water splashes out of class as it is poured

Purified vs. Tap Water Fountains: Which Is Right for Your Campus?

There’s no denying that water is one of the most important resources in the world. It covers more than 70% of the Earth’s surface, and humans, animals and plants need it to survive. In today’s world, almost all of our water is supplied through a tap — simply turn on the faucet, and you’ll see running water right in front of you.

On a school campus, water is just as important as it is everywhere else. As students study in the library, cook food in their dorms and rush to and from classes, they need water to fuel their every move. While water may seem simple on the surface, you must consider the type of water you want to provide for your students. Is drinking fountain water the same as tap water?

This article will discuss the differences between purified and tap water while also covering the best type to drink and which fountain is the safest to put in schools.

The Difference Between Purified and Tap Water

Is purified water the same as tap water? The short answer is no. But what’s the difference between the two? The most apparent difference between purified water and tap water is the quality of the product. While tap water has to meet several quality standards specific to the local municipality, purified water has to meet those regulations and then some.

It’s usually completely safe to drink tap water. However, because many local municipal water systems don’t have the capital to invest in more advanced purification methods, tap water isn’t as free of metals and pollutants as the alternative. Therefore, purified water is ultimately the healthier option. But if tap water is filtered to a degree, what is purified water — and what makes purified water better than tap water?

To consider water clean, it must contain less than 10 parts per million of total dissolved solids (TDS). The purification process takes those basic standards a step further. Through a purification system, a series of filters or “membranes” work to remove leftover debris. Aside from physical filtration, chemical filtration is a common method, which involves using solvents to eliminate impurities from the water.

Currently, we can only purify water through specific and costly methods such as distillation, deionization or reverse osmosis. But even though the purification process is expensive, do the health benefits of drinking purified water instead of tap water outweigh the costs?

The Health Benefits of Drinking Purified Water

While tap water must meet quality standards when it leaves the treatment plant, keep in mind that it also must travel through miles of pipes before it gets to you — and the older a pipe gets, the less sanitary it becomes. A system of older pipes often collects dirt, rust and bacteria, which can find its way into the water before it makes it to your tap.

Consuming too much unpurified tap water can start to affect your health. With purified water, you’re free to reap all the benefits of water without any health risks associated with tap water contaminants. Here are just a few of the health benefits of drinking purified water vs. tap water:

  • Has no added chlorine: Most tap water contains chlorine, which is added during the filtering process at most public water treatment plants to act as a disinfectant. While safe to drink in trace amounts like those found in tap water, drinking too much chlorinated water can have adverse effects on the body due to toxic carcinogens that become present in the water.
  • Offers a better taste: Have you ever noticed that your tap water has a distinct smell or a bitter taste? That results from the different chemicals in the water, whether for disinfection purposes or from a lack of advanced filtration systems. Since the purification process eliminates these chemicals, purified water smells and tastes great compared to its nonfiltered counterparts. 
  • Makes staying hydrated easy: Furthermore, better-tasting water will cause people to drink more of it. By drinking more water, you can reap its daily and long-term health benefits, which are only amplified when the water is purified and not containing any harsh substances.
  • Supports healthier skin: Not drinking enough water can lead to dry or dehydrated skin. Therefore, drinking more purified water will hydrate your skin and make it look fresh and healthier.
  • Boosts hair and scalp health: Unpurified water containing chlorine and various metals is harmful to your hair and scalp’s health. However, drinking lots of purified water can hydrate your scalp and hair while improving hair strength, increasing blood circulation to the scalp and preventing dandruff and hair thinning.
  • Creates potential for weight loss: With zero calories, no sugar and minimal other ingredients, water is the best drink for those trying to lose weight. It actually promotes weight loss in more ways than being a healthy alternative to sodas and juices. If you drink enough water throughout the day, you can curb your appetite so you don’t overindulge during your meals.

Ultimately, the best type of water to drink is purified water. While you don’t have to replace every water source on your campus, you should consider switching out a few of your school’s water fountains for a safer alternative that dispenses purified water. This way, your students will always have access to a healthy water option.

Purified Water Solutions for Campuses

American Food & Vending offers a few different ways to provide purified drinking water to campuses. All of our water cooler options are bottle-less, perfect for campuses with “Go Green” initiatives that are also looking to cut costs and improve convenience. In fact, you could save 75% when you make the switch from bottles to a purified water system.

American Food & Vending has a purified water solution for any scenario. Whether you need a simple water cooler, one with a bit of flavor or a substitute for sugary soda, our products can get the job done:

  • Ice and water dispensers: These purified ice and water machines are perfect for taking the place of a water cooler or tap fountain. As a result, students will have easy access to chilled, sparkling and still water.
  • Bevi — The Smart Watercooler: Bevi is a flavored water machine that offers both chilled and sparkling water in a variety of flavors. This machine delivers flavored water without added sugar, making it ideal for a school cafeteria or dining hall.

Make Your Campus Healthier With American Food & Vending

American Food & Vending offers high-quality purified water solutions designed to help you ditch the water bottles and go green. If you’re ready to replace your water coolers or tap water fountains with a purified and more sustainable option, contact American Food & Vending today to learn more about our available options!