Almost half of bottled water is actually tap water! Yes, this includes many of the major brands.
For example, from the Dasani website:
“How is DASANI made?
To create DASANI water, we start with the local water supply, which is then filtered for purity using a state-of-the-art process called reverse osmosis. We then add a special blend of minerals for that pure, crisp, fresh taste.”
“What is the difference between spring water and purified water?
Purified water is water that has been purified by reverse osmosis or other suitable method to render it purified. Spring water is water from an underground source. Both are filtered for impurities. To get the great DASANI taste, we add a special mineral blend back into the water after it has been purified”.
Back in 2007 Pepsi-Cola announced that the labels of its Aquafina brand bottled water would be changed to clarify that the product was actually tap water. The new labels read, “The Aquafina in this bottle is purified water that originates from a public water source.” Previously, the label read…”Bottled at the source P.W.S.” meaning “public water source.” AKA tap water.
Bottled water that doesn’t come from a public source is labeled differently, but you might not notice, courtesy of misleading labels. For example, if it says “mountain water” or “glacier water,” those are not identifying or approved names, and putting them on a label doesn’t mean anything. If you’re looking for water that genuinely comes from a natural source, look for the labels Artesian water, Spring water or Well water.
When you see Carbonated water, Soda water, Seltzer water, Sparkling water and Tonic water, these are considered soft drinks and are not regulated as bottled water at all.
You also might be surprised learn that bottled water is LESS regulated than tap water in this country. The agencies that oversee the public water supply test frequently and must alert the public if contaminants are found. Bottled water is tested less frequently and manufacturers are not necessarily obligated to tell consumers about a problem.
So it turns out that in most cases, with notable exceptions, like the recent trouble in Flint, Michigan, or other cases of water contamination, natural disaster or certain health problems, tap water is quite safe in comparison to bottled water.
Are the bottles themselves safe? Well, some studies indicate that when heated, or stored in warm temperatures, the plastic may leach chemicals into the water. Several of these chemicals are now being studied for possible health related concerns.
So what’s a better choice? Reusable glass water bottles with a protective covering, reusable stainless steel water bottles or heavy plastic reusable water bottles. They are still plastic but at least they will be used many times.
Where can you get tasty water? Invest in a small counter top filter, like Brita, use the filtered water that comes from the fridge if you have that, or a house filter if possible.
Save yourself a lot of money and spare the environment a lot of waste!