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Is Your Bottled Water Worth It?

Is Your Bottled Water Worth It?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

When you want to know what’s in your tap water, look at your local water utility’s website. You’ll find the source of the water and any chemical pollutants remaining after treatment.

It’s the law.

Many utilities also volunteer their treatment methods. Even if they're too small to have a website, they mail out periodic water quality reports.

When you pay a premium price of up to 1900 times more for bottled water, you expect more.

But with rare exceptions, you get less.

All too often, you get nothing. Unless you count hyped advertising come-ons like “crisp,” pristine” or “essential.”

In our book, empty rhetoric means zero. Zip. Nada. Pure drinking water is all about the facts.

An 18-month Environmental Working Group investigation of bottled water labels and websites has found that:

  • Only 2 bottled waters disclose water sources and treatment methods on their labels and offer a recent water quality test report on their websites. These best performers are:
    • Ozarka Drinking Water
    • Penta Ultra-Purified Water
  • Just 18% of bottled waters disclose quality reports with contaminant testing results. Among them, all 8 Nestlé domestic brands surveyed:
    • Poland Spring
    • Nestlé Pure Life
    • Arrowhead
    • Calistoga
    • Deer Park
    • Ice Mountain
    • Ozarka
    • Zephyrhills
  • None of the top 10 U.S. domestic bottled water brands label specific water sources and treatment methods for all their products.

EWG recommends

  • Filtered tap water It saves money, it's purer than tap water, and it helps solve the global glut of plastic bottles.
  • Stronger federal standards for bottled water to enforce the consumer's right to know all about bottled water — where it comes from, what’s been done to it, if anything, and what trace pollutants lurk inside.

Until the federal Food and Drug Administration cracks down on water bottlers, use EWG’s What’s in My Bottled Water guide to find brands with high scores for disclosing full water source, treatment and quality and that use advanced treatment methods to remove a broad range of pollutants.

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