Dear Lifehacker, When refilling my water bottle in the office, does it really matter if I use the normal tap or the filtered water tap? I'm assuming the origin of the water is the same. Thanks, H20 Chugger
Tap water picture from Shutterstock
Generally speaking, Australian tap water is safe for human consumption. Our country's water supplies are carefully managed to insure against harmful pathogenic microorganisms. This is one of the chief advantages of living in a first world country and something most of us take for granted.
You should only become suspicious if you notice a sudden change in water quality or tap flow; particularly during periods of extreme rainfall or flooding. Otherwise, you can rest assured that your tap water is safe to drink.
While there's no need to filter tap water that has already been treated, the process is thought to improve the taste and temperature (i.e. -- it comes chilled straight out of the tap.) It also brings additional peace of mind, especially during contamination scares.
With that said, you shouldn't assume filtered water is 100% safe either. As explained in the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, the filters need to be maintained and replaced as per the manufacturer's instructions. If your office admin is slack or forgetful, those filters are probably useless. Time to send a reminder email...
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