Quality CareFind out why Mayo Clinic is the right place for your health care. Make an appointment.
Meet the StaffFind a directory of doctors and departments at all Mayo Clinic campuses. Visit now.
Research and Clinical TrialsSee how Mayo Clinic research and clinical trials advance the science of medicine and improve patient care. Explore now.
Visit Our SchoolsEducators at Mayo Clinic train tomorrow’s leaders to deliver compassionate, high-value, safe patient care. Choose a degree.
Professional ServicesExplore Mayo Clinic’s many resources and see jobs available for medical professionals. Get updates.
Philanthropy at Mayo ClinicYour support accelerates powerful innovations in patient care, research and education. Give today.
Mayo Clinic offers appointments in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota and at Mayo Clinic Health System locations.
Subscribe to Housecall
Our general interest e-newsletter keeps you up to date on a wide variety of health topics.
Tap water and bottled water are generally comparable in terms of safety. So the choice of tap or bottled is mostly a matter of personal preference.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees bottled water, while the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates tap water. However, they use similar standards for ensuring safety.
The EPA mandates that water utilities provide annual quality reports to customers. These customer confidence reports provide information, such as source (river, lake, aquifer or other source), contaminant levels and potential health effects. However, the EPA doesn't regulate private wells. So if your tap water comes from a private well, you should test your water every year for contaminants, more frequently if needed.
The FDA has good manufacturing practices specifically for bottled water. They require bottled water producers to:
It's important to note that some people are more vulnerable to getting sick from contaminants in drinking water. You may be in this group if you are undergoing chemotherapy, living with HIV/AIDS or have received a transplant. Pregnant women, older adults and children also may be at greater risk. Talk with your doctor about whether you should take additional precautions, such as boiling tap water or drinking bottled water.
Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.
Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission.
Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic.
A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.org," "Mayo Clinic Healthy Living," and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.