The Best Drinking Water Types in US Review

US Drinking Water Review – Different Types of Water

More and more people are concerned about what might be in their drinking water. We review different types of water most Americans are choosing to use for their drinking water. This US drinking water review will look at 5 of the most common choices. The results will shock you but keep reading until the end, so you can learn about some of the myths which may be the base of your choice.

Why are We Concerned about our Drinking Water?

About 21 Billion pounds of toxic chemicals are released each year – just from industry. That does not include Agriculture and other sources. There is a growing concern about the water supply. In this article, we look at the different types of water we use for our drinking water.

In 2014 it was reported, only  90 water contaminants were regulated under the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). The SDWA does nothing to eliminate the contaminants, just to set safe limits.

9/22/1980 Time Magazine Cover story was, “The Poisoning of America.”

“Last week, sounding the most authoritative warning yet, Julius Richmond, the Surgeon General of the U.S., declared that throughout the 1980s the nation will “confront a series of environmental emergencies” posed by toxic chemicals that “are adding to the disease burden in a significant, although as yet not precisely defined, way.” ~ The Poisoning of America By Ed Magnuson

RoundUp – 2015 Report

The herbicide glyphosate stood at 185 million pounds in 2007 as a reflection of the rising popularity of Monsanto’s Roundup. [source]  A recent latest US Geological Survey study showed 75% of air, and water samples now contain Roundup toxic samples. [Reported 2015] [source]

Is Our Drinking Water Healthy?

We all know it’s not, but we want to keep our families safe. The problem is complex and perplexing to consumers. Labeling laws seem more friendly to companies and profits than to public health safety add to the problem.

Is There a Healthy Safe Clean Drinking water?

The answer to that question looks grim the deeper we look. So decided to look pretty deep into the US drinking water supply.

This article looks at the 5 most popular drinking water choices from different types of water is Part One of a three-part Series. Odds are you will see your choice in these 5 water types and you will probably see things you may not want to see.

Part Two of this series we try to re-frame the conversation about what water should be, to be a healthy drinking water.  The current conversation does not look at a definition of water should be, so much of the conversation is a choice between two or more unhealthy options.

Part 2 – Healthy Drinking Water Best Water to Drink 2016

Part Three of this series ties all that we found in part one and two and tries to tie a bow on the question, “what is the healthiest water to drink”? gives you their favorite choice, but there may be others you choose.  We know you will be tempted to skip to part 3 to get the answer, but this is one of those journey things you may want to take.

Part 3 – Best Purified Healthy Drinking Water Available to Everyone

The journey will be enlightening.

Popular Drinking Water Choices – Five Different Types of Water

The Tap Water Choice

Tap water is getting a bad rap nowadays. But guess what? You will be surprised by the final rankings.Municipal Water, a Source of the Best Drinking Water?

Tap water, many times called Municipal water. It’s what comes out of your tap if you live in a municipality in the US. It is considered ‘free’, but most of us pay water fees, so saying it’s free is 100% not true.

The water quality has to meet standards and is monitored hourly [in most cases] to make sure that standard is kept.

Most Tap Water in the US treated by a series of steps.

Coagulation is the process removes dirt and other particles suspended in the water. Alum and other chemicals are added to attract the dirt particles and settle out in the Sedimentation process.

The water is then passed through a filter normally made up of layers of Sand, Gravel and Charcoal to remove some smaller particles.

Chlorine is added as a disinfectant to kill bacteria and microorganisms. The water is stored in a closed tank or reservoir and awaits distribution through a pipe network to homes and businesses.

Of growing concern is the distribution system sometimes up to a thousand miles in length. In 2001 the US EPA Infrastructure Needs Survey estimated an investment of $150.9 billion will be needed over 20 years just to keep at 2001 standards. That was 14 years ago.

So where does that leave us in our Quest for the different types of water?

