always had hard water and is noted for it. Where I live now in the South West it is quite soft which means it lathers better. I have always drunk tap water and never had any problems.

Yes we need more calcium and magnesium. I know a lot of people dont get enough of it in their diets. Thanks for enlightening me Koko🙏🤗.

Just make sure you change your water filter as directed. 👍

You’re welcome! 🤗🙏

Always change my water filter on time🙏🤗. Good tip👍

Oh I forgot one thing, “limescale” in moderation! 😂🤣



BTCCET profile image
BTCCET in reply to ZazenRiver345

Limescale is disgusting and if you see it in your kettle Zazen it seems highly likely that you boil tap water in your kettle no?

Whydothis profile image
Whydothis in reply to BTCCET

As GreatMindfulness says, the hardness in hard water is minerals that are good for us, even though it is a nuisance in making taps and sinks look dirty and wearing out some appliances. It is not related to whether tap water is safe - that is decided by which country you live in, whether your water is contaminated and how it is treated, before it gets to your tap.As others have said, we should only drink tap water that has come directly from the mains, not water that has been sitting in a header tank - that is why we were always taught to drink only water from the cold tap in the kitchen, not from the hot tap or from the bathroom. With newer systems that heat water from the mains on demand, this is not important any more.

Being lucky enough to live in the UK with safe tap water, I refuse to buy any bottled water. The plastics are environmentally terrible, and I don't feel confident in many cases about where it has come from. Some really do come from remote, safe, natural sources, but others are just tap water that has been filtered and had some of the chlorine removed.

BTCCET profile image
BTCCET in reply to Whydothis

Just like the Peckham Spring Water 😂

Whydothis profile image
Whydothis in reply to BTCCET

Exactly! 😂

Pebbles77 profile image
Pebbles77 in reply to Whydothis

Absolutely! I can never understand why people in the UK buy bottled, still water. I think it's a big con. These comments from the US are an eye-opener for me.

We have a Revise Osmosis water filter system for cooking and drinking, but you have to change the filters often 👍

I think that tap water has metal in it always heat it up before you drink it it can cause lead poisoning and other stuff that’s bad .

Whydothis profile image
Whydothis in reply to Hb2003

Many years ago British water supplies all came through lead pipes, before people knew it was unhealthy. I believe they have all now been change.d

Jerry profile image

Hi ZazenRiver, I read that bottled water contained more bacteria than tap water so it’s bought for taste rather than quality.

I also agree that you should never drink from the hot water tap for lots of reasons.

In answer to this I drink tap water and like it iced in the summer.

Hi Jerry,

You are absolutely right about bottled water contains more bacteria. Plastic bottles are bad for our environment also. In my town, they stopped handing out plastic bags from groceries stores for many years already. They do replace plastic bottles to glass bottles instead. Reduce, reuse, recycle.♻️

We catch rainwater in our tanks then it's plumbed into the house and filtered before coming through the taps. Beautiful.

I bet it is :)

I can't drink the tap water here in Burgess Hill because it tastes of bleach. My Mum and Dad lived about 5 miles away and their tap water was fine!

Going back not that long ago, the water in certain areas of the South West tasted of TCP and that's not a joke - it was absolutely vile. Where I worked we called in someone from the Water Board and when I explained how it tasted, he said well, obviously someone has been using TCP and then filling the kettle with water and that's why is tastes of TCP! Seriously!

Cooper27 profile image
Cooper27Administrator in reply to Becksagogo

It's the chlorine they add to keep the water disinfected. If you get a water filter, it can remove a lot of the taste.

Whydothis profile image
Whydothis in reply to Becksagogo

The bleach taste is the chlorine - they seem to use more in some areas than others. I agree - it is not a good taste!

Drank right out of that hose as kids. Lol

Not only can it vary state to state but town to town.

I never drink it. By the time my town discovers something may be at the wrong level in the water the warning comes out and a person has probably ingested it for days.

Some people have no choice they can't afford the bottled.

That's an interesting question


That's a good point Dolphin. By the time they figure out something is wrong you have probably already been ingesting the contaminated water for a while. Do most people drink the tap water where you live?

I personally don't know anyone that drinks tap water. Some have the filters on the faucet but most drink bottled.

I briefly worked fir the Denver water department. Water here is great because it rushes down from the mountains. Water is like gold…literally. You can buy rights to water which appreciates as water becomes more scarce. Problems come from pipes. I’m sure mine is safe but it has a smell I don’t like. Not strong but annoying. Since I am heading to Mexico soon anyway I’m going to pick up a purification bottle and see if that helps. The yoga studio has an awesome purifying fountain. I bring a 32 oz nalgene and fill it up every time I go.

It is like gold now especially because of the droughts in the western US.

I remember coca cola's abortive launch of Desani in the uk

Certainly tap water in Britain is extremely safe.And i would never buy bottles of water,its a rip off,and no evidence that its better for you. If i thought about everything i would neither eat or drink a thing.Some people are obsessed and that is not good for our wellbeing.