Aquafina To Admit Being From A "Public Water Source" On Label

Aquafina labels will soon say “Public Water Source,” a nod by bottler PepsiCo to the fact that its bottled water is the same water that goes into a Pepsi, just pre-carbonation

As you recall, bottled water costs 1,000 times more than tap water. Places like New York have tap water just as good or better than bottled water. Add a home water filter, refrigeration, and the foresight to bring the water with you in, and bottled water starts to look pretty stupid.

Aquafina labels to spell out source – tap water [CNN] (Thanks to Jim!)
(Photo: Anthony, Baby)

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  1. Kezzerxir says:

    If people still buy it, they will keep putting it in bottles.

  2. tandonmiir says:

    When I heard this news this morning, I started thinking about why I occasionally purchase bottled water.

    Unfortunately, it comes down to the fact that I’m lazy. As a consumer, I should be bringing my own water with me to save money, but when it comes right down to it, I don’t feel guilty in the least paying 50 cents/bottle of Kirkland water en masse from Costco…

  3. tedyc03 says:

    Is anyone surprised by Pepsi’s announcement? Really now?

    Water is water…H20. Is there any doubt about that? It’s H20 from Poland, H20 from every spring…if it’s pure, clean, and healthy why are we paying for them to put it in a bottle?

  4. louisb3 says:

    Detroit (and its surrounding area) has tap water that tastes as least as good as bottled water. I’ve recently given up bottled water in favor of filling my own Nalgene bottle.

  5. pyloff says:

    I have been drinking bottled water lately, however I’ve been working in a prison and we cannot bring in anything but bottled water that is sealed from the factory. Its pretty annoying having to shell out a dollar fifty a day when I enjoy the water from my tap. My Pur water filter works just dandy.

  6. Starfury says:

    I don’t like the taste of bottled water. I prefer the filtered tap water I get at home.

    We’ll refill the water bottles and re-use them until they start to wear out.

  7. ptkdude says:

    @Starfury: That’s exactly what I do: refill the bottles. To make sure they stay clean, I never EVER drink directly from the bottle.

  8. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    @tedyc03:

    The city water in Jacksonville, Florida is horrible. I usually bring my own from home (water softener & fridge filter on an artisian well) in a large cooler cup, but if I run out & get thirsty again I will go pay a buck for a bottled water.

  9. mopar_man says:

    There is some bottled water that my wife buys that’s pretty good. I’ll be damned if I can remember what the name of it is though (no empties around to check). Almost every other brand of water I’ve tried is horrible but this one.

    @pyloff:
    You should be able to get water for cheaper than that if you buy it in bulk.

  10. Jasmo says:

    I have this thing in my kitchen – it’s like a beer tap, except it’s for water. Ah yeah, a faucet – that’s what they call it. It’d be silly to buy water in little bottles when I already buy it via taxes.

    Except in the airport, where tap water from home makes me a terrorist and they take it away.

  11. airren says:

    Jasmo you just made me laugh way too hard for this time of day!

  12. skehl says:

    In my town almost no one drinks the tap water. It smells like a swimming pool.

  13. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    Huh? I thought Aquafina already discloses the source on the label? I remember hearing about this a couple years ago.

  14. Gari N. Corp says:

    Let’s all bottle our own water, and then take on plane journeys with us… oh wait, that would make it terrorist water. Good thing the TSA and its peers have PepsiCo’s back.

  15. Papercutninja says:

    @Starfury:

    I’ve yet to see a water bottle wear out.

    People won’t drink tap water from their faucets because they don’t think it’s clean. Hell, i know people who won’t drink from their bathroom faucet because it’s “icky”!

    I just store boiled water in Nalgene bottles in the fridge. Too bad this NJ water doesn’t taste as good as my old NYC water. Oh well.

  16. Jim says:

    Isn’t all water from a public water source? Are we so stupid as a society that it needs to be marked as such now?

  17. sonichghog says:

    @Papercutninja:
    I have no problem with my tapwater now.

