Talk:Tap water

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Random weasel words[edit]

Anybody want to go through and mark all the non sequitur or non cited statements? There are kinda randomly thrown around in here.

Fact check requested[edit]

a few points that need checking and maybe mentioning in this article:

  • some municipalities have a dual water system -- eg in Paris, water from the river is used to clean streets.
  • New eco-friendly homes now being built use "grey" water for things such as flushing toilets rather than tap water. This can befrom the rainfall on the roof, or recycled water from shower, bath or washing machine.

-- Tarquin 10:57, 9 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Fact that would be interesting to include[edit]

Does anyone know what chemicals are artificially added to American tap water and for what reasons? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:39, 25 October 2007 (UTC)


I do not believe the Tap Water article should be merged with Domestic Water System. To me it seems that tap water is not the same thing as the whole system that brings it to us.

However, I feel that this article is incomplete and is in great need to be developed further. A list of chemicals added to the tap water by municipalities needs to be included, and how harmful or harmless they might be to us. Also other possible contaminants of tap water before and after it leaves the water station, and what studies and tests of tap water around the world told us.

I came here hoping to learn if my fears about tap water were founded or not, I discovered that none of my fears were mentioned here despite the fact that most people drinking bottled water instead of tap water have the same fears, though most of us don’t understand exactly what these fears are or where they come from. We need a clear understanding of what is tap water and how safe it is.

Someone will need to address these issues so this article will provide a better understanding of what we are actually drinking. And since I am no expert, it cannot be me.

By all means, if you are an environmentalist, feel free to tell us how harmful it is to drink bottled water instead of tap water, but both sides need to be developed further. This would be more what readers of Wikipedia would expect, an unbiased point of view. Otherwise, this article tells us what we already know, tap water is water coming to our home through pipes after municipalities treated it “somehow”. Somehow I was expecting more.

Markytea —Preceding unsigned comment added by Markytea (talkcontribs) 22:27, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Each treatment plant has their own thing to purify water. Chlorination, filters, reverse osmosis, and/or UV light. Some treatment plants also add fluoride to strengthen teeth, also for public health reasons. You should be able to ask the company that supplies your water what they do exactly to treat your water. If there was anything to really fear, it would be that the treatment was incomplete or the water source was not treatable. I would be also be worried about your own piping system to see if you aren't adding your own pollutants to what is normally safe drinking water. Lead pipes are bad. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:25, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

You should fear of Chlorine and Floride in our tap water. Chlorine and Flouride cause cancer and heart disease (do some research pls). You probably won't agree with it, but why do you believed: Chlorine treats water, Flouride strengthen teeth? Chlorine may treat water (kill germs), but what about its side effect? Did you just trust what government/official says? I will doubt it, I doubt everything. Do your research and try it yourself. Try using shower filter and you will feel the difference. Have you ever heard that Flouride actually remove teeth enamel? Why dentist love it? Well, I tried it myself, no risk(may be few holes in my teeth). I use organic toothpaste(no flouride) for 3 years already and haven't visit dentist so far. Its worth testing yourself, but don't test it on everyone else. We should see from both sides of controversy and let people know about it.(According to the U.S. Council of Environmental Quality, “Cancer risk among people using chlorinated water is as much as 93% higher than among those whose water does not contain chlorine.”)

Can someone please remove the uncited attack on fluoridating water, especially since the line claims that there is ample evidence for the claim, and then completely fails to cite any credible evidence. I don't know the first thing about editing wikipedia in a way that won't get reverted by a mod immediately, so I brought it here. This is the line I'm talking about:

"The biggest drawback that tap water has over bottle water is the addition of fluoride. Many water plants will add fluoride to their water through water fluoridation, compared to bottled water companies of which very few add fluorine. This element is a well documented health hazard, known to cause fluorosis (pitting and loss of tooth enamel) and an increased incidence of bone fractures.[citation needed]"

A number of studies have been done that weigh both the benefits and potential risks of fluoridating water. The studies found that the risks were minor, and that the claims of opponents were largely false. [1] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:41, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

History of running water[edit]

Expert Attention needed-- 04:58, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

needs a history of running water... -- Feb 27 16:46:19 EST 2006

Is it true the roman empire invented the first working faucet? This article will benefit from a history section.

