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Summary of Findings

EWG's Bottled Water Scorecard, 2011: Summary of Findings

January 25, 2012

Study authors: Nneka Leiba, MPH, Analyst; Sean Gray, MS, Senior Analyst; Jane Houlihan, MSCE, Sr VP for Research

Overview

The bottled water industry routinely fails to provide information to consumers about the water’s specific geographic source, purification methods and the results of purity testing, a new EWG investigation shows.

Overall, more than half of the 173 bottled water brands surveyed in 2010 flunked EWG's transparency test.

Many brands fill their labels with vague claims of a pristine source or perfect purity — but no real facts. If people are willing to pay up 1,900 times the cost of tap water in order to buy water in a plastic bottle, they deserve better than that1.

EWG's last label survey (2009) found that only two of 188 bottled water brands provided the three most basic facts about their water — source name and location, treatment and purity. Since then, the Government Accountability Office has taken the industry and the federal Food and Drug Administration to task for lax inspection and disclosure practices. During a heavily publicized Congressional hearing on the GAO and EWG reports, House subcommittee chairman Bart Stupak, D-Mich., declared, "Just because it comes in a bottle, we assume it's healthier, but it's not the case."

EWG’s 2010 survey shows that 18 percent of bottled water brands still fail to reveal their water's geographic source; 32 percent are mum on treatment methods and purity testing; and 13 percent publish "water quality" reports that lack any actual testing results.

More than half of the brands EWG surveyed either made no improvements in transparency — or revealed even less in 2010 than in 2009. Bottled water sales continue to be fueled by expensive marketing and misinformation, while many companies stubbornly hide the truth about what's in the bottle.

When it comes to transparency about bottled water, here are the best and the worst:

  • Best -- From 2009 to 2010, the number of brands getting top grades for transparency rose from just two all the way to… three — hardly better. These three – Gerber Pure Purified Water, Nestle Pure Life Purified Water, and Penta Ultra-Purified Water – earned the highest possible marks for labeling the location of their water source and treatment methods and posting online reports on purity. Even so, the water quality reports for all three are outdated, with lab tests dating to 2008.
  • Worst -- Six brands, including Whole Foods' Italian Still Mineral Water, sank to the bottom of the barrel. They provide consumers with none of the three basic facts about their water, either on labels or on company websites.

Each "best on transparency" bottled water brand shows a specific geographic location of its water source and treatment method on the label and posts purity testing online. The "worst on transparency" bottled waters list no information on the water's source location, treatment or purity, online or on the label. These lists are drawn from EWG's survey of labels from 173 bottled waters purchased in 2010.

 

America's bottled water habit has consequences: every 27 hours Americans drink enough bottles of water to circle the equator with empty plastic containers.2

Bottled water companies enjoying this massive commercial success may suspect that their customers would turn away if they knew that most of them draw their product from municipal tap water (BMC 2010, Food and Water Watch 2010), or that the plastics used to make the bottles can be laced with chemical additives that leach into the water (EWG 2008). Perhaps that's why EWG's survey found:

  • Eleven companies disclosed less in 2010 than in 2009. Crystal Geyser, Sam's Choice and nine other companies or brands disclosed even less information in 2010 than in 2009, for one or more bottled waters they sell.[See all products disclosing less in 2010 than in 2009]
  • Twenty-nine brands have ignored California's new disclosure law. More than a quarter of the water bottles purchased in California did not list certain consumer information on the label or failed to provide a water quality report when contacted by EWG as are required under state law. These brands include Fiji Natural Artesian Water and Green Planet Pure Handcrafted Water.[read more]
  • Eight of the 10 top-selling domestic brands earned a D or F for transparency. Another earned an unimpressive C. These nine brands don't label the specific location of their water source and treatment method or provide contact information for consumers to get information on water purity. They include Pepsi's Aquafina brand, Coca-Cola's Dasani, Crystal Geyser and six of seven brands produced by Nestlé Waters NA. Of the 10 top domestic brands, only Nestlé's Pure Life Purified Water brand lists a specific water source and treatment method on the label and provides a water quality testing report upon request.

