Bottled or Tap Water?

Food, Travel Tips — By sarahpruitt on April 15, 2010 at 2:08 pm

The scene: a fancy restaurant in New York City. The players: you and your waiter. He poses a question: bottled or tap water? What do you answer? If you’re thinking of ordering the expensive bottled stuff because you’re worried about taste/quality/getting sick…DON’T!

Not only does New York have the largest drinking-water system in the country–delivering around 1 billion gallons of water a day through 6,000 miles of aqueducts, tunnels, and pipes—but our tap water has consistently ranked among the purest and tastiest in the world. In a blind taste test conducted by ABC News’s 20/20 a few years back, even those who proclaimed themselves dedicated bottled-water drinkers rated tap water higher than popular brands including Poland Spring and Evian.

By Jenny Downing via Flickr

Just this week, New York Magazine tested tap water from 14 locations around the city—including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Public Library, Madison Square Garden, Grand Central Station and Central Park—and proclaimed it pristine and safe to drink (despite infinitesimal amounts of sodium, iron and other additions).

Of course, taste and quality are not the only reasons people choose bottled water—especially if those multi-million-dollar ad campaigns have anything to do with it. So let’s go back to that restaurant we talked about. If you’re trying to impress your date or your traveling companions by ordering the expensive bottled stuff…still DON’T! If your date complains that you’re a cheapskate, just say with confidence that New York City tap water is some of the best water in the world, and that people have actually bottled the stuff for sale. If all else fails, remind them that it’s Earth Day next week, and do it for the environment!

Tags: central park, grand central, madison square garden, metropolitan museum, new york public library, restaurants; water; eating out; safety


  • Tyler Renaghan says:

    I completely agree with you. Ordering the bottled stuff at a restaurant is a big waste. I highly recommend sticking with the still tap water here in San Francisco as well…our water is also delicious. We should figure out a way to have a blind city tap water taste test of our own!

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