There's nothing domestic about Rome...

List of countries by whether tap water is potable or not?[edit]

I think this would be a valid and interesting list, but it's whether anyone has the source material to make it that would be the problem.--h i s s p a c e r e s e a r c h 22:32, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

There are sources that cover access to clean water. Whether they define "access" as "being on tap" I don't know. There was a big debate about this on this or another wat er page a year or two ago and we found a U.N.-related organization that had statistics. The narrow question of potability of tap water is a bit murky. Water that natives are accustomed to may make tourists ill. Tap water may vary in its potability by location with a country, by time due to damage and repairs to pipes, etc. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 23:04, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
Well, it's interesting, because I am from the UK (Scotland, specifically) and I went to Romania this year, and stayed with a Romanian family. I did drink the tap water there for a while, but they told me not to do so, because they buy bottled water all the time because tap water is not potable, and from then on I didn't drink their tap water. Still, somehow I don't think that drinking their water would do me the same harm as drinking 20 pints of Stella Artois.--h i s s p a c e r e s e a r c h 02:11, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Will Beback here. The idea of such a list is not realistic for several reasons:
  1. Potability relies on water meeting certain levels of acceptability in terms of microbial and chemical quality
  2. If we assume that "potability" means that it meets quality criteria set for drinking water in that country, then we find ourselves unable to list "like with like"
  3. As Will Beback points out, differences between the microbiological fauna of drinking water in different areas may present problems to visitors to that area simply because their immune systems are not accustomed to that particular fauna.
  4. Even if water is potable in the sense that non-immuno compromised individuals would not present with acute symptoms of water borne disease through drinking it, it could contain e.g. heavy metals that could increase the risk of chronic ill health over prolonged exposure.
  5. Water quality is not static in any area - it fluctuates both temporally and spatially according to myriad factors (source water, treatment efficacy, quality of the water infrastructure etc. etc.) Jimjamjak (talk) 12:04, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Inconsistencies and duplication[edit]

Before making any changes to this article, I think it is important to check what already exists in other articles on Wikipedia. Independently editing this article will likely result in inconsistencies and duplication. The other articles I would suggest looking at:

To a lesser extent, the content of following articles may also be relevant to Tap water:

Jimjamjak (talk) 11:45, 6 March 2008 (UTC)


I think that there is a real need to point out the variety of meanings of tap water for countries other than the USA, and to address some of the issues in those countries - non-continuous supply problems, differences in plumbing quality, public/private supply issues etc.Jimjamjak (talk) 11:48, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

  • Yes this is pretty much just talking about the USA, we need to add a tag that says this article needs to be more internationally friendly, so to speak...I cannot remember what it is called...--Cheesypot (talk) 18:21, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
  • I totally agree with the above comments, and thoroughly endorse the idea of making a few changes! USAcentric? No doubt about it! Also - why all the detailed US plumbing standards and procedures in a world-wide encyclopedic entry on Tap Water?

S Sycamore (talk) 23:10, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

I think all information on regulations need to be moved to the regulation and compliance section (it's mostly empty now), with addition of information on legal situations in other countries. They could probably be divided in subsections for each country. Specific incidents are also biased towards the USA, but non-US incidents could be added. On the other hand I doubt whether a lot of this information is notable and relevant to the topic. I added a better sources needed tag due to a lack of indication of the sources referenced (despite their name) being applicable in countries outside of the USA (they mention "some countries" use these standards on their own seemingly commercial website but no specific countries are mentioned). My issue with the PBT manufacturer incident is the absence of any sources (obviously) combined with my doubt of it being the primary manufacturer globally (I cannot check this as no reference is given to which lawsuit or which company is referred to). So my questions are now:
  • Does anyone have an idea of how to fix the tagged issues discussed above?
  • Does everyone agree with moving regulations to the regulations section?
  • If yes to the previous question: does everyone agree with dividing this by country (as these obviously vary by jurisdiction)? PinkShinyRose (talk) 00:14, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