Three basic facts – source, treatment, purity – remain hidden

EWG supports efforts by states such as California, Massachusetts, and New Mexico to supplement federal law when it comes to requiring companies to disclose more consumer information about their bottled water products. The fact is, however, that secrecy remains common and is perfectly legal in many states. Among the bottled water labels surveyed by EWG:

 

18 percent did not list the water's geographic source on label or website.

EWG's 2010 survey found that many companies choose not to disclose the location of their water source. Of 173 brands surveyed, 32 (18 percent), including Publix, Kroger and Harris Teeter store brands, do not provide this information on either their label or their website.[see all 32]

 

Of brands included in both EWG's 2009 and 2010 surveys, 18 did not label their water source location in either 2009 or 2010. They include Dasani Purified Water, Glaceau's Smartwater, Kroger Purified Drinking Water and 15 others.[see all 18]

 

32 percent provide no information on water treatment.

Producers of 55 brands (32 percent), including Giant's Acadia Natural Spring Water and CVS' Gold Emblem Natural Spring Water, gave consumers no way to learn the purity of their water. These companies fail to disclose any information about their treatment methods or do not post a water quality report online. [see all 55]

 

Of brands surveyed by EWG in both 2009 and 2010, 30 failed to provide this information both years. They included Fiji, Evian, Trader Joe's and Nestlé Waters. Their customers may be swallowing municipal water bottled straight from the tap – or pumped from a well to a truck to a bottle – and not purified at all. [see all 30]

 

13 percent provide "water quality" reports lacking actual test data.

Twenty-two bottled waters (13 percent) publish water quality reports that contain no testing results, including Safeway's Refreshe and Walmart's Great Value brands, among many others. [see all 22]

 

Is the industry telling you more in 2010? Barely.

How many brands offered more information on source, treatment, and purity?
(2010 vs. 2009)

Source: Environmental Working Group analysis of bottled water labels and websites and personal communication with companies. Categories defined as follows — Better: labels surveyed were more transparent in 2010 than in 2009. Mixed: some new information was listed, but other data provided in 2009 were now missing. No progress: no change in transparency since 2009. Worse: some or all labels surveyed were less transparent than in 2009.

EWG compared labels from 2009 and 2010 for 72 brands to see whether companies were providing more basic information to their customers. We expected progress. After all, listing the site of their water source and treatment method on the label is a simple job. Posting a water quality report on a company website also presents few hurdles. And following last year's Congressional hearing, GAO report and tremendous pressure from consumer groups, you might expect even the most resistant companies to budge, at least a little.

The results are disappointing. Some brands disclosed even less information in 2010 than in 2009, and only a fraction were more open.

Overall, bottled water companies stack up as follows:

Getting worse

11 brands (15 percent) disclosed less in 2010 than in 2009 (click for "Getting worse" and "Some decline" lists).

Eleven companies disclosed less about their water in 2010 than in 2009, including Nursery Purified Water and Sam's Choice Purified Drinking Water.

No progress

27 brands (38 percent) disclosed no more in 2010 than in 2009.

These brands might easily have listed the location of their water source, treatment methods and testing data, but instead continue to hide much of this information, just as they did last year.

Better

28 brands (39 percent) disclosed more in 2010 than in 2009 on some or all labels surveyed for each product (click for "Better" and "Some improvement" lists).

Brands providing more information about the specific geographic location of their source, treatment and purity in 2010 than in 2009 included Acqua Panna and Mountain Valley. Last year Nestlé Pure Life's label listed multiple possible water source locations; the 2010 labels named the specific location of the source. Vasa and San Pellegrino added information on labels for consumers wishing to get additional information on the water's quality.


