Water experts have revealed that drinking water from the bathroom tap could be dangerous for your health – but it all depends on the plumbing system in your house
Image: Getty Images)
Have you ever been told that you should never drink from the bathroom tap? The answer seems to vary wildly between households – and apparently, so does the truth behind the old wives’ tale.
Some of us will have grown up being told by our parents that we should always head to the kitchen if we want a glass of water, but others were raised not knowing the difference and not having to travel all the way downstairs in the middle of the night just to quench our thirst.
And according to Glasgow Live, the truth depends on the type of house you live in and where the water in your bathroom comes from.
Get the news you want straight to your inbox. Sign up for a Mirror newsletter here.
So, is it safe to drink tap water from the bathroom?
In many older homes, the water you find in your bathroom has usually been stored in a tank in the loft, meaning it isn’t fresh from the mains like that which you get in the kitchen.
But the bigger issue is the presence of lead piping in old homes, as this can dissolve into drinking water and can be incredibly dangerous – especially for babies and children.
Water that comes directly from the mains hasn’t had the time to absorb lead from pipes yet, but it’s a different story in the bathroom, where the combination of the lead and the water tank can be detrimental to your health.
So, what you really need to know when it comes to drinking water from the bathroom is how old your house is.
Modern homes are usually fitted with copper or plastic pipes as the use of lead in piping was phased out in the UK by 1970, so you should be fine to drink from the bathroom tap if your house is up to date.
Julie Spinks, from WaterSafe, said in 2018: “The plumbing in homes is the responsibility of the homeowner, so we are urging all households to spend a few minutes checking if they have lead pipes.
“To safeguard health we would recommend replacing lead pipes that supply drinking water to bathrooms and kitchens with copper or plastic ones.”
When should you avoid drinking from the bathroom tap?
According to The Water Professor, old pipes and water tanks aren’t the only reasons you might want to avoid the temptation to stumble out of bed and head straight for the bathroom.
If you make use of filtered water from your kitchen tap to improve the quality of your drinking water, you probably want to steer clear of the bathroom, as this water won’t be filtered.
You should also avoid your bathroom tap if you’ve installed a water softener to prevent you from showering or bathing in hard water. This is because hard water is safe to drink, but the process of softening the water can lead to high levels of sodium in the water from your bathroom.
And regardless of which room you get your water from, it should never be from the hot tap. The hot water is often stored in tanks that can be heated and cooled many times and could lead to the growth of bacteria such as legionella – so always choose the cold tap.
Ultimately, The Water Professor claims drinking tap water from the bathroom is unlikely to kill you but isn’t the best quality it could be, and the kitchen is a far safer option.
Have you got a story to share? We want to hear all about it. Email us at [email protected]