Otay Board Affirms Efforts to Support the Use of Tap Water and Reduce the Use of Bottled Water
In January 2018, the Otay Water District Board adopted a resolution to continue supporting the use of municipal tap water with the intent to reduce the purchase and use of bottled water, to the maximum extent possible. The District, however, recognizes the importance of bottled water when municipal tap water is not practical to use, or when it is unavailable during emergencies.
Despite popular belief, tap water is as safe as bottled water. To ensure quality, tap water is regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB). The water that travels to your faucet must meet or exceed rigorous state and federal water quality standards and regulations. Even though bottled water must provide the same protection for public health as tap water, bottled water is regulated as a packaged food product by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
When it comes to the taste, however, that will depend on the source and how the water is treated. Water originates from either the surface such as lakes, rivers and streams, or from underground, which is surface water that sinks into the ground. This includes rainfall. The USEPA and the SWRCB require that agencies from which Otay purchases its treated water – the San Diego County Water Authority, Helix Water District, and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California — perform source water assessments on their raw water supplies.
Tap water provided by the District is of high quality and is available at most public locations. The District vigilantly safeguards its water supplies, and, according to its 2017 water quality report, has never exceeded a health-related maximum contaminant level or any other quality standard.
Tap water is not only safe, but it may be more affordable than bottled water. On average, a gallon of tap water in the region is about three-quarters of a cent per gallon, while bottled water costs more than the equivalent volume of gasoline. That is equivalent to 1,000 to 10,000 times the cost of tap water.