While many Americans say bottled water tastes better than water from the tap, many District residents think otherwise, according to a recent taste test conducted by the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority.

The department’s outreach staff recently held a blind, comparative test at the Penn Branch Department of Motor Vehicles service center in Southeast, where many participants chose tap water over bottled water. Despite the test result, most participants reported using bottled water at home for cooking and drinking.

DC Water General Manager George S. Hawkins said city residents should consider using tap water for their cooking needs and noted the environmental effects of bottled water. “We encourage everyone to consider the type of water they drink at home and understand that tap water is a good choice,” said Hawkins in a statement. “Every day, DC Water is monitoring and testing local tap water to ensure its high quality, so that our customers can avoid the financial and environmental costs of purchasing bottled water.”

According to the department, District drinking water meets strict federal regulatory standards, with test results available online and mailed to every resident. At about a penny a gallon, it is also much more affordable than bottled water – while requiring no packaging to dispose or recycle. Taste tests conducted throughout the District enabled DC Water to learn more about public perceptions of local tap water and proactively respond to questions about drinking water quality.

For more information about the city’s water quality, contact the Water Quality Division at 202-612-3440 or visit for additional concerns about tap water.