The WHO has moved stuff on their site, but I think this document is one source:
Coffee grounds are a good filter for removing heavy metal contaminants from water:
I've heard many people claim this but I've never seen any convincing evidence that it actually happens in vivo. Even if you pour it directly down the throat, ultra-pure water stops being ultra-pure as soon as it hits the stomach. There's no way it can touch any gastrointestinal cells before it's contaminated.
Your linked article even acknowledges this. "currently available data have not unambiguously demonstrated a
direct negative effect of low mineral content water on the gastrointestinal mucous membrane." It also cites an animal study showing no damage:
Water can be an important source of dietary minerals, but the health impact of this depends on what else you're eating. I agree it makes sense to have minerals in drinking water, for the taste as well as the possible health benefits, but missing them is not actively dangerous.
[Reverse Osmosis System] [Showering & Washing]
[RO storage tank]
Say what? Plastic bottles are much more environmentally friendly.
Sigh, if people can't even agree on what is and isn't good for the environment there is zero chance of actually improving it. (Or maybe we've reached the max and the only things left to argue about is little irrelevant things.)
Bottled water (usually purchased in a 1.5l, 2l or 1gal container) is something I purchase only for convenience when I simply don't have access to any tap water at all.
I'm not so sure. I think there is something else about it that makes it habit forming. When dieting I sometimes get into a 10 can a day habit with fairly strong cravings despite a high caffeine intake from coffee.
The cravings are not too hard to overcome - a few days of abstinence and they go away. I don't notice health/well-being differences with or without it. The main motivation to quit is because lugging crates of the stuff home is a damn nuisance!
I'm from Britain, where the product was withdrawn after terrible publicity, and following that it was never launched in the rest of Europe. I hadn't realised it still existed in the USA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dasani
("Can't live without spunk" is unbelievably bad advertising too. Spunk is slang for semen...)
I live in alameda, and I drink the tap water - I love it. I have kleen canteen I keep with me almost always with water in it, and I try to avoid bottled water as much as possible mostly because I don't like the plastic waste
I fill up my Nalgene before I leave and only buy bottled water on rare occasions.
I used to live in San Mateo, they had pretty good tap water to.
For the most part, though, everything works well enough. So I'm happy overall.
And, well... what else are you supposed to do if you aren't going to be near a faucet for a while?
I remember once seeing a women in a church service with her mandatory stylish bottle of water. Now, it's certainly possible that she had an actual medical issue requiring frequent hydration, and it's certainly possible that she was also of a social class such that the stylish water bottle was the reasonable way to address her medical issue — but Ockham's Razor suggests not.
Water's great. Honestly, I like the idea of a water sommelier: having the opportunity to taste different waters sounds cool. I love the idea of drinking water thousands of years old (although I wonder how trustworthy the supplier are: it'd be a lot cheaper just to distil tapwater than to net chunks of iceberg). But the social signalling aspect is just weird.
We pay millions of dollars for good, clean drinking water. And it is — outside of hellholes like Flint, MI — pretty damned good stuff. Why buy it as a matter of course?
I really don't get why the left hate water bottles so fucking much, it has become quite tiresome.
What I don't get is this lazy, ridiculous partisan politics bullshit. That has become extraordinarily tiresome. "The left hate water bottles". WTF are you talking about? A water bottle is a device for putting water in. WTF does left-leaning politics have to say about that? Did the British labour party have elimination of water bottles as one of their manifesto pledges? Did the Weather Underground declare war on water bottles? Maybe I missed the bit where Al Gore  invoked a committee examining how to remove the scourge of water bottles. When Baader-Meinhof assassinated a banker, did they have a parallel plot to take out a bottle factory? Did the Comintern have a working party identifying water bottle plants to eliminate after the revolutions?
 Who actually represents a right-wing political party, but WTF, I'm already flowing .
 Pun intended.
But then times changed. Nowadays people don't listen to their bodies and drink accordingly. The advertisers have told people that they need to buy water and drink it to avoid getting dehydrated - 'mustn't get dehydrated'... Tapwater is inconceivable to this demographic, it has to be the stuff in plastic bottles (water cooler included).
I also like the way old-fashioned drinks are a slightly sociable thing. If I make tea I do it for everyone, we take turns. Meanwhile the 'hydrationists' sort their own bottled water arrangements out, it is not a shared thing.
I also like the way that tap water gets to your door. There are pumping stations, pipes and this thing called gravity!!! Meanwhile, the 'hydrationists' need little men driving big lorries full of water across continents, more little people in shops stacking shelves with this stuff, time out of their day to go to the shops to buy this stuff and the money to pay for it. I don't see myself as that special, tap water is more me (60% or so...), you are what you drink.
The water company here says that it's unfair to compare the tap water with bottled mineral water; the tap water is substantially better.
(I had a tour of the plant. They are a serious group of overachievers. The source of the water is mostly the local lake, and is purified by, two grades of sand filter, activated charcoal, ozone purification, and a bacterial bed. They actively manage the biofilms in the water pipes; the water itself is so clean that chlorination is unnecessary. They also actively manage the local aquifers so that the underground water flow near any industrial site flows away from their collection wells. There are two separate distribution networks, one for emergencies, plus a warehouse full of bagged water ready for distribution. And, best of all, it tastes great.)
After treatment, the water flows through a glass tank with some daphnia in it (water fleas). These are watched with a video camera and motion analysis done by computer.
