Test the Tap: Locals Prefer Tap Water to Bottled Water

Most Boston residents preferred tap water to bottled water in a blind taste test.

Water fountain photo by Melissa malamut

Water fountain photo by Melissa malamut

The Boston Public Health Commission surveyed residents about water this summer through their “Test the Tap” initiative, asking residents which type of water they preferred (tap or bottled), and then had each person perform a blind taste test. Surprisingly, most people had no clue as to whether or not they were tasting tap or bottled water. Although the majority of people who took the survey said that they usually prefer bottled water, most of them preferred the unlabeled blue cooler during the taste test, which turned out to be tap water.

This effort is part of the Public Health Commission’s Water Wednesday series, which aims to teach Boston residents about where our tap water comes from. According to a video recently released by the commission (tagged “Started at the Quabbin now I’m here”), most Boston residents get their water from the Quabbin Reservoir, which is 65 miles from the city of Boston. The Reservoir, which was built in the 1930s, ships 500 million gallons of water each day. The water then heads to the Wachusett Reservoir, and then to the Carroll Treatment Plant where the water gets treated to make it safer before it heads to your home. Massachusetts tap water is lead-free, and local authorities have made significant efforts to clean up the water system over the past 15 years, according to the Public Health Commission. Within the past 10 years, all city pipes have been replaced.

For proof, check out the video of the Commission’s blind taste test, which proves that most people do prefer the taste of Massachusetts tap water to bottled water: