Is there such a thing as water fresh from the tap?
If you drink water that's been standing for a day or so does it taste any different? We think so. When tap water is left to stand, the chlorine that was added during the treatment phase to kill any microorganisms slowly dissipates allowing any bacteria that may be present to multiply if the water is not refrigerated. Bacteria are all around us, and can enter the water via the glass, your lips, or from airborne pet- and household-dust.
Furthermore, according to an article published recently on Time, if you leave a glass of water standing for more than twelve hours, carbon dioxide in the surrounding air is absorbed by the water standing in the glass, and can cause it to start to go flat with a drop in pH. This may also result in a stale taste. This is one of the reasons we recommend that if one doesn't use their berkey for more than 3 days, that they then dump the water out and start fresh. However, while it may not taste ideal, it is still safe to drink at this point. But why drink inferior quality water when there is no need?
Now, let’s focus on those germs again. If you keep using the same glass day in and day out without giving it a good wash before topping it up each time, the glass is more likely to get contaminated, and even more so if you share it with your significant other. But if you replace the glass with a clean one every day or so, you won't give those germs a chance to multiply. That's assuming you practice good hygiene and wash your hands properly, etc, etc. If not, you can introduce bacteria onto the glass when you pick it up. Those germs can quickly multiply at room temperature, posing a potential health risk if ingested.
What About Plastic Water Bottles?
Plastic water bottles are known to contain the chemical bishpenol-A (BPA), an endocrine disruptor that interferes with the body's hormones, posing serious health risks. It has been associated with many forms of cancer, as well as heart disease, to name a few. When bottled water is left in the sun, BPA can leach out of the plastic and contaminate the water stored within the bottle. Also, plastic water bottles were intended for one time use rather than to be refilled and reused. If you purchase bottled water rather recycle the plastic bottles than reuse them to store drinking water. The best option is to use a BPA-free water bottle that can safely be refilled time and time again -- better still if this if fitted with a filter to remove any impurities that may be lurking in the water.
How Long Can Water Be Stored?
Water can be stored in air-tight BPA-free containers for up to 6 months, at which point the chlorine will start to dissipate, allowing microalgae and microorganism to thrive. Stored water is more likely to become contaminated when stored in a warm environment that is conducive to microbe growth, particularly if the storage vessel was not cleaned or sealed properly beforehand. To prepare for emergencies, it is a good idea to invest in a good quality home water filter that will remove any nasties from your water and serve you well all year round.