Apparently, they aren't just able to detect impurities by detecting differences in the way the daphnia move, they are capable of detecting individual compounds because they affect the daphnia differently...
I wouldn't recommend calling them German. :)
'The official language of Zürich is (the Swiss variety of Standard) German...' 
Northern Switzerland was founded by Germanic tribes, after all.
The term is not restricted to only refer to modern Germany (which didn't even exist as a unified state until the late 19th century).
I definitely don't trust the municipal water sources + local plumbing my landlords provide to be of the highest quality. I'd like to measure what actually comes out of my taps but I'm not aware of a lab which would affordable do contaminant level testing for just a few samples.
- ancient Victorian infrastructure means that there are leaks. They're terrified of contaminated water getting into the system, so they crank the pressure up, to ensure that any leaks happen outwards. This, of course, makes the leaks worse.
- even so, the water has to be chlorinated, and in some areas, quite heavily. You will never forget the first time you turn on a tap and get gassed.
- some really old houses still have lead pipes. I was taught as a child that if I wanted to drink water, I should let the water run until it went cold before filling a glass.
- some not-so-old houses still have a low-pressure water system which runs things like hot water, bathroom taps, etc. Traditionally these run off a tank in the loft, filled from the mains. This tank is frequently unsealed, and so fills up with sludge, moths, dead rats, etc. Even today, do not drink water from the hot tap unless it's obviously at mains pressure (which means it's connected to the mains via a sealed high-pressure water tank or a heat exchanger). (The reason for this is to enforce a vertical drop between the water mains and the house system, so that if the pressure ever falls in the water mains, there's no risk of sucking contaminated water back up the pipe. In such houses, there is a single source of potable water, which is the cold tap in the kitchen.)
- even then the water out of some of the aquifers is so hard as to be nigh undrinkable. Soap works markedly better in Scotland than it does in south-east England, and if you go to Cambridge you might as well not wash.
Of course, a lot of this is now being fixed, although slowly and painfully --- I think lead pipes are now no longer a thing. But it really makes me appreciate how good the water is in Zürich.
...because you can't connect the hot water and cold water systems together (because of aforesaid risk of sucking contaminated water out of the hot system into the cold system).
Or a backflow preventer - they are the law in many states. Put one on the hot and cold side.
Where really old means "built before 1970".
>I think lead pipes are now no longer a thing.
There's been a lot of work to get rid of all the lead pipes, but there are still plenty around. Also, DIYers sometimes use the wrong, lead-based, solder for water pipe.
> this 'hydration' ritual you are theorizing.
You are lucky not to have encountered the whole "hydration" fetish. It's especially bad with kids (apparently they are so busy having fun they don't notice when they are thirsty -- and this has apparently only recently developed??) and spread via parents into the workplace. part of the pathology of helicopter parenting.
But for places with old water lines and all kinds of junk in the water it can make good sense to use bottled water for consumption.
n.b. Germany has some of the strictest regulations and accordingly the tap water is of excellent quality - everywhere.
- Munich https://www.swm.de/privatkunden/m-wasser/qualitaet.html (the 1st PDF link)
- Nuremberg https://www.n-ergie.de/privatkunden/produkte/wasser/analysew... (click on the map, starts an interactive map, Flash unfortunately, from which the values for the four different areas they provide water for are available)
- Berlin http://www.bwb.de/content/language1/html/3255.php
I knew a woman who was a water engineer at the local waterworks. She drank nothing but tap water. You can trust a product when the engineers that made it use it.
On the other hand, I spent some time in Russia and in Ukraine. I don't remember all the places any more, but I think the worst was in Odessa, Ukraine - an incredibly beautiful city that I fervently recommend visiting (even for someone who used to live in the Presidio in San Francisco) - where I would not even brush my teeth with the water. I had tried to use it to prepare pasta, the result was disgusting. Those pasta went into the trash.
From a German point of view (chlorine tastes and smells horrible) this is just ridiculous.
If one has a good pipe system, the ozonated water is fine. If there's any worry, though, chlorinated is safer. I'm not surprised that a military base would choose the safer alternative: no-one ever got fired for ensuring that the water is safe to drink.
From 10 minutes of research it looks like SF is lead-free for water mains, but this talks about how fixtures even up until 2010 potentially contain unsafe levels of lead: http://www.bayarealeaddetectors.com/blog/
And this is just one contaminant: http://www.livescience.com/56210-what-is-chromium-6-in-tap-w...
https://www.epa.gov/ccl/types-drinking-water-contaminants // https://www.wqa.org/learn-about-water/common-contaminants
While I personally don't buy bottled water (lucky enough to have RO filtration at home and at work), I don't really blame those who do out of fear. Unless you get what's coming out of the actual taps you use tested regularly, you don't actually know what you're drinking.
I can understand wanting bottled water in London where tap tastes terrible, being 80% limestone, but for the rest of the UK bottled is a pointless waste of money.
There's a water hardness map for England (PDF): http://www.dwi.gov.uk/consumers/advice-leaflets/hardness_map...
(But you should go to Manchester anyway.)
The previous use of the surface site doesn't necessarily make the aquifer unusable. It would be much more damning if their water was tested and found to have higher than normal levels of volatile organic compounds or whatever.
Yes, the paint factory was a superfund site. So this wasn't the "it's just tap water" story, it turned out to be an actual public health issue.
Water coming from the tap is still tasty and I use it for other culinary purposes except for direct drinking.