San Francisco water is rated among the top in the country:
A personal anecdote as to the age of the pipes in the city: the city currently has ongoing construction replacing the water main on my street.
In general, tap water is the better alternative.
Tap water is regulated by the EPA, while bottled water is regulated by the FDA.
The EPA has stricter standards for pollutants and more regulatory muscle, thanks to $10.02 billion FY 2010 budget versus the FDA’s $3.2 billion.
Bottled water also presents the possibility of leaching plastic, especially if the bottle gets hot.
The National Resource Defense Counsel conducted a four-year review of the bottled water industry, in the process testing over 1000 bottles of water. 22% of brands contained levels of at least one contaminant in violation with state law.
All cities must make public reports on the quality of their tap water.
San Francisco’s can be found here:
If you are worried about contaminants, a good filter (EG, Brita, Pur) is enough to greatly reduce any trace amounts of heavy metals.
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