Water provides many important physiological functions in the body. As a nutrient, water is required in greater amounts than all other nutrients and its deprivation will cause deficiency symptoms sooner than that of any other nutrient. Water may be a carrier of significant amounts of other nutrients and at times it can be a carrier of toxic (harmful) chemical compounds and microbiological agents.
In today’s culture, there is much concern about the quality of drinking water as shown by the sale of large quantities of bottled water, which seems to reflect the perception that bottled water has a higher “quality” than tap water. In fact, the reverse may be the case if by tap water is meant the water from a municipal system. This is so because municipal water systems are required by law to issue an annual report that shows an extensive and detailed array of analytical results. In other word, transparency is a hallmark of the quality of water from municipal systems. In contrast, a bottle of purified drinking water may carry on the label: “Quality Guarantee”, and an 800 number to call. Whatever the results of such a call might be, one can assume that in many cases, the municipal water will be at least equal to or greater than the quality of the bottled water.