Water: Bottled vs. tap

The Fanatic Cook has a great post discussing the findings of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) on the quality of bottled water.

The full text of the study from the EWG can be viewed here.

They report that "the bottled water industry promotes an image of purity, but comprehensive testing by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) reveals a surprising array of chemical contaminants in every bottled water brand analyzed" . . . After analyzing 10 brands, they conclude that "tests strongly indicate that the purity of bottled water cannot be trusted. Given the industry's refusal to make available data to support their claims of superiority, consumer confidence in the purity of bottled water is simply not justified."

"EWG's study has revealed that bottled water can contain complex mixtures of industrial chemicals never tested for safety, and may be no cleaner than tap water. Given some bottled water company's failure to adhere to the industry's own purity standards, Americans cannot take the quality of bottled water for granted. Indeed, test results like those presented in this study may give many Americans reason enough to reconsider their habit of purchasing bottled water and turn back to the tap."

For these reasons, as well as environmental reasons (plastic bottles filling up dumpsites), I think it is becoming clearer and clearer that bottled water is something we should only use in a pinch, not habitually.

Comments (4) -

  • Anne

    11/16/2008 4:19:00 PM |

    I have used bottle water at work for years because what comes out of the tap is often a strange brown color. I do have a filter at home. Recently I have been taking my home filtered water to work. Not as convenient as bottled, but this study gives me good reason to continue doing this.

    Do the home faucet filters take out or reduce the medications that are now in our water?

  • Zbigniew

    11/16/2008 9:44:00 PM |

    > as well as environmental reasons (plastic bottles filling up dumpsites), I think it is becoming clearer and clearer that bottled water is something we should only use in a pinch, not habitually.


    well it depends what kind of water you have in your taps. I am used to thinking that - at least in my country - tap water in bigger cities is not very healthy (it is drawn from inferior sources and cleared somehow) and it can contain bacteria.
    Some people use osmotic filters but then the water lacks minerals - so what should they drink?
    Hmm, the subject of water is pretty *deep* once I've started to think of it. Next concern - minerals - is it OK if it has plenty of everything or there are some ideal compositions to aim for? Judging by commercials the ones that are low in sodium are best (but how credible is that advertisement if I watch it between a low-fat full-grain yogurt and "healthy" cholesterol-lowering margarine mix?). Should the same water be given to the middle-aged and to babies?

    At last, about environmental concerns: recently I read an article saying that in order to produce one bottle of water, they use up two or three times more water!

    best regards,

  • Anonymous

    11/17/2008 10:19:00 PM |

    There are two problems with tap water:
    1) It contains fluoride
    2) It contains chlorine
    And I don't want to overdose myself with either of those elements.

    The fluoride can only be removed by distillation or reverse osmosis.

    The chlorine can be removed by a charcoal filter, except that my water department has now switched to chloramine (ammonia + chorine), which CANNOT be removed easily by a charcoal filter.

    The chlorine at least serves an important public health function (although ozonation can be used as a more environment-friendly alternative). The fluoride is forced medication. I believe that one day we will realize our folly in dumping tons of this garbage into our streams, lakes, oceans and bodies, when alternative are available.

    So for me it's bottle water, until the water company cleans up its act.

  • Anonymous

    11/30/2008 3:47:00 AM |

    A percentage of the bottles end up in the pacific ocean to float forever in the great Pacific Landfill, now the size of Texas