A leading brand of bottled water, Aquafina, was recently forced to change their labels to reflect the true source of their water: Public Water Sources… in other words, tap water.
While many people opt for a bottle of water at a restaurant or a day outdoors, there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding where this water actually comes from, and whether or not it’s safer for you than your local tap water. We’re going to get to the bottom of it today.
Where Does Bottled Water Come From?
There are actually a few options that water bottle companies can choose from. While the previously mentioned Aquafina has chosen to source their water from regular taps, other legal alternatives include:
- Well water (more specifically, water found underground that is trapped by rocks or sand)
- Spring water (collected at the source of a spring)
- Groundwater (mineral water contains the natural mineral dissolved from this source)
- Distilled water (collected from the steam of boiled water)
- Purified water (this can actually be water from anywhere, but it is treated to remove chemicals)
To recap, brands which describe their products as purified water (including Coca-Cola’s Dasani) can legally source their water from taps, and then purify them in their manufacturing plants. Unlike most municipal governments, bottled water companies don’t have to divulge the exact source of their water to the public.
The following are Bottled Water Brands who refuse to release the location of their water source, and therefore cannot be confirmed to be 100% spring water:
- Aquafina Purified Drinking Water
- Big Y Natural Spring Water
- Cool Springs Purified Drinking Water
- Crystal Clear Bottled Water Purified Drinking Water
- Dasani Purified Water
- Deja Blue Purified Drinking Water
- Floravita 2000 Super Aqua Ultrapure Premium Water
- H20m Natural Spring Water
- Kroger Distilled Water
- Nursery Purified Water
- Publix Drinking Water
- Simply H20
- Smart Sense Purified Water
- Sunnyside Farms Purified Water
- Trader Joe’s Electrolyte Enhanced Water
- Vintage Natural Spring Water
- Voss Artisian Water
- Whole Foods Italian Still Mineral Water
- 365 Everday Value Spring Water
Ok, So Who Cares?
Corporate misleading aside, there are a few pretty big problems with tons of people buying water bottles specifically because they believe they are better quality than tap water.
It’s Ruining the Environment
Millions of pounds of water bottles are filling landfills every day. While some do end up being repurposed via recycling, a high percentage is simply littered. It’s become such a big problem that certain tourist areas have banned water bottles altogether. Unfortunately, water bottles have also contributed greatly to the accumulation of plastic in our oceans, which puts seabirds and ocean life at great risk.
It’s a Huge Waste of Money
Some statisticians have estimated that drinking bottled water instead of tap results in spending 2000x as much money! If all you’re paying for is the packaging, you might as well run a glass of cold water from the tap. (But keep reading, because you might not want to do even that…)
The Fluoride Content
Many people have made the health-conscious decision to stop drinking tap water because of the government-mandated fluoride content. While the decision to fluoridate tap water was originally made to aid dental health, the science has never been strong enough to back this up. Additionally, many people are concerned that no long-term testing has been done, and that the government is playing fast and loose with its citizens’ health. If bottled water companies are simply using tap water, consumers may be unknowingly exposing themselves to the chemical.
Additionally, many people are concerned that no long-term testing has been done, and that the government is playing fast and loose with its citizens’ health. If bottled water companies are simply using tap water, consumers may be unknowingly exposing themselves to the chemical.
…And the DEHP Content
DEHP is a chemical used to make plastics, and is, naturally, found in water bottles, along with some construction materials or medical paraphernalia. Unfortunately, DEHP easily seeps into the water it comes into contact with, and our bodies absorb it easily and completely.
Some research has revealed that DEHP can have negative effects on the development of kidneys, lungs, heart, liver, and reproductive organs. Scientist Joel A. Tickner and his team of researchers also write that when it comes to DEHP, “carcinogenic responses in humans cannot be ruled out.”
So, if you’re paying more money to be less environmentally friendly, be exposed to the same questionable chemicals and even more health risks… clearly, this is not the best option. Instead, invest in a small water filtering system for your home, and bring your water on the go with you in a BPA and DEHP-free bottle.