woman holding out a glass of filtered water

Tap Water Vs Filtered Water: Which Is Best For Your Health?

Just in case you weren’t up-to-date on the importance of drinking water, let us refresh your memory. This life-sustaining fluid is good for you - life-sustaining, in fact. It helps to regulate your body temperature, lubricates and cushions your joints, and aids your digestive system in getting rid of waste. 

But does it matter where you get it? Is it tainted with chemicals and other contaminants? If you’re drinking yours straight out of the tap, it might contain more than just H2O. 

Here, we discuss filtered water vs tap water, and what action you can take to make sure your water is the safest and healthiest it can be. 


Is US tap water safe?

little girl washing broccoli under unfiltered tap water


The short answer: it’s debatable, and depends on where you live.  

Since the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972, many water-monitoring issues have arisen. Some of these contamination issues are due to extreme weather events, deteriorating infrastructure and inadequate treatment at water plants, which aren’t set up to remove more modern impurities.

There are a huge number of contaminants that can appear in tap water, leading to health problems and water that doesn’t taste or smell good. Heavy metals, forever chemicals, pesticides, bacteria and microplastics are some of the Top Contaminants & Chemicals Found In US Tap Water that can negatively affect the health of your family or workplace.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates municipal tap water and sets legal limits on certain contaminants. But every water system differs, depending on the water treatment process, pipe systems and age and quality assurance protocols. You can use the EWG’s Tap Water Database to check the levels of contamination in your water supply. 

It’s important to understand how ‘clean’ your drinking water is - forewarned is forearmed. 

Here’s what happens to your tap water before it reaches your home: 


1. It’s contaminated

Before it reaches the water treatment facility, your water supply will have been subject to a multitude of contaminants. Agriculture and industrial run-off, pharmaceuticals, perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS or “forever chemicals”) and microplastics will all be in the mix. 


2. It’s chemically treated

When it reaches the plant, it’s treated with chemicals like chlorine that can leave potentially carcinogenic byproducts behind. However, it’s important to note that disinfection is necessary to kill microbes that would otherwise cause chronic waterborne illnesses.


3. It travels through old pipes

Finally, it travels through miles of pipeline. Older infrastructure, such as lead-lined pipes, can leach traces of toxic heavy metals into your supply. 


Is boiling water as effective as filtration?

What about boiling tap water vs filtering? Heating tap water for at least one minute on a rolling boil can effectively kill harmful microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, and parasites, making the water safe to drink.

However, it doesn’t remove chemical contaminants or impurities, may not improve the taste, odor, or clarity of the water, and it isn’t very kind to the environment. 

Here’s why boiling water isn’t as effective as filtering your H2O.

  • Boiling does not remove chemical contaminants such as heavy metals, pesticides, chlorine, or other dissolved impurities. It can even concentrate some contaminants if the water evaporates during boiling.
  • Boiling water requires energy, which may not be efficient for large quantities of water or for daily use.
  • Boiling water takes time, and you may need to wait for it to cool before consuming.
  • Boiling may not improve the taste or odor of tap water. In fact, it can sometimes make the taste worse due to the concentration of minerals.


What’s the future? Tap water vs filtered water

On the left is someone washing salad leaves under tap water, and on the right is a woman drinking a glass of tap water


If you’re wondering what’s being done to improve the water supply, the future’s unclear. Environmental health community the Environmental Working Group (EWG) says roughly 85% of the US population drinks tap water that contains over 300 contaminants

Unfortunately, an ever-growing list of new chemical compounds comes online almost daily, so the future of our water supply is only getting murkier.

Staying informed and keeping vigilant is key to understanding what the emerging risks are and identifying ways you can control those risks. A water filter is the best way to guarantee that pure, great-tasting, healthy and safe water constantly flows from your faucet.


What’s better for you? Filtered water vs tap water

A reverse osmosis (RO) water filtration system removes pollutants like lead from old water pipes, pesticide run-off in rural areas and byproducts of chemicals like chlorine that are used to treat drinking water. It gets rid of arsenic, nitrates and PFAS, as well as trace amounts of drugs including antibiotics and hormones. Here are some other wonderful health and lifestyle benefits.


Peace of mind

No matter your current water quality, Brio can help turn that water into the very best H2O for you and your family or office. Reverse osmosis (RO) filtration is an ideal way to secure your water, so you always know it’s safe. With 0.0001-micron pores, a reverse osmosis membrane can remove a broad swath of dangerous contaminants. So when you install an RO filtration system or dispenser, you ensure fresh, clean water is easily accessible. 


Better taste

One of the most common complaints about tap water is its taste and odor. For water that’s smooth, refreshing and tastes clean and pure, go RO purified. As well as being great for drinking, filtered water is also ideal for preparing baby formula, tea, coffee, and cocoa as well as cooking hot cereals, soups, rice, and pasta. 



Because an RO filtration system works with your home or office’s own water system and typically comes with a dedicated faucet, purified water is always available. There’s no need to sign up for an expensive bottle delivery service (or break your back lugging them around!) and no worries about water bottles running low. 



Bottled water is an expensive way to stay hydrated, but it hurts the environment even more. An RO filtration system or dispenser means you can kick that single-use plastics habit to the curb for good. An in-home or in-office RO system makes it incredibly easy to switch to reusable sports bottles and glasses.



Proper hydration is an important complement to a healthy lifestyle. Replacing sugary or caffeinated beverages with clean purified water has countless benefits. Installing a water filter empowers everyone in the household or office to make healthier hydration choices. It’s easy for all members to grab a glass, cup or water bottle and fill up. 


You’re in control

In a world where we have little control, with a water filter, you’re in charge. You know you’re hydrating your body with the most pure water possible, which is essential for every cell in your body to function properly. 


How you choose to hydrate is a major daily decision that plays a vital role in your personal health, the nourishment of your family, and beyond. Brio provides cleaner, healthier water to complement your lifestyle.
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