Bottled Water vs Tap Water: Blind Taste Test Edition

Water is the driving force of all nature.
— Leonardo da Vinci

Water Choices

One of the most important aspects of the Wellness Home is to provide ourselves and our families with clean, healthy water.


Water is not just a beverage choice, it is an essential nutrient. We have been saying this for years and the reason why is we tend to choose just about everything else to drink other than water. That is the main reason why over 75% of us walk around dehydrated every day. In a recent article in the Epoch Times, Gina Bria states, “Dehydration is the mother of all epidemics and is the first step we need to take in addressing chronic disease.”

“Dehydration is the mother of all epidemics and is the first step we need to take in addressing chronic disease.”

We have choices for different types of drinking water: tap water, filtered water and bottled water.

Many people, nearly 75% of us drink bottled water. Over 25% drink only bottled water. It has puzzled me for years why people would pay more than 2000 times the cost of bottled water than tap water.  Consider that 4,787 bottled waters could be filled with tap water for $2.10 and every time you buy a bottle of water for $1, you are paying 2,279 times what you would if you filled that same bottle with tap water. Spending $1 on a bottle of water every now and then isn’t that big a deal, but when you make a regular habit of it, it really adds up. If you buy just one $1 bottle of water each day, your annual spending on bottled water comes to $365. Getting the same amount of water from your tap would cost you less than $0.10.

When I ask someone the question, why do you drink bottled water?  The three common responses are:

1.     Bottled water is healthier than tap water.

2.     Bottled water is convenient.

3.     Bottled water tastes better than tap water, (the most common).


For today’s The Impetus let’s examine if bottled water really tastes better than tap water. Given that this is an individual choice or preference, let’s look at blind taste tests that have been conducted by many organizations and in many different geographical locations.  

Bottle Water Versus Tap Water Taste

In a blind water taste test by Good Morning America, New York City tap water came out the clear favorite among testers:

New York City Tap: received 45% of the vote

Poland Spring: received 24% of the vote

O-2, Oxygenated Water: received 19% of the vote

Evian: received 12% of the vote

And this test was no fluke. Time after time, tap water is rated as good or better tasting than bottled water blind taste tests. You can see similar results in numerous cities, both in the U.S. and abroad:

In 2011, Boston University conducted a blind taste test to compare tap water with Vermont Pure bottled water, the brand used in the student lounge’s water cooler. Dozens of students sampled both waters and were asked to determine which was which. Of the 67 testers, only one-third of the respondents correctly identified the tap water sample. Another one-third thought it was the bottled water, and the rest said they couldn’t tell the difference.

Washington, D.C. The Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health at the University of the District of Columbia conducted a blind taste test with 218 participants, most of whom said they preferred to drink bottled water at home. Testers tried samples of four waters – tap water, spring water, distilled water, and mineral water – and ranked them in order of preference. Tap water wasn’t the top pick, but it came in a close second, with 30% of the vote.

Cleveland. ABC’s NewsChannel5 Cleveland invited residents to try samples of three waters: Sam’s Choice Purified bottled water from Walmart, Aquafina bottled water, and Cleveland tap water. Once again, tap water wasn’t the favorite, but it came in a close second to Aquafina. Both samples were preferred by more than two to one over the Sam’s Choice water – which most people guessed was tap water.

San Francisco. In 2009, testers at Mother Jones magazine compared samples of their local San Francisco tap water – both filtered and unfiltered – with samples of eight different bottled waters. The unfiltered tap water came in third, beating out expensive brands such as Voss, Evian, and Fiji Water.

Belfast, Ireland. In a BBC News story, pedestrians sampled three different waters. The first, “harvested from icebergs in the Canadian Arctic,” sells for more than 26 pounds, about $40 per bottle; the second, made from the sap of maple trees, costs the equivalent of $24; and the third came from the tap. Most tasters couldn’t correctly identify the expensive waters from tap water, and one described the $40 sample as “horrible.”

Let’s face it, many people prefer bottled water as a result of excellent marketing by bottled water companies. This was hilariously exemplified a few years ago by popular magicians, Penn and Teller. This YouTube clip shows an elaborate con in a “very trendy Southern California restaurant,” where they created a phony “water list” of six different imported bottled waters selling for as much as $7 per bottle. All six bottles, from “Mount Fuji” to “L’eau Du Robinet,” which is French for “tap water” were filled with a garden hose on the patio. Restaurant patrons claimed to be able to taste distinct differences among the various brands, and consistently agreed that they were much better than tap water, which is exactly what they all were. Consumers think it tastes great as long as it’s served in a fancy bottle and with a fancy price.

Bottled Water Vs. Tap Water Conclusion


Tap water tastes as good, it’s as pure, it’s better for the environment, and costs under 1/2,000th as much. In my opinion, it’s justifiably nuts to pay for and drink bottled water, unless you have no other choice.

The solution to our global water issues and the plastic pollution of our planet is very complex and people often wonder what they can do as individuals to make a positive impact. One thing we all can do is to not to contribute to landfills by filtering tap water rather than purchasing bottled water. In recent blogs we have talked about the pollution problem with bottled water and about how to choose a water filtration system.

Filtering our tap water is convenient, cost effective and the best way to provide ourselves and our families with healthy water. Our personal choice for water filtration is the Nikken Waterfall. Imagine if we could create fresh spring water in our own home or office? This is the strategy behind the Nikken Waterfall. 

Water Matters and is a vital component of every Wellness Home.

Be Healthy by Choice, not by Chance.