It is often said that Britain has some of the cleanest tap water in the world and that is broadly true, especially compared with what much of the world has to put up with. But that does not mean it could not sometimes be better.
Indeed, one reason for getting a whole house water softener is that often water will contain chemicals that, while in no way harmful, make water less pleasant in terms of its taste, feel and after effects. This is especially true of hard water, which builds up limescale in kettles, is harsher on the skin and hair and damages clothing fibres.
Often water companies will answer those frequently asked questions about what is in their water. Southern Water, for instance, noted that while lead pipes are now illegal and there is a strict limit on lead content, older homes may have lead pipes and in some circumstances this can get into the water.
It also noted that while chlorine is beneficial in making water safe, it can affect taste, as can salts drawn from certain substance such as iron, copper, manganese and zinc. However, it also advised that the extent of this can depend on the hardness of the water - which is of course another reason to get a softener.
Of course, water companies carry out all sorts of steps at their treatment works to make sure the water that comes to our taps, whether from springs, reservoirs or aquifers, is fit to drink. It is very rare for any incident to occur that will cause a severe threat to public health.
Nonetheless, now and again particles get through, there is occasional discolouration and hard water is a perennial concern in many areas. For these reasons, you will be well justified in having a filter even in a country where water safety is almost never in doubt.