    But when I live in Allentown, PA. I would not drink the tap water. I would only drink bottled water. The tap water was certainly clean though. I do not believe anything could live in such High levels of chlorene.
    Bathing was like going to a pool.

  18. I_can_still_pitch says:

    I have a pharma grade reverse osmosis filter with deionizing beads and the water it produces is tasty and pure. I had to get this setup to purify my tap water for fish tank use. Salt water made with tap water will kill marine fish, so how good could it be? You don’t even want to know what is in the filters when I clean them. I believe Aquafina is RO water, which may start out as tap water, but is not the same thing, believe me.

  19. revmatty says:

    I know the water from the tap is fine. But in some places (St. Louis, for example) it tastes horrible. L.A. is worse. In Denver I drank tap water just fine. Same with northern California. Here in good ol’ STL I won’t drink it because of the taste. And yes, I’ve done a blind taste test because a guy here at work kept making fun of me for drinking bottled water instead of tap.

  20. camille_javal says:

    @Jaysyn: oh, lord, I know – I used to live in Jacksonville – we had to give our *pets* purified water we bought in huge things from the store because it made them ill. (This was long enough ago that Brita and Pur weren’t prominent, if they were around, so it wasn’t an option.) Oh, and the smell! When I turned on the bathtub tap, sometimes the smell of sulfur was enough to knock me down.

    When we lived in Jax the first time, in 1980, my father saw a local news report where they poured Jack Daniels into a glass, then water from a particular part of Jacksonville, and the substance turned a disconcertingly dark color (another good reason to keep the bar lights low, I guess).

  21. Jigen says:

    The only reason I see to get bottled water is if you’re like a couple friends of mine who live out in the country. They’re still on well water. My ex’s water was so full of sulfur that it smelled like rotten eggs. I don’t care how good your Brita is, some well water will just reek havoc on your poor water filters.

  22. Trai_Dep says:

    @skehl: PUR or other filters will suck all that chlorine straight out of your water.

    @LatherRinseRepeat: nope. We all knew, but those pesky environmentalist/consumer types dragged Pepsi, kicking, screaming and sobbing, to the table and made them truthfully label their bottles. Yay, pesky types!

  23. ltlbbynthn says:

    I already knew dasani was bottled tap water… too bad about aquafina, though it all tastes like crap anyway. Deer park is also terrible, though that’s supposedly mountain spring water

  24. Televiper says:

    @tedyc03:

    Well first of all by “Public Source” they mean water that’s provided by a public utility. This is opposed to their own private spring, or from their own water filtration plant. In fairness most bottle water companies do their own additional filtering. The water itself will come from whatever public utility is feeding the bottling plant. I believe most Pepsi and Coke bottling is pretty local or pretty close to it for most of us.

    Also, H2O is H2O but we’re not drinking pure H2O, we’re drinking water. Water has other substances including minerals and chemicals. These substances weather their minerals from the source, or chemical contaminants effect the taste of the tap water. For instance the water in my area is heavily treated and contains a significant amount of calcium and lime.

    Now.. distilled water would be distilled water no matter where it came from.

  25. I live in LA county and tap water is disugting — There are times when I can *see* stuff in the water. I have friends who won’t even use it for cooking, but I have a little more faith than that. I just refuse to drink tap water pre-boiling.

  26. I_can_still_pitch says:

    “Now.. distilled water would be distilled water no matter where it came from.”

    …Except most distilled water you buy is copper distilled and has high levels of copper in it. Glass distilled water is very pure but not readily available for consumers.

  27. Iron_Dragon_2.0 says:

    I KNEW IT! Aquafina tastes worse than normal tap water around Toronto. I had half a bottle from a 24 pack and gave the rest away.

  28. JustIcedCoffee says:

    This is hardly a surprise – the fact that when introduced it was the same exact shape as a regular pepsi bottle made it obvious that it was tap water. Pepsi has to filter the crap out the tap water to make their soda’s so why not sell that water as well.
    I would assume their filtering ability exceeds what is readily avail to consumers… so not a bad deal

  29. satyricrash says:

    The pipes in my building are from the Taft administration, and even filtered, the water is somewhat rusty. I guess I should drink that, because I’m a fool to turn my nose up at this free amber liquid.