19th century??[edit]

are you kidding? it is well known from ottoman archives that Architect Sinan was awarded (but then charged because of that thats how it enters to archives) to have water for his own usage at home, while other citizens were using public fountains in 16th century, 3 centuries before... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Doganaktas (talkcontribs) 02:26, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Indoor Plumbing[edit]

Why is "indoor plumbing" directed to this page, rather than the plumbing page? --Faro0485 (talk) 10:24, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

Lead too long[edit]

Besides the lead section being too long with seven paragraphs, the article exceeds the scope of the lead section. In particular the Copper tubing sizes section as well as most of the pipe materials section belong in the article on Pipe (material). I ♥ ♪♫ (talk) 17:48, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Small change please.[edit]

In the lead leaching section there is mention of current lead specs for solder. It is expressed as .2%. It should be written as 0.2%. As anyone who works with practical figures knows, the inclusion of a zero aids the awareness of the decimal point for the reader. Tables often omit the zero before the decimal when the tabular form makes the decimal obvious. (talk) 01:24, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Copper Tubing redirects to Tap Water?[edit]

I type "Copper Tubing" and come to the "Tap Water" article? When did that start? And in the Tap Water article I see the table of copper tubing sizes? Nobody whose main interest is tap water also wants to see a CTS table. And it would seem the table is incomplete, lacking the nominal 1/8" (1/4" OD) size. So hoping for a better table, under "Copper" I click on "See also Copper tubing" and arrive at the Pipe Fitting article. There I click on "See also Copper Tubing" and get back to the Tap Water article, closing a circle. This seriously violates the principle of least surprise. I thought there used to be a separate article on Copper Tubing, with a good CTS table. This Tap Water article is not the place for the CTS table. IMO.CountMacula (talk) 07:36, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

You're totally right; copper tubing either needs its own article or at least its own section of the article tube (fluid conveyance) (which itself is too sparse right now). Hope someone has time to work on this sometime soon. I would work on them, but lack time. PS: copper pipe redirects to pipe (fluid conveyance) as of this writing. The coverage could reasonably go in either place. — ¾-10 23:50, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
I strongly agree that what is really information on plumbing, not on tap water proper, belongs elsewhere. I did a number of revisions to the copper plumbing and corrosion information in this article, but always felt uncomfortable about the appropriateness of locating the information under the Tap Water heading. Jpcallan (talk) 08:45, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
I agree that the location and cross-referencing of information really is a mess here. There already is a merger tag proposing to move the pipe material from Tap water to Plumbing. As suggested in the merge tag, please move this discussion to Talk:Plumbing, so other editors can participate and contribute their ideas to cleaning up this mess. By the way, there is also more relevant info stranded at Water pipe, which probably ought to be merged as well. There's a lot of info in Wikipedia about plumbing, but it's poorly organized and scattered in odd locations. It probably ought to be consolidated under Plumbing and related articles. --Reify-tech (talk) 16:09, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

Tap water: not necessarily potable[edit]

There are a lot of problems with this article, mainly to do with poor referencing, but to start with...

Tap water (running water, city water, municipal water, etc.) is potable water supplied to a tap (valve) inside the household or workplace.

