Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience and a medical advice columnist for Newsmax Magazine. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. He is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

Is Filtered or Bottled Water Better?

Tuesday, 02 Apr 2013 10:24 AM

By Peter Hibberd, M.D.

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Question: Is filtered or bottled water better than drinking from the tap?

Dr. Hibberd’s answer:
 
Reverse-osmosis treatment used by many water districts provides an excellent source of clean water, and is often mixed with local treated water from a clean source such as underground aquifer to provide desired trace minerals. This provides highly acceptable drinking water, very close to fresh mountain spring water, and is likely the best method available to mass produce clean water with good taste. 

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Distilled water alone is probably not the best option unless you choose to ad trace mineral supplements (at significant cost). I have my own concerns about water placed in plastic bottles, so I do understand your wish to consume a clean water free of pesticides and unwanted contaminants. It is also true that spring water in some locales is just filtered tap water.
 
You can review your local water authority’s quarterly contamination reports, looking carefully for lead, arsenic, heavy metal, pesticides, and solvent contamination, as well as coliform and other bacteria and parasite contamination. Use these reports to decide whether you should filter your own water with charcoal filters or other whole-house filtration devices, or buy spring water or distilled water.
 
For many people the simplest devices — such as charcoal filters— are better alternatives to buying bottled water or a major investment in an expensive reverse-osmosis home filtration system.

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