Major brands obscure basic data about their products

Large and small brands alike withhold basic information about their products. Labels of nine of the 10 top-selling domestic brands do not identify their specific water source or treatment method or provide contact information for consumers seeking additional information on water quality. These big brands include Pepsi's Aquafina, Coca-Cola's Dasani, Crystal Geyser and six of seven brands produced by Nestlé Waters NA. Of the 10 top domestic brands, only Nestlé's Pure Life Purified Water lists a specific water source and treatment method on the label and provides a water quality testing report upon request. Here are some of the grades major brands earned on EWG’s scorecard:

  • Pepsi's Aquafina Purified Drinking Water The label says the water "originates from public water sources" but fails to name them. The water is treated with a process called "HydRO-7™" that is not explained on the label. Only three of the 10 Aquafina labels assessed list a phone number for consumers seeking more information on water quality. Even with the phone number, obtaining a water quality report may not be possible; a company representative told EWG that water quality testing information was "proprietary."
     
  • Nestlé's Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water lists a number of California springs as possible sources for the products EWG assessed. The labels do not include any information on how the water is treated but do list a phone number and website for consumers seeking water quality information.
     
  • CG Roxane's Crystal Geyser Natural Alpine Spring Water lists a number of "CG Roxane Source[s]" for the water EWG obtained but offered no specific names of springs. The labels provide no information on treatment, and a third of them do not direct consumers how to get more information on water quality.
     
  • Coca-Cola's Dasani Purified Water does not name its source's geographic site on the label, but notes that the water is treated by reverse osmosis. Six of the seven labels surveyed direct consumers to additional water quality information.
     
  • Nestlé's Deer Park Natural Spring Water lists a number of springs in Pennsylvania, Florida, Maine, Tennessee and Maryland as possible water sources on the labels EWG assessed. No treatment method is listed and none of the labels give consumers a contact to get information on water quality.
     
  • Nestlé's Ice Mountain Natural Spring Water's label lists two springs in Michigan as possible sources but fails to describe its treatment methods. None of the labels give consumers a contact to get information on water quality.
     
  • Nestlé Pure Life Purified Water's label indicates that the source is either "deep protected wells" in Florida, Michigan or California or the public water supplies of specified cities in Pennsylvania, Colorado or Florida. The water is treated either by reverse osmosis or distillation, and all the labels include contact information for consumers seeking additional information on water quality.
     
  • Nestlé's Ozarka Natural Spring Water label says the water is "a blend of Roher Spring, Henderson County, TX and Piney Wood Springs, Wood County, TX" but it does not list treatment methods or include contact information for requesting water quality reports.
     
  • Nestlé's Poland Spring Natural Spring Water's label lists a number of springs in Maine as possible sources but does not identify treatment methods or contacts for water quality information.
     
  • Nestlé's Zephyrhills Natural Spring Water's label lists four springs in Florida as possible sources but provides no information on whether or how the water is treated or contacts for obtaining water quality information.

Recommendations

EWG recommends that consumers drink filtered tap water. It saves money, it's purer than tap water and it helps shrink the global glut of discarded plastic bottles. When bottled water is the only option, EWG recommends brands with high transparency scores (clear labeling) and advanced treatment.

EWG supports stronger federal standards to ensure consumers right to know all about their bottled water — where it comes from, what's been done to purify it, if anything, and what trace pollutants lurk inside. Finally, EWG supports state initiatives, like California's SB 220, that helps to accomplish these goals.

Detailed findings for individual bottled waters surveyed

More than half of the 72 brands EWG surveyed either made no improvements in transparency — or revealed even less in 2010 than in 2009 (see "Getting worse," "Some decline" and "No progress" lists below).

