Still or sparkling?

Over the weekend I went to dinner with a few friends. When we sat down, one of my friends asked the waiter for a glass of water, and got the usual response from the waiter: Still or sparkling? How about a bottle for the table? No, all I want is a glass of water, plain tap water.

One of my other companions said he’d rather get a bottle, I asked why, and he responded that he never drinks tap water. He went on to load his glass with ice from the ice machine out back, which makes ice out of tap water.

Maybe he thinks the ice is imported from glaciers at the North Pole? What a fool.

We as, South Africans, are blessed to have some of the safest and highest quality tap water in the world, just give me a glass of Joburg’s finest. Often all you want is a glass of tap water with your meal without having to waste money on bottled water and contribute to the ever-growing mass of garbage on the planet.

What happens when the waiter refuses, saying that they don’t serve tap water? Well, in a nutshell, if an establishment has a liquor license, it has to provide free drinking water to its patrons. That’s the law in terms of The Liquor Act: National Norms and Standards Section 4.7, which states that free drinking water, which includes tap water, must be made easily available at all on-consumption liquor outlets.

It is going to be a hot summer. We have been told that keeping hydrated is of utmost importance in these conditions which means drinking lots of water. Thankfully, in Johannesburg, we have some of the best water in the world coming out of our taps, so we don’t need to go buy expensive bottled water to quench our thirst.

Chronicle Reporter [email protected]

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