The quality of tap water in Taipei City is better than the bottled water sold in stores or hypermarkets, the Consumers' Foundation said yesterday, suggesting that the public consume more tap water as it is cheaper and healthier.
The foundation said that, based on the results of recent tests, samples of tap water collected from 12 districts in Taipei City all met quality standards for drinking water, including pH and electronic conductivity, as well as ammonia nitrogen, calcium, magnesium and sodium levels.
“The quality of tap water is good and stable with an ideal pH ... it is safe for people to drink tap water in Taipei,” said Gaston Wu (吳家誠), a chemistry professor at National Taiwan Normal University, who conducted the tests in cooperation with the foundation.
Wu, however, went on to reveal that two of the 16 bottled water samples tested fell below the standards, while two samples had lower conductivity than tap water.
“Another sample of bottled water was found to contain unsafe levels of ammonia nitrogen, an indication of contamination,” Wu said.
Tap water costs NT$0.013 per liter, as opposed to bottled water, which costs anything from NT$5 to NT$110 per liter, said Hsieh Tien-jen (謝天仁), vice chairman of the foundation.
Consumption of bottled water increases greenhouse gas emissions as the bottles are made of plastic and some of the water is imported, Hsieh said.
“Cheaper tap water is not necessarily worse ... and tap water is more environmentally friendly,” he said.
Foundation chairman Cheng Jen-hung (程仁宏), however, warned the public to pay attention to their rooftop water tanks, saying that many of them are cleaned with chemicals that degrade the quality of the water and are harmful to health.
Both Chen and Wu said they would conduct tests on water in other counties and cities around the nation.
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