  • One city in California had NO source water protection
  • Many cities in the US use pre-World War 1 water delivery systems and treatment technology

Tap water contained a vast array of contaminants: Lead, Pathogens of all kinds, by-products of chlorine treatment including trihalomethane and halo-acetic acids, arsenic, radon, perchlorate and a general term for toxic chemicals.

Right-to-Know Reports

  • Many cites try hard, but still had toxins in their drinking water. The standards are old, outdated by 40 years.
  • Many cities just outright lied on their reports
  • Many cities did not translate the effect on human health  source

We believe we better stand why the public source o Tap Water if falling out of favor. There are too many facts coming to the public.  The job keeping drinking quality water steady, with the tools we have, is just getting too large and hard to manage. The priority of long environmental wisdom is losing to short-term profit and economic gain.

Local Variances in Source Water Quality

Local variances in source water quality based on seasons, and other environmental factors, allow time-to-correct deviations from the standard. However, deviations can become a two-sided coin as officials balance health concerns with disruption of economics and daily human life if water service is cut off.

For example, there is a city to the south of the offices. A very recent Environmental Work Group nationwide water survey showed the city with consistent issues over a period of time.
Those issues are caused by a saltwater intrusion into their drinking water source. It is an environmental issue beyond the scope of the city. So what to do? It is hard to blame the city for a regional issue. There is good news. The water quality can be restored by good filtration systems at the home level.  And that seems to be a key takeaway, most the time it is a personal responsibility issue for families; we need to protect ourselves and not wait for someone to ‘fix it’.

Tap Water Quality Tied to Source Water Quality

Many times tap water quality is tied to source water quality. As municipal water sources shrink or suffer a quality loss due to local toxic pressure from industry, agriculture, animal husbandry, prescriptions, fracking, drought, etc. Unfortunately, there is a nationwide decreasing trend of water source quality.

Your Local Drinking Water Source is a Precious Commodity

One thing to remember, your local drinking water source is a precious commodity. It should not be sold to bottlers or allowed to become polluted. It should be treated like the precious part of life it is; a vital need for life. Get involved and make sure your regulators and officials understand the need for good water, for humans.

For the bad rap tap water is getting nowadays, we find it interesting that tap water is the base for most other water types. Only one of the following common choices for drinking water, Well Water, do not start with tap water.

The Case FOR Tap Water as
The Best Drinking Water

  • Tightly regulated [ a good thing]
  • Treated – Chorine [good news, it can be Filter out at the family level]
  • Bad news, most filters don’t filter out the Chorine and its byproducts
  • It’s Free, but not really, however the cost is very low
  • It is regulated and monitored to meet a national standard
  • Probably better for you than bottled water
  • Public control, controlled for the public good and not for profit motivation
  • Many problems with tap water can be fixed at the family level of use

The Case AGAINST Tap Water as
The Best Drinking Water

  • Treated – Chorine, and sometimes, lots of it [a bad thing it not filtered, but necessary to kill living things in the water]
  • Hot Showers means you are breathing Chlorine Gas and absorbing chlorine through your skin lungs
  • “Showering [and hot baths] are suspected as the primary cause of elevated levels of chloroform in nearly every home because of the chlorine in the water.”
    Dr. Lance Wallace of the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Sources vary and may need regional intervention for safeguarding
  • What is in the aging pipes delivering it to your faucet? [ some times up to 1000 miles of pipe delivery in larger cities]
  • Filtered? Probably not
  • Public Image – People are disliking tap water more as the bottled water industry cranks up the popularity of us carrying tap water around in an unhealthy plastic bottle.

The Bottled Water Choice

Many household families choose to use bottled water rather than drinking from the tap but guess what…Is Bottled Water Really Just Tap Water?

Most consumers don’t or realize that most of the bottled water is tap water shipped over a state line. About 85% of the time, bottled water is unhealthy water with leached BPS, and BPA leached from the bottle.

Wait, bottled water ( in 2009) is 50% of the time just tap water shipped over a state line in a toxic plastic bottle? Yes. And that trend is suspected to be increasing? Yes.  source

Advertising Words Do Not Change the Fact

Even ‘mountain stream’, ‘fresh’, ‘clean’ ‘natural’, and ‘bottled at the source’ advertised bottled water still comes with a no-idea-what’s-in-it clause, because the source is not verified or monitored. Those just advertising words printed on bottled tap water. So why do we may think it is fantastic and the best source of water, we just do not know that for a fact. Decide for yourself if you think if their words are factual or more likely profit-motivated hype.

This lack of care hardly justifies the prices that these companies charge for their product. More than that, if drinking the unregulated expensive water stops you from finding a validated source of healthy water, then it may be causing a lot of harm to your loved ones.

Bottled Water Costs more than Gas?

Bottled water can cost you more than gasoline. Over a few years, for one family, that could add up to anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000. It can be a pretty scary thought when you take the time to sit back and look at the cost of unregulated drinking water vs. regulated water.

The real cost of Bottled Water

  • The US spends over $100,000,000,000 (100 billion dollars) a year on bottled water (2012 -2103)
  • 50,000,000,000 (50 billion toxic plastic bottles) which most are not recycled
  • 16,000,000 (16 million) barrels of oil are consumed making the plastic bottles
  • 17,000,000 (17 million) barrels of oil are consumed transporting the bottled water
  • BPA and BPS leach from the bottles into the water, especially in warmer temperatures.
  • Even in 2010, National Geographic published an article linking BPA to heart disease. source
  • Much more has come out about the health costs since 2010.

The Case FOR Bottled Water as
The Best Drinking Water

  • Convenient, but then so are harder no-toxic plastic water bottles
  • Water in a pinch – disasters, this water easily transportable and basic water better than options when choices are scarce to nothing

The Case AGAINST Bottled Water as
The Best Drinking Water

  • Expensive
  • No regulation – other than those laws that apply to the source
  • Sourced for profit not common good
  • High probability of repackaged tap water
  • Chance it’s worse for you than tap water
  • Plastic Bottle is linked to health concerns
  • There are an Environment and society cost of transportation is high
  • There are an Environment and society cost of bottle creation/manufacture is high
  • There is an Environmental pollution cost with only 23% of bottles being recycled – leaving 38 billion a year bottles in landfills or in the the ocean, beaches, lakes, etc. source
  • Healthier less costly options available

The Reverse Osmosis Water Choice

Reverse Osmosis (RO) water is a hot topic on the internet. The process is probably the best water filtration on the market. If filtration were the only thing that makes a healthy best drinking water, it would win hands down.

However, filtration is not the only issue, and RO water has its share of other issues.After talking to many people who have RO systems, we find them to be loyal to their investment even as they complain about some of the health conditions that can come with the use of the water.

RO Water and Health Conditions

In the Con’s section below we mention health issues, so we should describe them to help answer questions.
The base to the issues are caused by the RO process’ strength; great filtering. It is so good that everything is taken out of the water leaving a ‘dead’ acidic water.


Reverse Osmosis water is normally 5.0 to 6.0 on the pH scale. Water is considered to be a natural pH of 7.0. The pH scale is logarithmic like the earthquake Richter scale. So an RO water pH score of 5.0 is 100 times more acidic than normal 7.0 pH water, and 1000 times acidic than a higher pH water of 8.0.

As a result, RO water can signal the body to take minerals from your bones to help raise the pH to a higher level. Long-term use of RO water can help lead or contribute to bone issues such as osteopenia and the more severe osteoporosis.

Minerals and Hydration

Minerals play a role in water moving across cell membranes – hydration. In a sense, the more minerals, the better the hydration. The fewer the minerals, the more the body need to correct the imbalance or eliminate to make the water more healthy.

From a body burden standpoint, the RO water you drink makes your body respond to the low mineral and pH to use it for the body. If used long-term, you are adding the bodies list of things it has to take care of, a body burden we discuss later in this 3 part series. So your body spends more time, energy and resources correcting the body’s imbalances and less time trying to keep you healthy.