  30. alhypo says:

    @JustIcedCoffee: They use reverse osmosis, the single greatest purification achievement of human-kind. The process can result in a purity as good as, or better than, distillation. It can “filter” aqueous salt right out of the water without the use of any sort of heating element.

    To say the water they put in a bottle is the same as the water from the tap indicates a gross misunderstanding of the processes involved. By the time they are finished with it, the bottled water is nothing like the source tap-water.

    The reason some people don’t like it is because Pepsi adds minerals back in after they have purified the water. They just don’t appreciate that particular mix of minerals is all.

    Still, I think bottled water is a waste of plastic. Since tap water is generally safe to drink all you need is a simple carbon filter to remove the chlorine.

  31. uricmu says:

    The thing about bottled water is that if you ONLY drink water (not pop, not fruit juice, not coffee, nothing), you become very sensitive to the taste. I didn’t believe that until I made the switch.

    And then you have to pick water by the flavour. I love Poland springs, even though they’re expensive, cost the environment, etc… That’s my drink. As for aquafina and such, don’t like the taste, but they do purify for you, it’s like drinking distilled water.

  32. GenXCub says:

    Las Vegas would require a LOT more than a carbon filter. One sip and you’ve got enough calcium to fuel your upcoming kidney stones for years. I have to say after living in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Dallas, and New Jersey/New York, the water I have on tap in Las Vegas is the most horrid ingestible liquid I’ve tasted.

    I wish I didn’t have to waste the plastic, but nothing gets made from the tap here.

  33. azntg says:

    @GenXCub: I have to agree with you. The tap water in Las Vegas isn’t so great, especially compared to NYC tap water. I went there once and when I filled up the bathtub up, it had a markedly different feel (and an unpleasant one at that) on your skin. I don’t want to say what I thought when I tasted it prior to brushing my teeth.

  34. AcidReign says:

        I’m in an odd place on this debate. I work for a company that produces bottled water, and yet, I’m pretty much an all-tap-water guy. I’ve even drunk out of the tap in a bathroom in Costa Maya, and from New Orleans a few months after Katrina. No problems. The water in Mexico tasted pretty good, the New Orleans stuff was kind of muddy-tasting. It was white in the glass, too, and you couldn’t see through it…

        A few times a year, I buy some Coke-water (Dasani) when I go to college football games. You need water, sitting in the sun in the southeast, and that’s the easiest way to get it in the stadium. Still, I had to laugh about Ozzy Osbourne’s quote from a 1995 album “I think I’ll buy myself some plastic water, yeah!” Kinda ridiculous, really.

        I can tell you this. Pepsi/Aquafina would not be producing this stuff if it weren’t selling. I think people like the convenience, and maybe there’s a perceived status boost via your branded water-bottle. Don’t know. I’m not in sales or marketing!

        Soft-drink water is filtered several ways, through huge tanks of anthracite, to carbon filters, a U-V beam to kill bacteria, and possibly ozone treatment. And these plants do constant quality-control checks. It’s definitely not like drinking tap water out of 75-year-old cast-iron pipes.

  35. notallcompaniesarebad says:

    Join Sodaclub and you can do away with even more waste and save more money. I just use it for seltzer, but I love it.

    [www.sodaclub.com]

  36. JustIcedCoffee says:

    @ALHYPO
    Perhaps I was not as clear as I should have been,I didn’t mean to infer that it was just a person in a backyard filling up bottles.
    How does calling it tap water indicate “gross misunderstanding” — I personally don’t think tap water is bad thing unless traveling in a tropical part of the world — It’s still tap water that is purified, right, so it still can be called tap water w/o being called out as a gross misunderstanding right? Should I have called it reverse Osmotically purified H2O of unmentionable orgin?

  37. lws1984 says:

    The tap water at my home (suburban area) is really quite good. I don’t use bottled water at home. However, I still buy Poland Springs (tastes just like my house’s tap water) for one reason.

