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The Independent Online

British tap water is good enough to be bottled, maybe with a seal of quality approval.

Still or sparkling? Either way, bottled water has always been an expensive way of rehydrating. Of course, in some countries, the ones where, in the old phrase, "you can't drink the water", such a luxury was a necessity. In Britain, despite its fine Victorian traditions in the field of drainage, sanitation and plumbing, tap water seemed to go out of fashion some time in the 1980s, as yuppies developed a thirst for Perrier.

Today every supermarket will offer a choice of H 2O from sources from Vichy to Buxton, all of it vastly more expensive than the humble tap-supplied product.

So we should all be very interested in the claim by the Drinking Water Inspectorate that British tap water is good enough to be bottled, maybe with a seal of quality approval. Sadly, that may be the only way that many of us would choose to consume it.

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