GETTING WORSE: Bottled waters revealing less information in 2010 than in 2009
  STILL NEEDED
    Specific geographic source on label Purification on label Contact on label Recent WQR Online*
(Walgreens) Drinking Water Listed water treatment method on label in 2009 ("Reverse osmosis, micron filtered and ozonated"), but not in 2010.    
Nursery Purified Water Listed multiple possible water sources ("Arrowhead Springs; Millcreek Township, PA/Diamond Spring; Clay Township, PA/ Ephrata Well; Ephrata Township, PA/West Earl Township Municipal Water Supply; Ephrata, PA") on 2009's label; on 2010 labels no geographic source was listed.    
Tim Hortons Natural Spring Water Labels from 2009 listed a specific water source ("Cedar Valley Springs"); only a vague source was listed in 2010 ("Hillsburgh, Erin, Ontario, Canada").  
Winn-Dixie Spring Water The 2009 label listed a specific water source ("Silver Springs, Silver Springs, FL"); but not in 2010.
SOME DECLINE: Bottled waters disclosing less information on some (not all) labels surveyed in 2010 compared to 2009
  STILL NEEDED
    Specific geographic source on label Purification on label Contact on label Recent WQR Online*
365 Everyday Value Spring Water One of the 3 labels lists no contact information for consumers wanting more information on water quality. Last year's label listed a phone number and email address for consumers.    
Aquafina Purified Drinking Water Two of the 5 labels list a phone number for consumers wanting more information on water quality. Last year's label listed no contact information.    
Crystal Geyser Natural Alpine Spring Water In 2010, two of 5 labels list no contact information for consumers wanting more information on water quality. 2009's label listed a phone number and email address for consumers.  
Dasani Purified Water In 2010, one of 4 labels lists no contact information for consumers wanting more information on water quality. Last year's label listed a phone number and website for consumers.      
Market Pantry Purified Water In 2010, one of 3 labels lists no contact information for consumers wanting more information on water quality. Last year's label listed a phone number and website.    
Publix Spring Water Two of 3 labels list no geographic water source. Last year's label showed a specific water source instead ("Ginnie Spring, Gilchrist City, High Springs, FL").    
Sam's Choice Purified Drinking Water In 2010, one of three labels lists no contact information for consumers wanting more information on water quality. Last year's label listed a phone number and website.      
NO PROGRESS: Bottled waters making no improvements, disclosing the same amount of information in 2010 compared to 2009
  STILL NEEDED
    Specific geographic source on label Purification on label Contact on label Recent WQR Online*
Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water No change from last year.    
Deer Park Natural Spring Water No change from last year.    
Deja Blue Purified Drinking Water No change from last year.  
Evamor Alkaline Artesian Water Beverage No change from last year.
Evian Natural Spring Water No change from last year.      
Fiji Natural Artesian Water No change from last year.    
Giant Acadia Natural Spring Water No change from last year.
H2Om Natural Spring Water No change from last year.  
Ice Mountain Natural Spring Water No change from last year.  
Iceland Spring Natural [Icelandic] Spring Water No change from last year.    
Kroger Distilled Water No change from last year.  
Ozarka Natural Spring Water No change from last year.    
Penta Ultra-Purified Water No change from last year.        
Poland Spring Natural Spring Water No change from last year.    
Publix Purified Water No change from last year.  
Refreshe Purified Drinking Water No change from last year.    
Refreshe Spring Water No change from last year.      
Simply H2O by Berkley & Jensen Purified Water No change from last year.  
Sparkletts Crystal-Fresh Purified Water No change from last year.      
Spring! Natural Spring Water No change from last year.      
Sunnyside Farms Purified water No change from last year.  
Trader Joe's Pure New Zealand Artesian Water No change from last year.  
Volvic Natural Spring Water No change from last year.    
Voss Artesian Water No change from last year.
Wegmans Spring Water No change from last year.
Winn-Dixie Purified Water No change from last year.    
Zephyrhills Natural Spring Water No change from last year.  
BETTER: Bottled waters disclosing more information in 2010 than in 2009
  STILL NEEDED
    Specific geographic source on label Purification on label Contact on label Recent WQR Online*
American Falls Purified Drinking Water 2010's label includes purification method ("reverse osmosis"); 2009's label didn't. 2010's label lists a phone number and website for consumers wanting more information on water quality. Last year's label listed no contact information.    
Aquarius Spring! Natural Spring Water Company provides an undated water quality report with information on water's source and processing but it does not disclose the results of water testing. Last year no water quality report was provided.      
Crystal Springs Natural Spring Water This year's label lists a phone number and website for consumers wanting more information on water quality; last year's listed no contact information.      
EartH2O 100% Natural Spring Water Company provides an dated water quality report online. Last year no water quality report was provided.      
Eden Springs Artesian Water This year's label lists a phone number and email address for consumers wanting more information on water quality; last year's listed no contact information.    
Ethos Water Natural Spring Water One of 2 labels lists a specific water source ("Nature's Way Springs, White Haven, PA 18661"). Last year's label showed a vague water source instead. This year's labels include a phone number for consumers; last year's listed no contact information.    
Gerolsteiner Natural Mineral Water This year's label lists a phone number and email address for consumers wanting more information on water quality. Last year's label listed no contact information.  
Giant Eagle Purified Water This year's label lists water treatment method on label ("carbon filtration, reverse osmosis and ozonation"); last year's did not.    
Glaceau Smartwater This year's label lists a phone number and website for consumers wanting more information on water quality. Last year's label listed no contact information.    
Icelandic Glacial Natural Spring Water Company provides an dated water quality report online. Last year no water quality report was provided.    
