The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
Texas A&M pitcher Evan Aschenbeck (53) reacts after throwing the final strike out during Texas A&M’s game against Mississippi State on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at Olsen Field. (Chris Swann/ The Battalion)
Down but not out
May 23, 2024
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
A fighter jet squadron flies over during the National Anthem before Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas at Olsen Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Bryan-College Station Regional participants announced
Ian Curtis, Sports Writer • May 27, 2024

For the second time in three seasons, No. 3 national seed Texas A&M baseball will host the Bryan-College Station Regional, where it’ll...

Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

What’s up with College Station water?

Photo by Kaili Gaston

A water faucet drips at Park West apartments on March 5th, 2023.

College Station water is one the most debatable topics at Texas A&M. Some love it and some hate it, but what gives the water its unique taste? 

According to the College Station Water Quality Report from 2021, College Station drinking water comes from the Simsboro, Carrizo and Sparta Aquifers, located in northwest Brazos County. The drinking water is tested regularly by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 

A&M Professor of Rangeland, wildlife and fisheries Ron Kaiser said there is a very simple explanation for why College Station water tastes unique to some people.

“The city of College Station water is drawn from aquifers deep underground, upwards of 2000 feet, and as this water travels through an aquifer, it dissolves certain materials,” Kaiser said. “The predominant element is sodium chloride, or salt.”

This salt gives College Station water its distinct taste. Although it sounds precarious, Kaiser said residents should be assured the water is totally safe to drink.

“Our water is pure and is really high quality water,” Kaiser said. “It generally has no bacteria or pathogens in it because it has been in the ground for hundreds and hundreds of years. It comes out of the ground in Bryan-College Station at about 118 degrees, so both cities have to cool it down before it can be sent through the distribution system.”

Some students also complain about the feeling of the water. This also has an explanation, Kaiser said. 

“Our water is really clean but it tends to be a little softer because of the presence of sodium chloride,” Kaiser said. “If you grew up in the San Antonio area, their aquifer is predominantly limestone, so it comes out as hard water due to calcium chloride being their predominant substance. If you take a shower in San Antonio, it takes a lot more soap to lather your hair, where in College Station, it takes just a little bit.”

Although the water is potable, many College Station residents and A&M students are still hesitant to drink it, such as management information systems sophomore Chloe Cooper.

“I don’t drink College Station water, I don’t trust it,” Cooper said.

Cooper’s opinion seems to be popular at A&M. Civil engineering junior Abdullah Alhalaseh said he agreed with Cooper’s sentiments.

“Well I don’t drink College Station water because it is horrible,” Abdullah said. “I’ve never drank the tap water in College Station.”

An option for residents who do not like the taste of the water is to use a filter. Director of the Program on Environment and Sustainability professor Virvender Sharma said he uses a filter for water at home.

“Most times, I use a filter and drink the water from that,” Sharma said. “But it’s not that cheap either, depending on what type of filter you use.”

Students are also using popular filters to find alternatives to drinking the tap water. Economics sophomore Bailey Ryllee said she prefers using her filter, as opposed to the tap water.

“I don’t like the College Station water,” Ryllee said.“My roommates and I use a Brita filter in our apartment and drink from that instead.”

Although this water debate seems to be mostly one-sided — with most A&M students stating they dislike the unique, salty taste of College Station water — there is no debate about the safety of the water, just its interesting taste.

“[Bryan-College Station residents] and [students] at Texas A&M are very fortunate to have access to large amounts of high quality groundwater,” Kaiser said. “Our water has been graded and rated very high by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *