Why Is Water From a Garden Hose So Delicious?

A Black woman with a straw hat drinks water out of a hose in a garden.

Stephen Simpson / Getty Images

I posed this (age-old?) question on Twitter and Facebook today. To which one of my Environmental Studies colleagues replied, "the hose gives it taste." Ah, yes, the taste of childhood, of a hot summer day and cooling off with a little bubbly from the green hose hanging from the side of the house. Heck, when I was a kid (1970s), we had a drinking fountain hooked up between the house and the hose. Still delicious. But is it safe? And what does it tell you about those bottled water people? My experience today went like this: I was flushing the freshwater tank on my camper (and watering the lawn at the same time), and sweating my butt off in the too-hot-to-be-fall heat. On the way to shut off the hose, I took a drink.

Ah. Another. My daughter came over and I let her try some. So, it's the taste of the hose, one person says. Normally, water doesn't really have a taste, right? That's why people drink bottled water (which is pumped out of the ground, put into plastic bottles made from petroleum, hauled by truck to your nearest store, then sold at a super premium price even though it's usually just tap water anyway).

Deep breath. Some people say they like bottled water because it tastes better. But on a hot summer day, you might say that water from the ol' garden hose is even more refreshing than the tap. And with a much smaller carbon footprint than bottled. Just don't leave the hose running too long.

Earlier this year, Mother Earth News posed the "is it safe" question to a biochemist. The answer: Yes. If you let the hose run a bit, to water your plants let's say, it's OK to take a sip and savor the flavor. If you're really into it, you might want to pick up a white RV water hose or specific hose brands to avoid lead, according to about.com.

Low shot of two young boys in swimming trunks drinking water from a garden hose.

Cavan Images / Getty Images

What do you think? Bottled, tap ... or hose? Make sure you know the source of your water before you drink. I'd say it's not worth worrying too much about drinking from the hose once in a while. Better than grabbing a bottled water from the fridge.