Kirkland Signature Premium Drinking Water Company provides an undated water quality report with information on water's source and processing but it does not disclose the results of water testing. Last year no water quality report was provided.      
Kirkland Signature Spring Water Company provides an undated water quality report with information on water's source and processing but it does not disclose the results of water testing. Last year no water quality report was provided.
Naturally Preferred Pure Mountain Spring Water Lists specific water source ("Opal Springs, Culver, OR") on this year's label; last year no geographic water source was listed.    
Nestle Pure Life Purified Water Lists specific water source on label this year (eg., "Deep protected wells, Stanwood, MI"). Last year's label listed multiple possible sources.        
Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water This year's labels list a phone number and website for consumers wanting more information on water quality. Last year's label listed no contact information for consumers. This year one of two labels identifies a water source ("Source Perrier, Vergeze, France"); no geographic source was identified last year.      
R Everyday Purified Water This year's label lists a phone number and website for consumers wanting more information on water quality; last year no contact information was listed. Company provides an undated water quality report with information on water's source and processing but it does not disclose the results of water testing. Last year no water quality report was provided.      
Ralphs Purified Drinking Water This year's label lists a phone number and website for consumers wanting more information on water quality; last year no contact information was listed.    
Roxane Mountain Spring Water This year's label lists a phone number and mailing address for consumers wanting more information on water quality; last year no contact information was listed.  
S. Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water This year's label lists a phone number and website for consumers wanting more information on water quality; last year no contact information was listed.      
Spring Reflections Natural Spring Water Lists vague water source ("Spring Source: Benton, Tennessee 37307") on this year's label; no geographic source was listed last year.
Vasa Natural Spring Water This year's label lists a phone number and mailing address for consumers wanting more information on water quality; last year no contact information was listed.      
SOME IMPROVEMENT: Bottled waters disclosing more information on some (not all) labels surveyed in 2010 compared to 2009
  STILL NEEDED
    Specific geographic source on label Purification on label Contact on label Recent WQR Online*
(Walgreens) Spring Water Two of 3 labels list a specific water source (e.g., "Silver Springs, Silver Springs, FL"). Last year's label showed multiple possible sources instead. One of the 3 labels lists a phone number for consumers wanting more information on water quality. Last year's label listed no contact information.      
Acqua Panna Natural Spring Water Three of the 4 labels list a phone number and website for consumers wanting more information on water quality. Last year's label listed no contact information.      
CVS Gold Emblem Purified Drinking Water This year, 1 of 2 labels lists a specific water source; last year's label listed no geographic water source. One of two labels include a phone number and email address for consumers; last year's label listed no contact information.      
Fry's Purified Drinking Water This year, one of 2 labels lists a phone number and website for consumers wanting more information on water quality. Last year's label listed no contact information for consumers.    
Kroger Purified Drinking Water This year, one of 2 labels lists a phone number and website for consumers wanting more information on water quality. Last year's label listed no contact information for consumers.    
New Zealand Eternal Artesian Water This year, one of 2 labels lists a vague water source ("Bottled at Source: Eternal NZ Ltd, 6941 SH2, Paeroa, New Zealand"). No geographic water source was listed on last year's label. This year, one of two labels lists a phone number and email addres for consumers wanting more information on water quality; last year's listed no contact information.  
Trader Joe's Electrolyte Enhanced Water One of 2 labels lists a vague water source ("municipal source") this year; no geographic source was listed on last year's label.    
MIXED RESULTS: Bottled waters disclosing more information in some areas, less in others, in 2010 compared to 2009
  STILL NEEDED
    Specific geographic source on label Purification on label Contact on label Recent WQR Online*
Archer Farms Natural Spring Water Listed specific water source ("Roaring Spring, Roaring Spring, PA") on last year's label, but this year's label lists vague water sources. This year's label lists a phone number and website for consumers wanting more information on water quality. Last year's label listed no contact information.  
Crystal Lake Premium Spring Water Listed water treatment method on label last year ("Ozone"), but not this year. This year's label lists a vague water source ("Alpine Springs from the Catskill Mountains, Livingston Manor, NY 12758"); last year's did not include a source.
Great Value Spring Water Listed specific water source on label last year ("Hummel Springs, Liberty, IL"), but not this year. This year's label lists a phone number and website for consumers wanting more information on water quality. Last year's label listed no contact information.    
Mountain Valley Spring Water Listed water treatment method on label last year ("Ozonated"), but not this year. This year's label lists a phone number and website for consumers wanting more information on water quality. Last year's label listed no contact information.    
Niagara Purified Drinking Water Listed a phone number and website for consumers wanting more information on water quality on last year's label; this year no contact information was listed. Company provides an undated water quality report with information on water's source and processing but it does not disclose the results of water testing. Last year no water quality report was provided.    
Pure American Spring Water Listed specific water source on label last year ("Big Spring, Bellefonte, PA"), but not this year. This year's labels list a phone number for consumers wanting more information on water quality. Last year's label listed no contact information for consumers.    

