Why it’s time to ditch the bottle and go tap

The topic of bottled versus tap water has been a topic of debate for decades. Our City provides clean, safe tap water for residents, but bottled water continues to be a billion dollar industry across the U.S. According to the Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC), Americans consumed 14.4 billion gallons of bottled water in 2019, up 3.6 percent from 2018. Bottled water’s retail dollar sales also grew in 2019, up 5.2 percent reaching $34.6 billion.

Some might say that bottled water seems safer than water from the tap. Round Rock’s water system is rated “superior” by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality – TCEQ’s highest rating – and meets or exceeds all state and federal drinking water standards.

Tap water is also an immense value, priced by the thousands of gallons! 

The average wholesale price per gallon of domestic non-sparkling bottled water was $1.18 in 2019. That cost covers the plastic bottle itself, as well as the water inside. A common size is 16.9 fluid ounces, or approximately 13% of 1 gallon of water.

When the City (or your water provider) delivers water underground through water mains, directly to your house and out all of your faucets, you are paying $2.56 for 1,000 gallons of water!

The City encourages residents to drink tap water, carry your own bottles, mugs and cups — and refill them! By doing so, you are limiting the creation of unnecessary waste.

To find out more about the bottled vs. tap debate, go to drinktap.org, which is an educational website created by the American Water Works Association, the largest non-profit, scientific and educational association dedicated to managing and treating water, the world’s most important resource.

Visit roundrocktexas.gov/water for more information about water conservation and the City’s water.

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