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Flutherfish's avatar

Why does bottled water taste different than tap water?

Asked by Flutherfish (93points) May 22nd, 2011

I was drinking bottled water today and usually it tastes different and today was no different. I always wondered why bottled water taste different than tap water. I mean what’s the difference. Is it because bottled water has less germs. WHATS THE BIG IDEA[and don’t say e=MC square]. Please someone explain the difference to me.

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25 Answers

Flutherfish's avatar

Sorry if I said too many “different“s

TexasDude's avatar

If you look at the label on most common bottled water brands, you’ll see that they are bottled from municipal water supplies across the US. Basically, many brands of bottled water are just marked up bottles of tap water from different cities. The reason for the difference in taste could be because the water from whatever municipality the bottle was filled in tastes differently than the tap water in your own area, it could be psychological, or your own tap water could have some impurities (though this is not very likely).

aprilsimnel's avatar

If the bottling plant is near the water source, there may not be as many minerals (or other things) when they bottle it vs. when the water comes down from the reservoir through metal pipes and picking up trace minerals on the way to your tap.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Bottled water doesn’t have less germs. Tap water is tested 400–500 times a month by an independent org at every point along the supply line to ensure its safe to drink and the results of those tests are publicly available. Bottled water is only tested by the company and the results of those tests never made public. In the UK about 8000 people are year get food poisonig from bottled water bad enough to end up in hospital.

Cruiser's avatar

It’s the BPA/plastic. Yummy fresh spring water flavor.

Luiveton's avatar

I’d say simply because tap water is not filtered as well as bottle water? Especially that some bottled water companies use waterfall water. Just saying.

john65pennington's avatar

Tap water is river water that has been treated with chemicals. The chemicals give tap water this taste, especially if chlorine is added to the tap water. I do not drink tap water at all. I know where it came from and I have pulled too many dead bodies from my tap water river supply. Also, some so-called bottled spring water can contain as much as 40% tap water. You have to be careful where you live as each state has its own laws governing bottled water.

I only drink Evian bottled water. It has no taste and no after taste, like tap water.

Yes, its expensive, but the cost is worth the difference in taste. It’s imported.

I only drink bottled Evian water.

john65pennington's avatar

Luiveton, 10–4.

meiosis's avatar

The quality of tap water varies greatly from place to place. Here in England, London water is vile, whereas Yorkshire and Birmingham water is wonderful. Most European bottled waters are mineral waters from springs. Coke lost millions a few years ago attempting to sell Desani brand water in the UK, as sales (which hadn’t been great to start with) tanked when they admitted it was merely filtered tap water from Sidcup (a part of the country with average to poor tap water).

@john65pennington The water in the toilets at Birmingham’s Digbeth Coach Station (not a nice place, all in all) was tested a few years ago and found to be as pure as Evian. (not a slur on Evian, rather a testament to Brummie water)

Lightlyseared's avatar

@Cruiser ahhh yes the fine taste of polyethylene terephthalate.

creative1's avatar

Really alot of the bottled waters are actually tap waters, read the side of the bottle. Which taste is according to region where it came from. And alot of the chemicals that were in the bottles do leach into the water of bottled water, I have a filtration system on my tap and it makes the water taste so good. We had well water growing up and I have to say it was the coldest and best water from the tap I ever had, so clean and crisp, just what you needed when you were out playing on a hot summers day.

TexasDude's avatar

Bottled water is one of the biggest scams ever.

incendiary_dan's avatar

Two things. One is that the bottled water has been sitting in the bottle for a while. That alone changes things. Stuff settles, chemicals leach in, etc. Also, I bet they usually run the bottled stuff through a cheap charcoal filter. Just get a filter and refill your own bottles.

Cruiser's avatar

@Lightlyseared You left out that minty fresh flavor of Nonyl Phenol! Yum!

rooeytoo's avatar

I get the water out of the tap and put it through a serious filter. It is supposed to remove all the nasty stuff and definitely improves the taste or should I say gives the water a neutral taste instead of chlorinated taste of city water.

@john65pennington – what do you use for cooking, do you use Evian for that too? I used the filtered water for cooking as well as drinking. I love Evian but am too cheap to drink it regularly. And it still does come in the plastic bottles.

filmfann's avatar

We have hard water in our taps, or would if we didn’t have the water softener.
I cannot stand the taste of hard water.

Lightlyseared's avatar

It makes me laugh – here we are sitting in countries with high quality safe drinking water thats piped straight to our home and we refuse to drink because it tastes funny while ¾’s of the earths population don’t have access to untreated water. You know what really tastes funny? Drinking the water you washed, pissed and shat in because there’s nothing else available.

rooeytoo's avatar

True, but on the other hand, would my drinking foul tasting unfiltered water make any difference
to their plight?

Lightlyseared's avatar

@rooeytoo Yes – you could have donated the money you spent on your serious filtration system to a chartity that digs wells for people who need them.

rooeytoo's avatar

@Lightlyseared – you should ask first if I donate before you chastise me for not doing so.

Now the question is, what do you do?

Lightlyseared's avatar

@rooeytoo if you re read my statement more carefully you will see that I never said you didn’t donate. Nor did I chastise you.

rooeytoo's avatar

Sounded a bit snide and chastisy to me! and you did say I could have donated the money I spent on my filter, and I wonder why that is? Do you donate all of the money you save by drinking tap water to an organization that is aiding the problem of impure drinking water? Just sayin…

Flutherfish's avatar

@Lightlyseared Ha, right, but in my opinion the ppl who can’t get better treated water should move to a place where they have well-treated water. so I have donated a lot of water to charity so don’t say that again.

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