 

Bottled waters that offered no purification information on their labels in 2009 and 2010

  Product Grade
1 Acqua Panna Natural Spring Water C
2 Archer Farms Natural Spring Water F
3 Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water C
4 Crystal Geyser Natural Alpine Spring Water F
5 Crystal Springs Natural Spring Water C
6 Deer Park Natural Spring Water D
7 Eden Springs Artesian Water F
8 Ethos Water Natural Spring Water F
9 Evamor Alkaline Artesian Water Beverage F
10 Evian Natural Spring Water C
11 Fiji Natural Artesian Water C
12 Gerolsteiner Natural Mineral Water F
13 Giant Acadia Natural Spring Water F
14 Ice Mountain Natural Spring Water D
15 Icelandic Glacial Natural Spring Water C
16 Kirkland Signature Spring Water D
17 New Zealand Eternal Artesian Water F
18 Ozarka Natural Spring Water D
19 Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water D
20 Poland Spring Natural Spring Water D
21 Roxane Mountain Spring Water F
22 S. Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water D
23 Spring Reflections Natural Spring Water F
24 Tim Hortons Natural Spring Water F
25 Trader Joe's Pure New Zealand Artesian Water F
26 Volvic Natural Spring Water D
27 Voss Artesian Water F
28 Wegmans Spring Water F
29 Winn-Dixie Spring Water F
30 Zephyrhills Natural Spring Water D

 

Bottled waters that offered no geographic source information on their labels in 2009 and 2010

