DENNIS SKINNER, MP, Bolsover: When I was a young man, a miner, the other miners would say 'What tha should do, my lad, is get a pint o' cold water down thee': a drink of cold water before going down the pit was regarded as a healthy thing. They wouldn't say that now, people's attitude has changed. If anyone had said to me then that water would be sold in bottles, I would have said that man was mad.

THOMAS PAKENHAM, historian, Ireland: The water from the spring in our garden in Ireland tastes almost like chilled champagne. I dread the London water, it's so chlorinated, and the thought that it's gone through 14 Welshmen makes it difficult to swallow.

SARAH MILES, actress, West Sussex: I do drink tap water, but I also take it out of a spring in the garden. I would never pay for water. You don't know how long it has been sitting on a shelf.

JAMES MOORFORD, farmer, Suffolk: Yes, but we drink a lot of bottled water as well. I object to water that has been in people's loos and God knows where.

SIDNEY MARSDEN, sewage manager, London: I do. I don't like that Perrier stuff. All my family drinks it, but not me.

BARBARA BROWNING-KERR, hydrotherapist, London: It tastes awful. But it depends what time of day it is; sometimes it's less disgusting than others.

EDWARD CHAPMAN, retired steelworker, Sheffield: My daughter buys spring water and it tastes all right in whisky. Tap water does you no harm, I've been drinking it for 67 years.

SUSAN FITCH, PA, York: I prefer fizzy mineral water, and only drink tap water if there's nothing else.

PETER COCKROFT, BBC weatherman, Oxfordshire: In this area I have to watch out for cryptosporidium, its a daily dice with death but I still drink it. I might drink rainwater, but it would depend where it came from. There's nothing much more you can say about water is there?

(Photograph omitted)