Distribution of Tap Water
Tap water is distributed to all households through a complex infrastructure network of pipes, pumps, valves, holding tanks and more. Materials within this infrastructure include stainless steel, steel, concrete, wood, plastic, and other metals, including lead. Larger tap water systems can contain of hundreds, if not thousands, of miles of pipes connecting all households to a single, or series, of plants. Leaks are common in such a complex system, which not only leads to losses of drinking water, but also exposes the drinking water to contamination risks from typical negative pressure spikes in the pipeline. Buried trenches that hold public water pipelines may also contain sewage pipes that leak. Breaches in buried public water pipelines pose significant health risks from external contamination.
Distribution of Bottled Water
Bottled water is distributed to the consumer in individual, hygienically sealed bottles. From the time of production to the time of consumption, bottled water is hermetically sealed and protected from the environment, keeping the water inside the bottle safe. These individually sealed bottles are transported by truck, rail or ship from the manufacturer to the retailer, or directly to the consumer.
It is only at the point and time of consumption that the bottle’s seal is broken and the water is exposed to its immediate environment. Hence, bottled water is a safe and healthful alternative to other beverages. This is especially relevant in cases where other drinking water alternatives are not available, such as when public drinking water is not available or safe to drink following natural disasters, or contamination or failure of public drinking water systems.
Furthermore, bottled water is also a safe and healthful choice for hydration where access to public drinking water is simply not possible, unsafe, difficult or inconvenient.