General Question

john65pennington's avatar

Is bottled water really worth its price?

Asked by john65pennington (29235points) October 1st, 2010

I love where i live, but i do not love the tap water at my house. Its chlorine smell rarely goes away and it makes a really bad cup of coffee. And, not to mention the dead bodies I have recovered from our river water source. Wife and I began a diligent search for a decent bottled-water replacement. After much trial and error testing, we both agreed that Evian imported bottled water is the best bottled water out there. It has no after taste. Question: But, is the high price of Evian bottled water, really worth it? A six pack sells for $6.99.

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38 Answers

iammia's avatar

Personally no it’s not worth it here…we have great drinking water in Scotland.

I’ve bought it on occasion when on holiday and i don’t see why they can justify the cost for…........water!!!!

FutureMemory's avatar

Crystal Geyser is an even buck per gallon here in SoCal. Our city water sucks so it’s well worth it. If cost didn’t factor into it, I would buy the more expensive Aquafina brand…best water I’ve ever tasted.

Your comment about fishing dead bodies out of your local water supply is frightening.

tedd's avatar

Bottled water is never worth it. Buy a hardcore purifier and save yourself the money.

meiosis's avatar

Bottled water, often more expensive than petrol, is rarely worth it.

wilma's avatar

Not where I live.
Our tap water is very good. When my son visits he takes home gallons from our tap.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I don’t think bottled water is worth the price unless traveling in a place where the water is not drinkable. Even bottled water isn’t free from contaminants, even though it tastes fine.

Since you are looking for a home solution, it would be wise from a cost perspective and for the sake of ease to consider alternative solutions. A kitchen tap filter system sounds like it would work, based upon your needs. And if you have the space, you might consider a free-standing water dispenser service, like this one. And there are companies that now make green water filtration systems for the whole house.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

The bulk water that comes in the huge jugs that fit onto a water cooler is a better bargin. Throw it in a bottle and you’ve got the best of both. My tap water at home has a little iron and sulfur in it. I can drink it, but prefer bottled. The city water here is a cholorine cocktail, with a few other flavors mixed in. I’ll pay for the bottled stuff.

zwingli's avatar

I would look up your water provider and tell them the type of water oh are getting. Maybe your pipes are effecting the taste of your water.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

that was supposed to be chlorine.

aprilsimnel's avatar

In New York City, to buy bottled water is pretty much a waste. We have some of the best tap water in the US, outdone only by a small town from my home state.

BoBo1946's avatar

No, biggest profit making drink in the universe is bottled water.

I drink tap water.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@aprilsimnel You H2O swigging weasel, it’s because your tap water comes from my area.

aprilsimnel's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe – Ha – HA! It’s true.

everephebe's avatar

No, get a nalgene or something like it, and a filter. Or if this is for at home drinking, just get the filter.

everephebe's avatar

@aprilsimnel but the hot water isn’t potable in nyc.

the100thmonkey's avatar

If the chlorine taste bothers you, you could invest in a water filter – it’s really important to have one in places like London where the water is hard and calcium deposits precipitate out on boiling.

Coca Cola got their wrists slapped a few years back in the UK for effectivley bottling tap water and selling it as mineral water, so no – given the practices of the drinks companies and the fact that tap water is no less healthy than bottled water, it’s not worth the extortionate price.

cockswain's avatar

People drink a bottle of water in the car, then put it in a landfill for 10,000 years. Lame. I agree with the home filter concept.

robmandu's avatar

It is interesting that you can buy a single bottle of water for $1.29, but if you buy a 24 pack of the same brand at your local supermarket, it’s only $2.99.

Of course, top tier brands like Evian and Fiji don’t sell in such large lots, usually.

You don’t have to buy by the bottle, though. If you can find another acceptable brand for your palette, you should look into home delivery with those large 5 gallon jugs. They’re re-usable and take much of the pain out of the landfill mess.

And of course, a nice filter at the tap, in your fridge, or for your entire house should work well, too.

llewis's avatar

When I had “city” water, I used pure-earth water filters. Worked great, very economical, and the owner is really nice and very helpful. Now we have our own well, with excellent water (even if there isn’t a whole lot of it).

SuperMouse's avatar

Apparently ours is some of the worst quality tap water in the entire country, but I still drink it. I cannot bring myself to buy bottled water, it just seems frivolous to me.

kenmc's avatar

Buying bottled water is a terrible idea that should only be done out to absolute necessity. Get a filter for your faucet and/or a filtered pitcher. You’ll save money in the long run (and that specific run isn’t long for a “long” run) and you’ll stop polluting the Earth with one-use plastic bottles.

Lightlyseared's avatar

No. The NHS (in the UK) treats about 8000 people a year with food poisoning that is from contaminated bottled water.

