The Great Tap Debate: Summit Staff does a Water Tasting

Sheridan Martinez, Editor in Chief


, for the Summit Staff

Whether we realize it or not, water is root of our everyday lives. We drink it, we bathe in it, we wash our cars in it and it controls our climate. It’s a blessing to have clean water at our fingertips considering many people in third-world countries don’t have the same luxury. According to, more than 3.4 million people die each year from a water-related disease— “almost enough to fill the whole city of Los Angeles.”

While we have access to clean tap water, many people prefer to drink bottled water. In fact, Americans drink through about 50 billion bottles of water a year, even though it costs 2,000-times more than tap water, according to Business Insider. Many people—including some students in The Summit—say they refuse to drink tap water because of the taste.  After conversations prompted by the school’s ongoing water project, we decided to conduct our own “water tasting” experiment.

The staff blindly tested five different waters: Voss, Fuji, Smart Water, Sierra Springs and, last but not least, tap. The overall opinion of our staff was that artisan waters like Voss and Smart Water were the best tasting, while Sierra Springs—a local spring water company—tasted the worst. Because it did, most of the staff guessed it was the tap water, showing our initial assumptions.

Our informal experiment did not really change anyone’s opinion of bottled versus tap water, but it did make us realize just how many water choices Americans have.