A Love Letter to Tap Water

by Katy on January 21, 2016 · 16 comments

With the recent news about the poisoning of Flint, Michigan’s tap water, I’ve been thinking about how safe water is a basic human right. Like air. We are lucky here in Portland, Oregon to have safe water, but such is not the case for all. I love my tap water, and I wrote about it in this 2008 blog post. Enjoy!

Dearest Beloved Tap Water,

We’ve known one another since I was but a mere babe, sippy cup in hand.

No more can I keep our love quiet. One. Minute. Longer.

I love you, Tap Water!

If only I could write it across the skies, yell it from the tallest mountain, whisper it in your ear.

With each caress of my lips, you quench my desire and soothe my parched soul.

Yet others spurn your unconditional love. They purchase entire cases of bottled water, tainting the innocent beauty of your selfless gifts. Why, why would they reject you?

You have zero packaging and cost only one cent per gallon.

Do they not know that 40% of bottled water sold in the U.S. is tap water anyway? That 86% of bottles never get recycled? That the U.S. manufacture of water bottles uses 1.5 million barrels of oil annually?

I’m so lucky to have your delicious presence in my life. So many world citizens cannot simply twist a faucet to receive the safe clarity of your divine beauty.

Each bottled water purchase plants a seed of doubt.

We all need to show our love and trust of you, my sweet, sweet tap water. To drink you in our homes, serve you to our guests, and pour you into our own bottles when we venture out.

I love you Tap Water — You are my safe and clean savior! Without you, I would wither away.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Trisha January 21, 2016 at 8:42 am

OH MY GOD. Me too! I live in Hood River, and our tap water is amazing. It’s my favorite beverage. Well, behind coffee, obviously.


tonya parham January 21, 2016 at 8:45 am

Well put!

I gave up bottled water years ago in favor of a metal contigo– it keeps my water cold and I have an additional one for coffee so I can carry both with me!

That being said, I do have some bottles of bottled water in the backseat of my car in case of emergency. I got them as an impulse buy….stupid…but I have been grateful a time or two when I was out and needed water. I don’t think I will buy it again, instead just getting a couple of jugs of distilled water for emergencies.

Agreed, though, what happened in Flint does make one pause in gratitude!


JD January 21, 2016 at 8:55 am

I used to love tap water, when I was a kid; my home town drew the town’s water from artesian wells — it was delicious, and people commented on it when they came to our town. Then, the dreaded chlorine appeared, after a flood. Suddenly, all town water must be chlorinated! The city wells might be contaminated! Result– after a hundred or more years of great water, we were all now drinking pool water. They still are.
I live out in the country in a different state, now, where pretty well statewide, the water table is heavily tainted with iron and sulfur, and most people on wells have to purchase expensive systems or drink bottled water (or filtered, like a Brita). Light colored textiles and fixtures — even hair– WILL turn orange without a water system. In the city, the water is filtered for iron and sulfur, but chlorinated, and tastes awful. My husband and I are some of the lucky few with a well tapping into a clean underground spring of delicious water. I feel so lucky to have it!


Ruby January 21, 2016 at 10:51 am

Back in my hometown, the city water was not good. It passed safety standards, but smelled like a chlorinated swamp on a hot day. Just bringing a glass of it from the tap to your mouth would take your breath away. So we had Pur filter on the kitchen tap that took care of that.

We now live in a city with excellent tap water, but I see a lot of people loading up on bottled water at the grocery stores. It makes me wonder if they have a problem with lead pipes, which do still exist in the old parts of town (we could not drink the tap water in the office at my old job because of the pipes) or if it’s a perceived need.


Jill D January 21, 2016 at 1:37 pm

A lot of things in the daily news are upsetting, but the Flint water situation should make everyone absolutely livid. Absolutely. Unconscionable.


janine January 21, 2016 at 1:39 pm

In Minnesota the governor has announced that his #1 initiative is water! The water in the western part of the state is polluted by agricultural chemicals – and this in the land of ‘Sky Blue Waters!” It is estimated that if we spent the entire budget of our Legacy Funds (dedicated to parks, environmental projects etc) on water issues, we would only improve from 40% to 35%. A huge problem that needs immediate attention. Luckily our drinking water tastes OK and we now are alerted and ready to take action.


janine January 21, 2016 at 3:12 pm

I meant to say 40% polluted to 35%polluted.


Jade January 21, 2016 at 2:43 pm

I love tap water too! Virtually free and so convenient. This post is a wonderful reminder to stop and appreciate how lucky those of us who have access to clean, safe drinking water are. My inlaws are HUGE consumers of bottled water. When I go to their house I will politely refuse a bottle and request a glass of tap water instead.
Be the change you want to see in the world.


Barbara January 21, 2016 at 3:13 pm

I live in Windsor, Ontario Canada and we draw our water from the Detroit River. We have excellent drinking water here and the city does a very good job with filtration and general cleaning of the water. Detroit gets its water basically from the same place as Windsor yet there water is not as clean as ours. I feel very bad for the people of Flint, MI which is approximately 50-60 miles north west of us. We are surrounded by water being in the Great Lakes region. I feel very bad for the people in Flint. What a disgrace.


Jill in San Diego January 21, 2016 at 3:14 pm

You are so lucky! We went on a roadtrip last summer through the PNW, and the water is so much better up there. Down here in San Diego our water tastes awful. We solved our water woe by installing a reverse osmosis system ourselves from Costco. Now are water at home tastes like yours, and at a much lower price point than bottled water. I bring my own water to work actually, because our “homemade” reverse osmosis water tastes so much better than the bottled water that is provided at work (Arrowhead, yuck).


Karen January 21, 2016 at 6:46 pm

I have thought about clean fresh water for years after I saw a film about women and children in third world nations walking for miles to dirty pools of water to get that for their drinking water. They take the risk of getting sick but they have no other choice. They showed the water, it looked gross!

If I win the lottery, after I pay off some family debts, I will use every penny to go to places in the world that need wells dug for clean water. I will hire family members to to work on this so every penny will count. No giving the money away and most of it not going to the water.

I wonder why I am so lucky to go over to a faucet and turn it on and clean safe water comes out and other people are not so lucky.


Isabel January 21, 2016 at 6:50 pm

Lots of people buy bottled water ….. Not me …….Have never used sunscreen either ….. Still alive! Live in the country …lucky me ..lots of fresh air! Australian lady! Now there was two frugal things! Also have started eating my container grown lettuces from seed and will put in some more!


Isabel January 21, 2016 at 7:02 pm

I count my blessings when I see the ads about children in Africa drinking polluted water!


Beth January 22, 2016 at 8:24 am

My parents live in MN and have well water, which tastes fantastic. I live in Denver and drink our city’s tap water all the time-it tastes good to me.

I wholeheartedly second what Karen said above: “I wonder why I am so lucky to go over to a faucet and turn it on and clean safe water comes out and other people are not so lucky.”

It seems like such a basic right that I forget how fortunate I am sometimes!


Marianne January 24, 2016 at 6:11 pm

I work in Flint, we have a lead filter installed at work. I don’t drink it and bring my water from home as we have well water. It is the children who are so at risk with lead poisoning. Residents complained to deaf ears when the switch was made. Horrible situation for those residents who are unable to get to the fire stations for water, many parts of the city people live well below the poverty line.


Katy January 25, 2016 at 9:57 am

The situation just makes me so angry!


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