    Where I work, the water quality is a) chlorinated (does funny things to the taste of it and b) tastes bad. It doesn’t taste like…nothing, which is what water tastes like, it tastes like nothing with a bunch of nothing-flavoured chemicals put in that tatse kinda like nothing, but actually taste like something.

    That’s why I buy bottled water.

  38. Televiper says:

    Growing up my parents had a water purifier. Being a heavy water drinker I got my fill of what came out of that little tap. Going back to regular tap water I could taste the chlorine. I could even taste it if you only put a couple ice cubes made out of tap water into a large glass filled with purified water. These days I have dispenser and just buy the large blue bottles. It’s heavenly always having a cold glass of water, or a hot cup of tea at the near snap of a finger.

    “Tap Water” generally means water straight from the tap without purification. More often than not anti-bottled water advocates will preach that bottled water is exactly the same as what comes from the tap.

  39. asherchang says:

    Hasn’t this been public knowledge for at least two years? They don’t claim to be spring water, all the bottle says is “purified”. And what about Coca Cola’s Dasani?

    Anyways, most people won’t care because they buy bottled water (very wastefully) just for the convenience of a bottle on the go.

  40. yellojkt says:

    You are buying the bottle, not the water. Any claims of purity are hogwash. It’s either drinkable or not. Gallon jugs of water at your grocery store come straight from the tap as well.

  41. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    Penn & Teller already did this, in their first season. The ‘scientific’ experiment at the end with the guy filling up the exotic looking bottles with a garden hose…
    And I hate to stand up for them big corporations, but I have been to soda plants, and the water they use is only in the strictest definition ‘tap’ water. They have some heavy duty purification being done to that water (including RO and UV sterilzation) before they use it. To make your Dasani or Aquafina, you have to re-introduce some minerals into this water or it would have no taste. Try drinking distilled water. So yes, there are differences from brand to brand depending on which ‘impurities’ are left in or re-introduced.
    And the filtration methods they use are not ‘not readily available to consumers’ they’re just too pricey for most people. Go to your local home improvement store and check out the ‘whole house’ and ‘under sink’ RO units to get an idea.

  42. night_sky says:

    According to Mike Rowe, waste water is reused in some places. If you don’t live near a lake or an ocean, you just may be drinkin’ up that oh so tasty toilet water. ;) Anyway, since I live in CA on the coast, I’ll happily drink me some free water. If people don’t get sick and it doesn’t stink, it’s alright with me.

  43. TechnoDestructo says:

    @ltlbbynthn:

    Just because it’s from a mountain spring doesn’t mean it’ll taste good or be good for you.

    In the hills north of Fairbanks, Alaska, much of the water is unsafe to drink due to all-natural arsenic.

  44. ExtraCelestial says:

    @trai_dep: actually thats not true. it may get some of the chlorine out, but it definitely leaves enough to wipe out a tank full of fish. just ask any fish enthusiast.

    for my marine tank i usually use an r/o or prepackaged salt water. for myself i was raised on bottled spring water. certain places that i go to the tap water is decent, but as i live so close to DC pure tasting tap water is a luxury us metropolitans are not afforded. my ex is from europe and when he would visit and bathe with our water he would actually break out in hives. thats disturbing.

  45. swalve says:

    “tap water will kill marine fish, so how good could it be?”


    I’m sold. Best comment ever. Mythbusters and Penn and Teller can play all the games they want and tell me there’s no difference, but my tap water tastes like ass and gives me the hot-poops. So I drink bottled water, which doesn’t. Municipal water may be safe (=probably won’t kill you), but if you’ve ever done any plumbing, you’ll know safe is not equal to desirable.

  46. night_sky says:

    @swalve: Tap water won’t kill tropical fish. So what does that tell you? I’ve never kept marine fish so I can’t comment on the supposed “marine fish can’t survive in tap water” theory, but I highly doubt that’s true. If you know anything about fish, you would know that pH has a lot to do with how fish adjust to tap.

    BTW, I’ve had tropical fish for years using my tap.