  Product Grade
1 American Falls Purified Drinking Water D
2 Dasani Purified Water D
3 Deja Blue Purified Drinking Water F
4 Fry's Purified Drinking Water D
5 Glaceau Smartwater C
6 Kirkland Signature Premium Drinking Water D
7 Kroger Distilled Water F
8 Kroger Purified Drinking Water F
9 Market Pantry Purified Water F
10 Niagara Purified Drinking Water D
11 R Everyday Purified Water C
12 Ralphs Purified Drinking Water F
13 Refreshe Purified Drinking Water D
14 Sam's Choice Purified Drinking Water C
15 Simply H2O by Berkley & Jensen Purified Water F
16 Sparkletts Crystal-Fresh Purified Water C
17 Sunnyside Farms Purified water F
18 Winn-Dixie Purified Water F

 

Bottled waters with no geographic source information on their labels or websites

  Product Grade
1 Alhambra Jr. Sport Crystal-Fresh Purified Water F
2 Big Y Natural Spring Water F
3 Cool Springs Purified Drinking Water F
4 Crystal Clear Bottled Water Purified Drinking Water C
5 Cumby's Spring Water F
6 CVS Gold Emblem Natural Spring Water F
7 CVS Gold Emblem Purified Drinking Water F
8 Deja Blue Purified Drinking Water F
9 Floravita 2000 Supra-Aqua Ultrapure Premium Water F
10 Fry's Purified Drinking Water F
11 GIVE Strength [to fight muscular disorders] Electrolyte Infused Water F
12 Harris Teeter Purified Water F
13 Kroger Distilled Water F
14 Kroger Purified Drinking Water F
15 Market Basket Natural Spring Water F
16 Market Pantry Purified Water F
17 New Zealand Wai Artesian Water F
18 Nursery Purified Water C
19 O Water Sport Electrolyte Enhanced Purified Drinking Water F
20 Publix Drinking Water F
21 Publix Spring Water F
22 Ralphs Purified Drinking Water F
23 Sahara Premium Drinking Water F
24 Simply H2O by Berkley & Jensen Purified Water F
25 Smart Sense Purified Water F
26 Sunnyside Farms Purified water F
27 The Natural Cafe Purified Drinking Water F
28 Trader Joe's Electrolyte Enhanced Water F
29 UNHCR Earth Water Demineralized Water F
30 Vintage Natural Spring Water F
31 Whole Foods Italian Still Mineral Water F
32 Winn-Dixie Purified Water F

 

Bottled waters with no treatment type disclosed and no water quality information

  Product Grade
1 (Stop & Shop) Acadia Natural Spring Water F
2 (Walgreens) Drinking Water F
3 Angel Fire Water Drinking Water F
4 Archer Farms Natural Spring Water F
5 Big Y Natural Spring Water F
6 Bristol Farms Drinking Water F
7 Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino Purified Drinking Water F
8 Ciao Acqua Naturale Natural Spring Water F
9 Crystal Lake Premium Spring Water F
10 Cumberland Farms Spring Water F
11 Cumby's Spring Water F
12 CVS Gold Emblem Natural Spring Water F
13 Eco Choice Natural Spring Water F
14 Eden Springs Artesian Water F
15 Ethos Water Natural Spring Water F
16 Evamor Alkaline Artesian Water Beverage F
17 Giant Acadia Natural Spring Water F
18 Give Hope [to women with breast cancer] Natural Spring Water F
19 GIVE Life [to children in need] Natural Spring Water F
20 GIVE Love [to protect our environment] Natural Spring Water F
21 Green Bottle Spring Water F
22 Leggera Natural Mineral Water F
23 Lissa Natural Mineral Water F
24 Market Basket Natural Spring Water F
25 Nature's Place All Natural Spring Water F
26 Nature's Pride Natural Spring Water F
27 Neuro Aqua Natural Spring Water F
28 Nirvana Natural Spring Water F
29 O Water Sport Electrolyte Enhanced Purified Drinking Water F
30 Project 7 Feed The Hungry Natural Spring Water F
31 Project 7 Heal The Sick Natural Spring Water F
32 Project 7 Help Those in Need Natural Spring Water F
33 Project 7 House the Homeless Natural Spring Water F
34 Pure Swiss Mineral Water F
35 Richfood Natural Spring Water F
36 Rienzi Pura Natural Mineral Water F
37 Roxane Mountain Spring Water F
38 Sahara Premium Drinking Water F
39 San Benedetto Premium Artesian Water F
40 Saratoga Natural Spring Water F
41 Shaw's Spring Water F
42 Spring Reflections Natural Spring Water F
43 Sunnyside Farms Spring water F
44 Tim Hortons Natural Spring Water F
45 Tops Spring Water F
46 Trader Joe's Natural Mountain Spring Water F
47 Trader Joe's Pure New Zealand Artesian Water F
48 Tulpehocken Mountain Spring Water F
49 Ty Nant Spring Water F
50 Vintage Natural Spring Water F
51 Wegmans Spring Water F
52 Whole Foods Italian Still Mineral Water F
53 Winn-Dixie Spring Water F
54 World Market Natural Spring Water F
55 Xtramart Natural Spring Water F

