Dr. Andrea Middleton - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Andrea Middleton

Is Tap Water Bad For You?



Short answer

Although tap water undergoes treatment, it may still contain contaminants that are extremely harmful to the body. Tap water should be processed through a filtration system to further guarantee safety.



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Long answer

Tap water comes from varied sources such as boreholes, wells or from the municipality. In these sources, there are chemicals, bacteria and other contaminants that are harmful to the human body. To ensure that the water is fit for human consumption, the Municipal heavily treats it through the addition of chemicals to disinfect and remove insoluble particles. Some of the chemicals used include liquefied chlorine, calcium hydroxide, aluminum sulphate, and fluoride. Consequently, the tap water ends up having a particular taste and at times even smell.

The authorities then carry out regular inspections to ensure that the municipal tap water meets the desired safety standards. Despite measures to treat and inspect the water, the process does not target each and every potential contaminant in the water. As a result, contaminants such as heavy metals, pathogens like E-coli and giardia, fuel byproducts and pesticides may still find their way into drinking glasses through the tap water. Some ingredients used to treat the water have side effects and can harm a person with a compromised immune system or who is suffering from chronic ailments.

It is worth noting that even after treatment, the water still passes through pipes where they are likely to get contaminated. It, therefore, begs the question, is tap water bad for you? Health experts advise treating the water further to eliminate any potentially toxic element that may still be present. The easiest way to do this is to use a basic water filter (see below).

Possible short-term side effects

  • diarrhea

Possible long-term side effects

  • eroded tooth enamel
  • discolored teeth
  • encourage cancer cell growth
  • nerve, brain and kidney damage
  • decreased thyroid function
  • decreased immunity

Ingredients to be aware of


  • water is needed to live

Healthier alternatives

  • filtered water

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Brita Water Filter Replacements

  • Reduces chlorine taste/odor
  • Two-month filter life
  • Enhances water quality
  • Convenient 4-pack
  • Compatible with Brita systems
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Rachel Adams
Published on: 01-07-2016
Last updated: 12-01-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Rachel Adams
Published on: 01-07-2016
Last updated: 12-01-2023

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