NewsChannel 11 Investigates: Bottled vs Tap Water - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/28/09

NewsChannel 11 Investigates: Bottled vs Tap Water

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By Nicole Pesecky | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Many people drink bottled water daily, but is what you're drinking from the bottle really better than what you can get from the tap? NewsChannel 11's investigative reporter Nicole Pesecky has the answer.

Americans drink millions of gallons of bottled water every day. And whether you prefer to drink bottled or tap, what's really the difference? We tested for metals and minerals in four popular bottled waters and Lubbock tap water to answer that question: Osarka, Dasani, 50 cent Spring Water and the more pricey water, Fiji.

First, the taste test. Could these 10 volunteers pick out the tap water? Only half of the volunteers' taste buds detected the tap water, all of which were women. One volunteer actually picked tap as his water of choice. So maybe it isn't that easy to detect.

Many of the volunteers thought bottled water was cleaner than tap and while you may think the same way, Aubrey Spear, Lubbock's Director of Water Utilities, says tap water is more highly regulated than bottled.

Now for the results, there was no real difference between tap and bottled for metal testing, but not for the minerals. Based on these results tap water has more minerals than the bottled water, which is technically a good thing. Spear says, "You might say that with the calcium and so forth our water is actually better for your bones and your teeth."

Some water bottlers are following suit, adding minerals to their products. Fiji, for instance, which was on sale for $1.60, has the most minerals out of all the bottled water we tested. So is it really worth buying the expensive stuff? Not exactly. Osarka and Dasani tested nearly the same as that 50 cent Spring Water, so why waste the extra cash? But you can't beat the price of tap.

Lubbock tap water does have a lot more sodium in it, which isn't a bad thing, unless you have chronic kidney problems in that case, you should be drinking bottled water.

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