When I was growing up, we had two kinds of water—tap and hose. I suppose well water could also be put on that list, but seeing as how I was a city girl, there weren’t many wells in our neck of the woods. We also had distilled water, but Mom used it in her iron, not for drinking, which was just as well as it tasted flat and bland. Now we also have mineral water, spring water, sparkling water, purified water, alkalized water, filtered water, deionized water, and flavored water (or as Hubby calls it—Foo-Foo water). Each type of water touts various benefits which, to be honest, are subjective at best. But many people believe that the more they pay for something, the better it must be, which is why the bottled water industry is booming.

I honestly never thought I’d live to see the day when people would buy water in plastic bottles when you can get it for free from the tap. When bottled water first came out, I wondered who in their right mind would buy it (other than people in third-world countries where the tap water is unsafe to drink). But for years, bottled water has been proclaimed as being healthier than tap water. Now, a study published last year in Frontiers in Chemistry that analyzed samples from more than 250 bottled waters sold around the world, found 93% of them are contaminated with microplastics, the worst ones being some of the more popular brands sold in the US. Okay, if having microplastics circulating through my body isn’t scary, I don’t know what is. Plus, plastic leeching into our environment and contaminating our water supply only perpetuates the problem. Many of the chemicals found in plastic bottles can also be harmful to one’s health. There are some other frightening statistics on why plastic water bottles are bad for us, but the fact that it takes three times the amount of water in a bottle of water to produce it as it does to fill it, lends credence to why plastic bottles are not politically correct anymore.

We once had a water purifier attached to our kitchen faucet, but it got so nasty and disgusting that I doubted our water was any healthier after going through this gizmo. Maybe we were supposed to clean it. But with what? Dirty, unpurified tap water?

I’ve been seeing another type of water, lately. Maybe it’s been around for a while, and I just haven’t noticed. It’s called Smart Water. I researched Google for a full five minutes and couldn’t seem to find out why Smart Water is smart, other than all the ads say it’s better for you than unsmart water. So, I’m wondering, if there is such a thing as smart water, does that imply there is such a thing as stupid water?

As for the flavored (Foo-Foo) waters, to me, they taste like someone massively diluted the Kool-Aid. If I want a cherry-flavored beverage, I prefer to just dump a packet of Kool-Aid into a pitcher of tap water (along with enough sugar to keep me buzzing for hours) and get the real thing. None of this pretend Yuppie water.

So, for all you water snobs who only drink the purified, sparkling, deionized, filtered, spring, mineral water, you’re better off sticking to the tap. In most parts of the US, tap water is safer to drink and is a lot cheaper than bottled water. Now, about that garden hose—perhaps Mama didn’t know best, but I survived.