Blueroses's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard I was going to link to the same video. Ah, the power of suggestion. Personally, I have a hot/cold dispenser because I like the instant temperature convenience but only buy smaller bottles if I’m at an outdoor event and I have never really noticed a significant difference in brands.

downtide's avatar

For me it would be a waste because the local tapwater here is excellent. But I guess if your local water is unpleasant it might be worth it. Have you considered installing a filter instead though? It might be cheaper in the long term.

RocketGuy's avatar

When I lived in LA, I found the tap water to taste terrible. Water in 500 ml bottles was more than what I wanted to spend. The 2.5 gal jugs were barely worth the money. I have since moved but local tap water still tastes bad. I got a reverse osmosis system from Costco. Tastes fantastic, for about $50 a year in filter cost.

kenmc's avatar

Reading these responses, I thank jeebus that we have fucking awesome well water at my house.

Skynet's avatar

The short answer is no. The slightly longer answer is no way.
There is a great Penn and Teller Episode about this. In most places the tap water is not only fine, but better than bottled water. However if you are really worried about it just get a water purifier.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Only if you are planning on hiking a distance without access to safe water. And even then there are better solutions such as canteens and camel back hydration systems.

BarnacleBill's avatar

“Evian” spelled backwards is “Naive”. @john65pennington, how old is your house, and what type of water pipes do you have? I was shocked at the taste difference after we had galvanized water pipes replaced. The taste changed again, for the better, after we had the water supply line from the street to the house replaced, and the water pressure doubled.

Have you tried a filtration water pitcher? I store water in glass jars in the refrigerator. It tastes great.

Blueroses's avatar

@BarnacleBill Evian spelled backward is now one of my favorite responses to bottled water fanatics.

toaster's avatar

@aprilsimnel Thats very interesting about the purity of NYC’s public water. “mmm thats Catskill Mountains fresh”

rooeytoo's avatar

We have one of those filter cooler combinations. Your pour tap water in the top and it goes through a super duper filter which removes bad taste and other bad things and then cools or heats the water as it comes out the little tap. It is very nice.

I rarely use water out of a plastic bottle because of the carcinogenic effects of plastic leaching into the contents of the bottle when it gets warmed in the sun (you can google bpa and decide for yourself on that one). Also plastic waste is killing the oceans and everything in it. And if we stopped using petroleum for plastic bottle production there would be enough for feed the gas guzzling SUV’s (of which I have one) for several thousand years.

When I leave the house I usually take a stainless steel water bottle with me if I want a portable libation.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Nashville Water Quality Report
A similar report for NYC water includes an indication of the source of various chemicals found in water. It’s an interesting read.

When there’s not much rainfall, there is a drawdown on the reservoirs which results in more organic material, such as plankton and sediment, entering the water filtration system. This can affect water quality.

Everyone has their own taste sensitivities. I personally don’t care for the taste of plastic that comes with bottled water, and I worry about plastic bottles that are not recycled ending up in the ocean and in landfills.

marymaryquitecontrary's avatar

Bottled water in a plastic bottle is a joke, in my opinion, since people are then drinking fairly ordinary water that has been in contact with plastic for who knows how long.
Since you mention chlorine specifically, note that chlorine will evaporate from water, so an old technique to improve such water is to put a pitcher of it in the water overnight.
Personally I’d suggest you use a brita water filter (to filter things OTHER than chlorine) and then keep the pitcher in the fridge. Brita is NOT very good at removing chlorine, but it removes most other offensive things.

Response moderated (Spam)
Smashley's avatar

No. It’s not worth it. It saddens me that people would rather pay a ridiculous mark up on water than get mad and organized about the fact that they have undrinkable tap water. At the very least, won’t you consider filters, or refilling your gallon jugs for 40 cents each? Buying bottled water by the 500ml unit is wasteful and incredibly expensive. Consider that the daily recommended intake of water is ~2.5L for males and ~1.5L for women. If you and your wife were getting your daily recommended intake you’d be in the shit for sure.

4L per day = 1460L/year
$6.99 per 3L = ~$2.33/L
One year of the daily recommended intake of water for the two of you would cost $3401.80 plus tax and bottle deposit (if applicable). Does that not seem the least big INSANE to you? Not to mention the 2920 bottles the two of you would be casting away yearly.

Stop. Please stop. Water privatization is bad enough as it is. If your tap water sucks, get hopping mad. Water is essential for life. This is why we mandate that the government monitors it, ensures its suitability, and provides it to us at dirt cheap rates. If they are failing at that, you are a coward if you decide that you would rather drink bottled water than rock the boat, a fool if you willingly pay the roughly 100,000% markup, and an asshole as you recklessly cast away a few hundred to a few thousand empty bottles per year. Sorry to be harsh, but seriously, grow up.

Aster's avatar

The water in this house is horrid; smells like rotten eggs. We got an under the sink filter and I put that water in bottles next to that sink (bar sink) and it’s great. The filter must be changed once a year. The dogs drink only filtered water too. (; Breaks my heart to think of the neighborhood boys being raised on this tap water. I hope they aren’t.

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