Every year, the world spends over $100 billion on bottled water. The economic value of clean water began in the late 1700s when people began to visit natural springs to drink and bathe in the water. Today, bottled water is a multibillion-dollar business that produces a product that is many times equal to what you can get at the tap – with roughly two thirds of those bottles winding up in oceans and landfills, polluting and poisoning water and wildlife.
According to a 2010 report by Food and Water Watch, 47.8% of bottled water is obtained from municipal tap water. In 2001, 13% of bottled water companies were required to change their labels to list the source of their bottled water. If the label reads “from a community/municipal water system,” you are buying tap water. If the label reads “demineralized,” “reverse osmosis,” or “distilled” water, most likely, you are still buying tap water that has been filtered or processed to remove minerals. The process of reverse osmosis and demineralization remove healthy minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium from the bottled water.
Below, you’ll find some examples of bottled water brands that are essentially just bottled tap water:
• Pepsi’s Aquafina announced in 2007 that it would begin to label it’s bottled water with “Public Water Source” to accurately describe where their water came from: municipal tap water.
• Coca Cola’s Dasani is not natural spring water. Coca Cola admitted in 2004 that the water in their product was just “purified” tap water.
• Nestle’s Pure Life switched from spring water to tap water in 2005 with an increase in advertising leading to a 320 percent increase in sales since 2004.
• Everest water lists it’s source of water as the municipal water supply of Corpus Christi, rather than the advertised pure mountain water.
• Safeway Spring Water chemically resembled tap water with chlorine disinfection byproducts in two different studies done by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
In 2011, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that the water bottle industry fails to provide basic information about the water consumers are buying. Their last label survey found that only 2 out of the 188 bottled water companies provided the water source and treatment methods on their labels.
A 2011 Drinking Water Research Foundation study found that the differences in the number of contaminants between bottled and tap water are near to the same. The FDA lists 91 known contaminants in bottled water while the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists 96 in tap water. To add to that, the FDA has 4 contaminants on its list which are not on the EPA’s list of known contaminants. In turn, the EPA has 11 contaminants on its list that are not on the FDA’s list of known contaminants. Bottled water companies are not required by the FDA to publish water quality tests. However, the EPA is required to provide water quality
Post Treatment Contamination
The only major difference between tap and bottled water stems down to the delivery methods used to transport the water for consumption. Tap water is delivered to consumers through miles of unlined and poly-lined underground iron, PVC, and lead service lines. As these lines age or leak, they can lead to post-treatment contamination. These toxins have been shown to cause brain damage in infants and children, cancer, and birth defects. Bottled water is delivered in plastic containers that are usually not Bisphenol A (BPA) free. Once sealed, the bottles may remain in storage for months at a time before they are sold. This leads to contamination when toxins from the plastic leak into the water over time. A 2009 German study raises concerns about the regulations around bottled water considered “safe” by the FDA. It was found that a man-made estrogen-like compound was leaking into polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles. This endocrine disruptor has the ability to restrict human reproductive hormones.
The safest water you can consume will come directly from a high quality water filter. Try the Aquasana 3-stage under counter drinking water system. The system will remove up to 97% of chlorine and chloramines along with pesticides, herbicides, lead, mercury, pharmaceuticals, and VOCs – up to 60 contaminants from your water. The system will also keep in the healthy minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium so that the water you are drinking is not only clean, it’s healthy for you as well.
Forget tap water – filter your water for healthy living!