Reverse Osmosis water takes 3-4 gallons of water to make one gallon of usable water. This fact brings up sustainability issues, especially as world sources of water, are being used faster then the water can be replaced. Water use is becoming a hot social and political topic in the state of California due to the years of drought in that state.

Cost of Reverse Osmosis Systems

RO systems have a high investment cost when installed. The highest of any of the other water types we are mentioning, except for Well water. The cost of the wastewater should also be factored in. The cost of usable water would be at least four times as expensive from any other of the best drinking water options. Finally, there is a filter cost involved. That cost is much higher than the cost associated with standard filter systems.

The Case FOR Reverse Osmosis Water as
The Best Drinking Water

  • Excellent Filtration
  • For very short term use, it is water.
  • ahh …

The Case FOR Reverse Osmosis Water is NOT
The Best Drinking Water

  • Expensive – high investment cost
  • Expensive – high use costs
  • Not sustainable
  • Dead water, no minerals – can help cause health issues
  • Very acidic – pH 5 -6 can help cause health issues

The Filtered Water Choice

Most families are drinking ‘filtered’ water because they think it is more healthy than tap water. The Problem?

The Problem? When is a Filter Not a Filter?

The problem? The filtration is of such a low level it does nothing to keep us healthy. But worse yet, advertising for those filter products suggest ‘fresh’ ‘natural’ ‘from the source’ ‘spring’ water and we think we have found a good healthy solution. (Similar circumstances as with Bottle Water.)

Simply put, not all filters are NOT created or tested equally.
Most people trust Refrigerator and countertop pitcher types of filtration. Those types of filters only make the water look and taste better and do little to help your body’s health.

Refrigeration and Pitcher Filtration

Refrigerator and pitcher filtration do nothing to filter out major the toxic health stuff. They lower class of filters for the NFS Standard 42 aesthetic standards designed to make the water look and taste better by taking out larger particles and “free chlorine ” but little else. Thereby leaving all the toxin still in the water, so you are drinking good tasting polluted water.

Filtered water is a good way to go, but the buyer must navigate through the marketing material to make sure the health claims are not implied or the filters get rid of just a few of the easier toxins.

What To Look for As REAL Filtration

Make sure to look for independent certification, such as Water Quality Association, to qualify or exceed these ALL of these three standards, NSF 42, NSF 53 and NSF 273 [low lead] filtration standards. You may have to look a lot, but if you do not see the independent certifications for those three standards, the product you are looking at, won’t have them. only knows of one product that independent certification for all three NSF Standards which we discuss in Part 3 of this series.

Filtering tap water keeps down the cost of your water while taking advantage of the municipal monitoring and treatment of drinking water. The really good news is that NSF 53 Standard takes out the chlorine. NSF 42 Standard does not take out the chlorine, with associated VOC’s and host of other really bad stuff. So when filtering with NSF 53, we can get the benefits of using chlorine as a water treatment without the adverse health effects. And that, is a win win

The Case FOR Filtered Water as
The Best Drinking Water

  • Uses cheap [almost free] tap water
  • There is availability of water source
  • There is availability of Filters
  • NSF Standard 53 and 273 [low lead] Standards are designed to make water healthy-IF you find the right unit
  • Cost of filters can vary, but normally are inexpensive
  • Filtration is normally the best economic option
  • Purifies water after pipe delivery of tap water, so water out of the purifier is not contaminated by pipes
  • The right filters help to take out the toxic variables from local water
  • Properly filtered water makes a huge difference to the health of your family IF, you have the right filtration

The Case FOR Filtered Water NOT being
The Best Drinking Water

  • Cost of changing Filters
  • Need to change filters, so the “dam” effect of filtering out toxins do not get released back into the water
  • Watch out for small sized filters, they need to be changed much more often
  • Marketing Hype can confuse buyers into making bad decisions thereby not receiving any of the filtered advantages
  • Most filters do very little for your health

The Well Water Choice

The main problem with Well water is that people just assume it better.

The Best Drinking Water Type?

Well Water is considered by many to be some of the best water you can drink. It is filtered by the earth and not treated with chlorine so many see it as good tap water. Both those statements are true, it is also true that local source water conditions vary so much and with such impact that well water can be very unhealthy.

Maybe Not the Best

The main problem with Well water is that people just assume it better. It’s not tested or monitored, and if the water source is closer to the surface, the water quality can easily be determined by runoff conditions.

We know by experience that well water can degrade quickly depending on the condition of the well and the pipes that carry the water to the faucet.

What Run off Conditions?

  • The higher the ground source water is to the surface the more the ground water is affected by run off conditions.
  • Farm Animal Waste
  • Farm Crop chemical spraying of all types
  • Natural local soil conditions
  • Past Mining operations

The Case FOR Well Water as
The Best Drinking Water

  • From an underground so assumed filtered
  • Normally very clear
  • Not treated with chlorine
  • Fewer if any Chlorine produced VOC’s normally found in drinking water
  • In many remote areas of the world, Well water is the best source

The Case FOR Well Water NOT being
The Best Drinking Water

  • Not treated with chlorine
  • Not regulated
  • Probably not monitored
  • Subject to environmental circumstances around you
  • IE Agriculture chemical runoff
  • IE Agriculture livestock runoff
  • If historical mining, mining operations
  • Not tested, many just assume it’s better
  • If privately tested, frequent testing needed adding to the expense
  • Testing only give a list of what is in the water and passes no judgement on the viability of the water
  • Contains all pollution in the local water source

The US Water Supply Summary

The Truth About US Drinking Water Supplies

The truth about the US drinking water supplies? They are disappearing, getting more polluted, and delivered through an antiquated and aging pipe system.

Do not expect a lot of help finding solutions or waiting for the government to fix the problem. This is your issue to decide on a choice and act on that choice. It is personal responsibility time.

It’s your future and your health, so take control of your choice by reading all Three Part3 of the A QUEST for THE BEST DRINKING WATER IN THE US, if that is our choice.

Why Does the Future of Drinking Water Supplies Look so … Dim?

Why? The solutions to our drinking water problems butt heads with powerful economic interests, even with the issues getting worse.

Our Congress gave fracking companies a “no liability” clause for the condition of groundwater supplies where they frack. That means fracking companies can come and frack away, then leave without any regard to the local or regional water table they leave behind. Again, Congress choosing jobs and profit over public health. So the oil fracking boom will come at a huge cost for certain areas of the country.

Is that statement a future prediction gleaned by spiritual forces? Nope, it just seems like a logical conclusion when we put short term economic energy interests above long-term environmental wisdom for the public well-being. I was once told, “you can’t sell from a burning barn.” It would seem we are setting fires to our barns.

The Best Drinking Water Choice Ranking?

If People use  low NSF 42 level filters found refrigerator and pitcher type filter systems as of this article the ranking would be:

  • Well Water – a good chance the water is pretty good
  • Filtered Water – at least tap water tastes better
  • Tap Water – they are doing their best, but probably pretty bad
  • Bottled Water – good chance its only tap water in a toxic plastic bottle
  • Reverse Osmosis Water – in our opinion, will always be last

If people waded through the advertising hype and found  a system with the right filtering standard of NSF  42, 53 and 273, the ranking would be:

  • Filtered Water –  tap water tastes better and water filtered to a health standard – bad stuff gone other issues can be talked about but this is an excellent start
  • Well Water – a good chance the water is pretty good
  • Tap Water – they are doing their best, but probably pretty bad
  • Bottled Water – good chance its only tap water in a toxic plastic bottle
  • Reverse Osmosis Water – in our opinion, will always be last

There is an ANSWER!

But fear thou not, the sun is rising. There are spring flowers in the fields. There are options. There one particular option that in our opinion stands out from the crowd and goes way beyond purified, healthy filtration, so keep reading all three parts. We will find the Best Drinking Water in the US and the world.

Defining a Purified Healthy Drinking Water  
Part 2 of 3 – A Quest for the Best Drinking Water in the US

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