If you’ve ever been to Walt Disney World, or Central Florida in general, and have tasted our water – either via water fountain or tap – you know that it tastes a little….funky.
People describe Central FL in different ways (like sulfur, funny, like rotten eggs, nasty, like chemicals, etc.) and as someone who moved from NYC (their water is not #1 but it ranks pretty high up there), going from New York tap to Florida tap was one of the few negatives of moving down here.
As it turns out there’s a reason why Disney water tastes like it does and it’s pretty interesting…
I’ll tell you that at home, we rarely consume water straight from the tap. We get 5-gallon containers for hot and cold drinking water (Crystal Springs brand – the containers are exchangeable), use a Brita filter for room temperature water (like for our coffee maker) and only use tap water for making pasta.
Joe and I had the unfortunate incident of our house developing a slab leak during the summer of 2017. Several thousand dollars later (paid on a credit card to meet a minimum spending requirement. Of course. LOL!), we had switched all of our copper pipes to PVC (while perfectly fine in some parts of the country, copper pipes in Florida eventually corrode and spring leaks. Hence what we not-so-affectionately call #slableak2017). Almost immediately, the water in our house started tasting better. Not good – we still use the bottled water and filter – but better. So besides the chemicals and minerals in the water, crap from old pipes can affect water taste, as well.
But is it safe to drink Florida tap water?
Local governments follow strict federal and state laws on monitoring water contaminants. In fact, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection requires that “…all chemicals added to drinking water and all system components that come in contact with drinking water be certified under ANSI/NSF Standards 60 and 61. These standards insure that there are no harmful chemicals inadvertently added to the drinking water supply.”
So yeah, under normal circumstances, Florida’s drinking water is said to be safe (unless the water becomes contaminated from who knows what. In which case it’s not safe and you’ll get a “water boil notice.” But that could happen anywhere).
Note that I used the words, “…said to be safe.” There are, of course, some people who question the federal government’s role in assuring drinking water is safe, as well as how well the state of Florida is following the federal government’s standards. Politics can be a stinking business and unfortunately, sometimes money talks. Is it talking in Florida? Who knows? But just to make sure, and because we’re not fans of Florida water anyway, we’ll keep drinking our bottled water and filtering most of the rest that we consume.
As for Disney’s water, since they test and treat their own water and would be wide open for a lawsuit if they did anything wrong with their drinking water, I’d tend to trust them and assume it’s safe (even though it certainly doesn’t taste safe LOL!).
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary