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What is tap water?

What is tap water? While the literal answer is obvious— tap water is water delivered directly into our homes through the tap, or faucet—the reality of our daily drinking water is much deeper. The safety of our drinking water depends on a host of natural and man-made factors.

Tap water begins as source water

Long before H2O flows through the kitchen faucet, it’s present in nature. The water we drink originates in rivers, lakes and groundwater known as underground aquifers. Aquifers act as a sponge in the earth. When rain falls, the ground absorbs the excess water, and this becomes groundwater. Rivers, groundwater and lakes are all source water for our drinking water.

Coway Aquamega 200C on a kitchen counter with a family in the background, sitting at a table.

Source water needs protection

All people, plants and animals need clean water to live. Unfortunately, the threat to clean water starts with source water. A wide range of chemical pollutants, including agricultural run-off and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from industrial waste, can contaminate bodies of water that hydrate an entire region. Additionally, climate change is emerging as a new threat against source water. As the planet warms, large bodies of water are drying out.

Infrastructure transports tap water

As tap water makes its journey from source to home, it flows through an extensive infrastructure network. Sometimes, as in the Flint, Michigan water crisis of 2014, the infrastructure is old and can contain elements like lead. Or the water can be exposed to harmful bacteria and corrosion. Municipalities can reduce these risks by modernizing their infrastructure, but too often, neither the budget nor the political will exists to get the job done.

Potential drinking water contaminants

Agricultural run-off: farming chemicals, like pesticides and weed killers, can seep into the soil and then be washed into nearby waterways.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): potentially harmful chemicals that can be found in industrial waste and many consumer products.

Lead: a dangerous heavy metal that can leach into drinking water from old infrastructure or industrial production.

Microbial cysts: waterborne carriers of parasites and other microorganisms that can make people sick.

Bacteria: microorganisms that can grow in water, particularly if left stagnant.

So, what is tap water? In the end, it’s what you make of it. To ensure you and your family drink clean, fresh tap water every day, it’s easy to install the Coway Aquamega water filter to your kitchen faucet. The filtering system reduces common contaminants, like lead, mercury and microbial cysts, by up to 99 percent. Best yet, the filters do their work at the last possible step before you drink the water. As a result, whether water picks up harmful elements as source water or during transport, your drinking water meets the highest level of safety.