You might have wondered if the water from the garden hose is the same as the water from your tap.
In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why hose water may taste different, where it comes from, and how it’s treated.
We’ll also discuss whether it’s safe to drink and how you can filter hose water to make it safer. So, let’s dive in and find out if hose water is the same as tap water.
Why Does Tap Water Taste Different From Water From A Garden Hose?
When you take a sip from the garden hose, you might notice a different taste compared to tap water.
This is mainly due to the presence of materials that can leach from the hose and its fittings. Some of the contents of this water may be harmful chemicals and toxic
Factors such as the hose’s material, age, and exposure to sunlight can also affect the taste of the water that passes through it..
Hose water will often come from the same water supply as tap water, but it can be contaminated by several factors:
- Chemical & Toxins: Garden hoses can contain toxic plasticizers like phthalates and heavy metals that can leach into the water. Exposure to sunlight and warmer temperatures can accelerate this process.
- Fittings & Fixtures: Brass fittings on hoses and outdoor faucets can contain lead, which can contaminate the water. Some hoses also have antimicrobial agents that can affect the water’s taste and odor.
- Bacteria: it’s quite common for bacteria and fungi to find their way into a garden hose left outdoors. This can not only cause the water to taste strange but harmful bacteria can also render it unsafe to drink.
Contaminants In Garden Hose Water
A study was conducted to test the quality of water from metal fittings and garden hoses from many popular manufacturers. The findings were that many hoses leached antimony, bromine, cadmium, lead, and tin into the water.
One particular hose model tested at a shocking 67,000 PPM (parts per million) for lead.
Many of the tested metal fittings also contaminated the water with tin and lead.
The Environmental Protection Agency takes action when the lead levels in tap water are above 15 parts per billion or 0.015 PPM. This means that the water from many of the tested hoses and fittings would not be considered safe to drink by the EPA.
Here are the highest levels of each contaminant found in consumer garden hoses:
|Highest Tested Hose Water Level (PPM)
Where Does Your Hose Water Come From?
The source of your water can play a role in the quality of your hose water.
If your home is connected to a city water supply, your hose water undergoes the same treatment process as tap water which should adhere to set safety standards.
However, it can still be contaminated by your hose and fixtures.
If your home relies on well water, the quality of your hose water depends on the well’s maintenance and the presence of a water treatment system.
Rain Catchment Tank or Water Butt
A rain catchment water tank, also known as a water butt, is a setup designed to collect and store rainwater, typically from rooftops or other catchment surfaces. This water is great for plants.
But collected rainwater can pick up contaminants as it runs off the catchment surface, such as debris, bird droppings, and pollutants.
Additionally, if the tank isn’t properly maintained, bad bacteria, algae, and other microorganisms can grow in the stored water, making it unsafe for consumption.
Water Treatment Systems
Water treatment systems can help remove contaminants and ensure safe drinking water. However, hose water may not pass through these systems, depending on your home’s plumbing setup.
By ensuring that your outdoor faucet is connected to the treated water supply, you can minimize the risk of contamination in your hose water.
Is It Safe to Drink Water From A Garden Hose?
Drinking from a garden hose isn’t generally recommended due to the risk of contamination from toxic chemicals and hazardous materials. So a shorter hose is always better, if you intend to drink from it.
While the risk may be low for occasional sips, regularly consuming hose water can lead to health consequences. It’s always better to opt for clean drinking water from a known source, like your indoor tap or bottled water.
How About Drinking Water Safe Hoses?
If you still want to drink from a hose, consider investing in a safer hose made from non-toxic materials.
Drinking water-safe hoses, like those made from polyurethane or non-PVC materials, are designed to minimize the leaching of chemicals. These hoses often come with lead-free brass fittings, further reducing the risk of contamination.
Can Hose Water Be Filtered?
Yes, you can filter hose water to make it safer for drinking. There are water filters specifically designed for garden hoses, which can remove contaminants like chlorine, heavy metals, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Additionally, you can install a whole-house water filtration system, which treats water at the point of entry, ensuring that both your indoor and outdoor water sources are clean and safe.
Hose water is not the same as tap water due to the potential for contamination from the hose itself, its fittings, and how it is collected and stored.
It’s best to avoid drinking from a garden hose and instead rely on safe drinking sources like tap water, filtered water, or bottled water. If you need to use hose water, consider investing in a drinking water-safe hose and a water filter to minimize the risk of contaminants passing through to your stomach.
Why does hose water taste different from tap water?
Hose water may taste different due to the presence of toxic chemicals, materials, and contaminants from the hose and its fittings. Sunlight and temperature can also affect toxicity and taste.
Is it safe to water plants with hose water?
Generally, it is safe to water plants with hose water. However, if you’re concerned about the environmental impact or the health of your plants, consider using a drinking water-safe hose and a water filter.
What is the best material for a garden hose to minimize contamination?
Drinking water-safe hoses made from polyurethane or non-PVC materials are the best options to minimize contamination. They often come with lead-free brass fittings for added safety.
How can I filter hose water for drinking?
You can use a water filter designed for garden hoses or install a whole-house water filtration system to ensure clean and safe water from all sources, including your outdoor faucet.
Do water treatment plants treat hose water?
Hose water comes from the same source as tap water, so it undergoes the same treatment process. However, contamination can still occur due to the hose and its fittings, making it different from tap water.