Bottled vs. tap water: A taste test

There is a stigma often attached to tap water.

“A lot of people think it’s gross,” said Brian Ditch, sitting at a table in the Bonnie, asking students and any passers-by to take a taste test of tap vs. bottled water.

Ditch and fellow Radford University Sustainability Internship Team member Noah Buchan sat for an hour and a half at the table conducting tests. More than 45 minutes in to the experiment, an overwhelming majority were digging one particular type of water over the other, Ditch said.

“So far, our results are showing everyone has preferred tap water over bottled water,” said Ditch, a junior environmental biology major from Woodbridge. “Based on taste, everyone is saying the tap water is better.”

As he spoke about the sustainability team’s effort, Tyler Van Keuren stepped to the table and sampled the waters sitting in small, clear cups.

“Which do you prefer?” Ditch asked.

When Van Kueren, a freshman from Chesterfield, responded, Ditch told him it was tap he had chosen and informed him of the numerous water bottle filling stations in buildings on campus.

“One of the things we want to do today is try to convince people to switch to tap water and save water bottles, or refill their water bottles,” Ditch explained.

Chiming in, Buchan said the exercise was also “a great way to help raise awareness for sustainability issues on campus.”

The tap vs. bottled test was part of campus sustainability week, which ran Oct. 8-11. It was designed to educate the campus community about sustainability efforts. In addition, the week’s events included sustainability games, the documentary “The Happening: The Clean Energy Revolution,” and many other activities.

The Sustainability Internship Team planned the week’s events. It regularly develops and coordinates events and projects designed to improve awareness of sustainability issues, promote participation in campus and community events and create a more sustainable campus.


Oct 17, 2018
Chad Osborne