As it turns out, tap water can be just as delicious (if not better) than bottled options.

By Zee Krstic
March 04, 2019
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Getty: elenaleonova

There's no doubt about it: Tap water has some health drawbacks for Americans living in areas where purity and cleanliness is an issue. Bottled water, however, is also associated with its own set of flaws, particularly in relation to the environment-we all know that relying less on bottled varieties is a must when it comes to reducing your ecological footprint. So, which should we be drinking? It all depends on where you live, but in many cases, tap water can be just as safe and delicious as bottled varieties. In fact, those living in a certain part of Colorado have unlimited access to the "best" tap water in the entire country.

A panel of water experts recently convened at the 29th annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting convention and sampled water from across the world, most of which was collected from free, public taps sourced in different countries. The panel, which was comprised of 10 judges known as "Certified Water Tasters," ended up declaring winners from all over the globe, ranking bottled water in different categories, too. According to the event's press release, industry experts often refer to this event as the "Academy Awards of Water." Experts tasted small sips of water, ranking each source for appearance, mouth feel, aroma, taste, and after taste-they immediately disqualified waters that had an odor or were unclean in appearance or taste. The waters were sampled in multiple rounds over the course of two days.

The top winner at the event across the board did come from a public tap based in Clearbrook, British Columbia. But in the United States, experts said the clear-cut winner came from the municipal district of Eldorado Springs, Colorado, which earned top ranks in each category.

You should know that the panel didn't sample each and every source of tap water in America-and since this is the event's 29th annual conference, you'll notice that annual winners don't often change.

"The consistency in winners from year to year with different panels of judges validates the choices," said Arthur von Wiesenberger, one of the event's experts. "It also speaks to the impressively high caliber of the waters entered."

Other places with outstanding tap water in the U.S. include Independence, Missouri; Desert Hot Springs, California; and Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. You can see more winners (including bottled water varieties) in this press release-while you may live in one of the areas listed, there are many more steps you can take to reduce waste in your kitchen besides making the switch to tap.

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