Should I worry about drinking tap water?
How healthy is the stuff that comes out of your kitchen tap? Is it lacking essential minerals, or tainted with microplastics? Here’s what the science says
Water, in case you are not up to date on the science, is good for you. It helps to regulate your body temperature, lubricates and cushions your joints, and aids your digestive system in getting rid of waste. Not drinking enough can affect your mood and disrupt your physical and cognitive performance, but getting plenty of it might help you safely lose weight, by aiding appetite regulation and increasing your metabolic rate. There is even some evidence that glugging enough might help you perform better in exams – though, of course, there might simply be a correlation between the sort of people who tote their own water jugs and those who study hard. H2O, in short, is great. But does it matter where you get it?
The short answer is: not really, if you live in the UK. “We have some of the best-quality tap water in the world,” says Peter Jarvis, professor of water science and technology at Cranfield University. “When you look at compliance against more than 40 water quality parameters – chemical and biological – we have more than 99.97% compliance to these standards in England and Wales, from more than 3.5m samples per year. The global Environmental Performance Index 2022, an annual Yale study which measures disease and death from exposure to unsafe sanitation and drinking water, puts us in the equal top six countries globally, with no reported diseases associated with our water infrastructure.”Continue reading…