We had the luxury of boiling and drinking tap water back home. We never question why it was ok. In the U.S., we have heard from a few sources that it was better to drink bottled water, and not tap water. We did not seriously question either. It would take a dedicated lab technician to do a complete side-by-side comparison on the quality of tap water in S'pore and U.S. So I reckon I'm not going to get an answer anyway, if the tap water in the Bay Area is indeed less safe or equivalent to that of Singapore. Though the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ensures that city water in the U.S. is safe, there might still be low levels of contaminants undesirable in drinking water - chlorine, chloramines, trihalomethanes and fluoride; volatiles such as benzene, toluene, MTBE and gasoline; and heavy metals such as lead, iron, aluminum and arsenic can all exist in the tap water. Oh, lead and arsenic ? I do not need to ponder deep into the long-term effects of these metals. At least these metals did not appear in the Singapore PUB water quality report.

Meanwhile, after about 3 mths here, consistently buying bottled water in bulks (@ avg. USD1 per gallon) at supermarkets for our daily drinking water consumption, we have found another cheaper alternative of buying drinking water off the water dispenser@ avg. USD0.39 per gallon of either Reverse Osmosis(RO) or Deionized (DI) water. This water system pre-filters city water, then forces this filtered water, under very high pressure, through a semi-permeable, RO membrane that works on a molecular level to remove up to 99% of any contaminants and minerals in the water remaining after pre-filtration. As a final safeguard just prior to dispensing, the water is sterilized by high-intensity ultraviolet light.

With buying water from the dispenser comes another question of water storage. What bottles to use ? Glass is good, but it is heavy and susceptible to breakage. And we have known long before, that re-using plastics soft drink/mineral water bottles(#1 or PET/PETE) is one of the worst bets. Plastics is never the best choice (due to leaching problems) for storage but for lightweight, portability, and cost...thumbs up.

Now, we own 2 (#7) bottles of 3 gallon each.

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