 

Bottled waters with a water quality report without any testing data

  Product Grade
1 7 Select Spring Water D
2 American Falls Purified Drinking Water D
3 Aquarius Spring! Natural Spring Water C
4 Athena Purified Water with Minerals Added F
5 Crystal Lake Spring Water C
6 Dasani Purified Water D
7 Famous Ramona Natural Mountain Spring Water D
8 Fry's Purified Drinking Water D
9 Good Stuff by AMPM Purified Drinking Water D
10 Great Value Distilled Water C
11 Great Value Drinking Water C
12 Great Value Purified Drinking Water C
13 Great Value Spring Water C
14 Kirkland Signature Premium Drinking Water D
15 Kirkland Signature Spring Water D
16 Niagara Purified Drinking Water D
17 R Everyday Purified Water C
18 Refreshe Purified Drinking Water D
19 Refreshe Spring Water C
20 Simplify Purified Water D
21 Spring! Natural Spring Water C
22 Sunny Select Drinking Water D

Footnotes.
1 A recent survey documented bottled water prices ranging from $0.89 to $8.26 per gallon (Food and Water Watch 2007). Retail prices vary widely depending on whether people are buying bottled water in bulk or individual bottles. Given this wide range in prices, EWG assumed a flat $1.00 per liter price per liter (or $3.79 per gallon), which is what most consumers would pay for a typical liter bottle of water bought from a convenience store. In comparison, EPA estimates that tap water costs consumers about $0.002 per gallon, on average, nationwide (EPA 2004).

2 Based on a typical 16.9 fluid ounce bottle, 8 inches in height; 8.4 billion gallons of bottled water consumed annually in the U.S. (23 million gallons per day) (BMC 2010); and the Earth's circumference at the equator, 24,901 miles.

 

 

References

BMC (Beverage Marketing Corporation). 2010. Bottled Water in the U.S.: 2010 Edition. Available: http://www.beveragemarketing.com

EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 2004. Drinking Water Costs & Federal Funding. Office of Water. EPA 816-F-04-038. Available: www.epa.gov/OGWDW/sdwa/30th/factsheets/pdfs/fs_30ann_dwsrf_web.pdf [accessed October 2 2008].

EWG (Environmental Working Group). 2008. Bottled Water Quality Investigation: 10 Major Brands, 38 Pollutants. Available: http://www.ewg.org/reports/bottledwater [accessed November 12 2010].

EWG (Environmental Working Group). 2009. EWG's Bottled Water Scorecard. Available: http://www.ewg.org/health/report/bottledwater--scorecard [accessed October 4 2010].

Food and Water Watch. 2007. Take Back the Tap. Available: http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/water/pubs/reports/take-back-the-tap [accessed October 3 2008].

Food and Water Watch. 2010. Bottling Our Cities' Tap Water. Available: http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/water/bottled/bottling-our-cities-tap-water/ [accessed September 21 2010].