Does someone have a reference to suggest that the term "tap water" refers specifically to potable water? Tap water is used very widely to mean water that comes out of a tap from the city water supply, regardless of whether or not it is potable. Water from the tap is often called "tap water" in Hong Kong, and it is not potable, for instance. Ordinary Person (talk) 15:12, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

Unfortunately my concise OED lacks a reference to tap water, but some online sources mention the definition as being water from a tap or water from pipes extracted through a tap (paraphrased due to differences in phrasing of the sources). I looked at,, and So yes, I agree, there is no indication that tap water needs to be potable. I added a citation needed tag to the phrase because there seems to be a lack of reaction to your comment and should probably remove the "potable" part if no dissenting opinion is expressed. PinkShinyRose (talk) 00:21, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
I see someone added a source to the potable water part, unfortunately the source doesn't support the statement. The source mentions potable water can come from a tap but does not state that tap water must by definition be potable. I'm going to add a tag again after looking if the source is relevant to other parts of the article. PinkShinyRose (talk) 17:26, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
I agree that tap water and potable water are not synonymous. The distinction is worth explaining early in the article, preferably with examples (such as the Hong Kong water system). Reify-tech (talk) 18:31, 21 October 2013 (UTC)


I have the idea that most of the article is about plumbing as opposed to tap water. In my opinion tap water is "the water coming out of the tap", not about the tap itself. I agree some information on plumbing would be useful background information, but it should not outshine the information on the water itself (its source, treatment and water quality). However, all information on water quality is in the bottom sections, some information on water sources is mentioned, but the section is vague about its own topic, whether it's mentioning sources of tap water or alternatives for potable water, it seems to suggest the latter. No information is given about water treatment and information of tap water sources is insufficient. Fixing this missing information is a large project though. Therefore I would like to address the over-abundance of plumbing information. Should we move the entire fixtures and appliances section, the fittings and valves section, the waste water section and most of the pipe materials section (most notably excluding the history subsection) to the plumbing article? The plumbing page lacks a lot of the information in those sections and these sections are far more relevant to the plumbing article than to the tap water article. I think we could merge whatever remains of these sections in this article into a single plumbing section referring to plumbing as the main article. Does anyone have any other ideas? I don't think the information needs to be deleted, but I don't think it belongs to the tap water article either. PinkShinyRose (talk) 00:45, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

If you read some of the earlier topics on this Talk page, you can see that the tangled mess in plumbing and water related articles has been around for a while. What you propose sounds reasonable in general. Moving (as opposed to deleting) information which is tangential to this article into a more relevant location would definitely improve the state of affairs. If you have the time and the interest, I encourage you to give it a try. Reify-tech (talk) 18:31, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
Most of the material on pipers has now been moved to the Plumbing article (before I got to it); duplicated material has now been removed.Klbrain (talk) 21:30, 31 March 2016 (UTC)

Component or not?[edit]

Water only flows through plumbing but is no component of it. Likewise, water is no component of any washing machine although water is necessary to wash. (talk) 20:17, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Real-world safety[edit]

Is there really any Western country where it is not safe drink tap water?

2015-01-03 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:27, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

The answer depends on the odds ratio threshold value at which one defines "safe". How much risk do you consider acceptable? For most of us with reasonable mindsets about risks in daily life, the answer is no—i.e., it is safe. Which does not mean the risk is zero (for example, 1993 Milwaukee Cryptosporidiosis outbreak), but it means the average person can drink tap water without worry. Those wanting an added layer of protection can buy consumer-friendly water filters (pitchers, faucet attachments). And if you're going to travel thousands of miles (e.g., Europe to U.S.), you're wise not to drink the tap water, simply because the local biome may not agree well with your gut microbiome. The article on drinking water has more info about water quality and water treatment. — ¾-10 22:31, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

Thank you. My dad consider such filtering superfluous, anyway.

2015-01-04 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:32, 4 January 2015 (UTC)

saddle VALVE[edit]

do you need a saddle valve on a kitchen sink cold water supply line? Thank you Phillip — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:47, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

This page is for discussing improvements to the article tap water. To get answers to your sink repair questions, you might try Wikipedia:Reference desk instead. Deli nk (talk) 12:51, 22 November 2015 (UTC)