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Tap Water Bottled Water Cost Calculator

This calculator requires the use of Javascript enabled and capable browsers. This calculator is designed to compare the cost of enjoying tap water to bottled water. Water is good for you! Enter the 2 approximate costs of water, tap for a calculated gallon of water that averages between 4 and 5 gallons for a penny (as of 2009) in most parts of the USA; and bottled water, including spring water, mineral water, sparkling water, artesian well water, and purified water to name a few. In the US, bottled water is usually sold in 16 ounce bottles. Our calculator is based on that but you may use other sizes so long as you factor it to 16 ounce bottles. (For instance, if you got a 32 ounce bottle, that is 2 16 ounce bottles.) If you wish, our defaults can be used conservatively; but here are some explanations of them.

1. A gallon of water is calculated as the US value of 128 fluid ounces. (8 16 ounce bottles.)
2. A glass of water is 8 ounces. (Half of a 16 ounce bottle.)
3. Daily consumption of water is 8 glasses or 4 16 ounce bottles.
4. Our cost of bottled water is for the lowest prices of "store brand" bottled water, 24 16 ounce bottles to a package at a prices of $4.00 per package. If you use "brand names", enter your value for a gallon. Most bottled water packages are 3 gallons but check your for accuracy.

When you have made your entries and/or accepted our defaults, click on Calculate.

To further accent our impact, please consider these details, other than cost TO YOU directly. As you will see, bottled water is considerably more costly than tap water. A general assumption is that bottled water, because it is more costly, is cleaner, purer and better tasting than tap water. Tests by independent agencies (such as the Natural Resources Defense Council) disprove that theory. However, it may well be more costly in other ways also in that there are three sets of standards for purity of water. One is for "water system water" (tap water), regulated by the FDA (here is the National Tap Water Quality Database), another is for bottled water, regulated by the EPA, and a third is for carbonated and flavored water, falling under "general sanitation rules". The highest standards are for tap water from water systems.

There is also the factor of waste and disposal of the bottles; up to 1.5 million tons of plastic waste annually by today's volumes. Those bottles require about 50 million gallons of oil per year to produce. Though recyclable, only about 40% are recycled! What is the cost in land fill space? There is NO fluoride in bottled water. Fluoride has been a MAJOR factor in dental improvements in the last 20 years. What is the cost in dental care?

The biggest complaint about tap water...? It tastes and smells like chlorine. In some cases it does. A way around it is to fill a container with tap water and refrigerate it for at least 10 hours. The odor and the taste are gone. To be sure, there are SOME good reasons for bottled water but none of them can be labeled as "cost savings".

To make sure that there is water that you can drink in the future, try our Emergency Water Purification Calculator in an emergency. You may also wish to see what can be done for conservation of water. Here are a few additional water related links on our site...

Water Consumption Calculator
Water Density Calculator
Water Quality Index Calculator Temperature Only
Water Quality Index Calculator - Converted Temperature Only
Water Weight Converter
Human Water Requirement Calculator
Water Base Boiling Point Calculator
Water Altitude Boiling Point Calculator
Pressure Corrected Boiling Temperature Of Water Calculator
Drink Water Out Cost Calculator

Required Data Entry
Tap Water Cost Per Gallon Dollars
Water Cost Per 16 Ounce Bottle Dollars
Number Of Bottles Per Day
Calculated Results
Cost Difference $ Each 8 Ounce Glass
Cost Difference $ Each Gallon
Cost Difference $ Each Day
Cost Difference $ Annual Total
Tap Water
Regulated by EPA
Bottled Water
Regulated by FDA
Carbonated and Flavored Water
Standard Sanitation Guidelines
Cannot have confirmed E. coli or fecal Coliform bacteria. A certain amount of any bacteria is allowed. No definite standards and extremely vague guidelines, suggested by different agencies throughout the country.
Filtered and/or disinfected No federal filtration or disinfection requirements. No uniform guidelines.
Violation of drinking water standards are grounds for enforcement. Bottled water in violation of standards can still be sold. No uniform guidelines.
Utilities must have their water tested by certified labs. Such testing is not required for bottlers. No uniform guidelines.
Tap water results must be reported to state or federal officials. There are no reporting requirements for bottlers. No uniform guidelines.
Water system operators must be certified. Bottled water plant operators do not have to be certified. No uniform guidelines.
Water suppliers must issue consumer confidence reports annually. There are no public right-to-know requirements for bottlers. No uniform guidelines.
Costs pennies a day Costs $.80 to $4.00 per gallon. No uniform guidelines.
Contains essential nutrients for the body such as calcium and iron. Natural minerals are removes by filtration. No uniform guidelines.
Chlorine residual in water to prevent bacteria growth. No disinfectant present to kill bacteria in bottles. No uniform guidelines.
Updated 8.15.11

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