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Tap Water instead of Bottled Water

An image of a glass of water and a plastic water bottle next to each other, with the header "Same water. Different price."

When it comes to water, the best environmental choice is to avoid single-serve bottles all together and drink tap water.

Why? Drinking tap water in a reusable bottle uses 85% less energy and 79% less greenhouse gas emissions than drinking the same amount of water from a disposable bottle of water. [1]

Save money. Buying bottled water or delivered water service is far more expensive than tap water (and Portland has great tap water!)

What can your workplace do to support tap water?

Make it easy

  • Use reusable water glasses and pitchers for meetings and events.
  • Provide washable glasses and mugs in kitchen or break rooms.
  • Create a “no bottled water” policy (like Multnomah County has had since 2010).

Educate staff

  • Share stats about the costs and environmental impacts of bottled water versus tap (such as those above).
  • Organize a lunch viewing of “The Story of Bottled Water.” 

What about delivery service water?

Much like individual water bottles, delivered water has much higher costs – environmental and monetary – than tap water.

Tap water taste and quality

If you dislike the taste of your workplace's tap water, or are worried about its quality, have it tested rather than make assumptions. Contact the Water Bureau for more information: 503-823-7525 or wbwaterline@portlandoregon.gov

Filter at your tap

If you want filtered water, you can install a filter directly to your faucet or to the water line under your sink. If you currently contract with a water delivery vendor, check with them about options for dispensers that use your tap water instead. A number of companies offer both types of service.


References:

[1]: Life Cycle Assessment of Drinking Water Systems: Bottle Water, Tap Water, and Home/Office Delivery Water – Oregon Department of Environmental Quality