Is Hose Water The Same as Tap Water?

In most homes the water source is the same for tap and garden hose water. However, the actual water that comes out of each can be different depending on a variety of factors, including filtration systems, water softeners, and garden hose chemical make-up.

Many people often ask the question: Is hose water the same as tap water? We’re here to answer. Here’s how to tell how similar your hose water is to your tap water, and whether it’s safe to drink.

Why does Water from a Garden Hose Taste Different from Tap Water?

The first thing to point out is that many garden hoses are not drinking water safe. First, they have chemicals in their lining that can leach into the water, which can make the water taste funny and may not be safe to consume.

Second, bacterial and fungus can often get into a garden hose that has been left out and not put away on a garden hose reel. That can also make water coming out of the hose taste odd and not safe for consumptions.

If you want to be able to drink out of your garden hose, take a look at purchasing what we think is the best garden hose on the market. And make sure it’s put away safely after each use on a nice garden hose reel.

garden hoses are not always safe to drink out of
Garden hoses sometimes have chemicals & bacteria that can get into the water that flows through it

Where Does Hose Water Come From?

In most homes, the water that comes out of your garden hose bib comes from one of 3 sources:

  1. The municipal/city water supply
  2. A well
  3. A rain catchment water tank

We’ll go on to explain these in detail below to help you determine if your hose water is the same as your tap water.

What Is Meant by “Most Homes”?

In this article you’ll see the phrase “most homes” come up. You might be thinking, what do you mean by most homes?

Most homes have one pipe that delivers water from the main water supply, whether that be from a well or city water. Some homes, however, have a separate water supply for irrigation. Water used strictly for irrigation doesn’t need to be drinking water safe because it’s for watering plants. Thus, some homes have a water catchment system for rainwater that passes directly to their hose bib.

This is rare, however, and is usually only seen in rural areas. The main indicator that your outdoor faucet is drawing from a separate water supply is if it’s connected to some kind of holding tank in your yard.

Rain catchment water is different from your indoor tap water and is not meant for human consumption.

When it comes to the quality of your drinking water, there is no definitive answer as to whether hose water and tap water are the same. While both types of water, in most homes, come from a treated source, there are a few key differences that may affect the quality of each. Here’s a closer look at the two types of water and what makes them different:

The Source: Well vs. City Water

Does your home draw from a well or are you connected to the city’s water supply?

Homes on City Water

If the city supplies your water, is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which sets standards for public drinking water. This means that tap water must meet certain criteria for safety and quality before it can be distributed to homes and businesses.

In most homes the water that comes from the city supplies your outdoor garden hose bib as well as your indoor taps. Both are safe to drink.

Homes on Well Water

If your home draws from a well, the homeowner is responsible for testing the water to make sure the water is safe to drink.

As long as you’ve tested the water coming from the well, it’ll be safe both from the hose bib and the indoor tap. It’s the same water.

Water Treatment Systems

Some homes have water treatment systems in place to filter or otherwise manipulate the water that is delivered from the city or well. There’s various reasons home owners decide to treat otherwise drinkable water, whether it’s to reduce it’s hardness, dechlorinate, or simply add an extra layer of filtration.

The quality of tap water can vary greatly from one location to the next. While most municipalities test their water for harmful contaminants, they may not test for softness, which refers to the level of calcium in the water. That’s because calcium is not considered a health hazard.

However, it can be a nuisance if it causes scale buildup in pipes and appliances, which is why some home owners elect to soften the water before it enters the homes plumbing system.

Some homes have water treatment systems under the sink or elsewhere in the home that further purify tap water. Photo by Bluewater Sweden on Unsplash

Minimizing the Workload of a Water Treatment System

In order to minimize the workload of a water treatment system, some homeowners divert the water going to a hose bib before it enters the water treatment equipment. That water, after-all, doesn’t require the additional treatment that tap water does.

If you know you have a water treatment system, take a look at it and try to locate the intake pipe. We want to find the pipe that feeds water into the home, through the water treatment system. Look for another pipe that diverts off before the water treatment equipment. If there is one, see if you can determine where it goes. There’s a good chance it’s headed to one of your outdoor faucets.

If that’s the case, your tap water and hose bib water are not the same.

A Helpful Hose Water Video

Is Hose water the Same as Shower Water?

In the vast majority of homes, the hose water from your outdoor faucet is the same as your shower water. The shower water is the same as your tap water. So everything we’ve gone over comparing tap water to hose water, also applies to your shower water.


So, is hose water the same as tap water? The answer is probably. The factors that could make your hose water different from your tap water:

  1. Your hose faucet water comes from a rain catchment holding tank
  2. You have a water treatment system that diverts water to the hose bib before it enters the system
  3. You have a garden hose that is not drinking water safe and/or is not properly stored.