California Bill To Mandate Disclosure Of Bottled Water Source, Quality

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is considering a bill that would require bottled water to bear a label clearly stating the source of the water, contact information for the bottler, and the location of recent water quality reports. SB 220 sailed through the California Legislature earlier this month, and would remind bottled water guzzlers that they are shelling out big bucks for a free, public resource.

The confusion has put some companies in hot water. PepsiCo Inc.’s Aquafina brand and Coca-Cola Co.’s Dasani were slammed by consumer and environmental groups for failing to clearly note that their products came from water systems.

Aquafina, which adorns its bottles with a snow-capped mountain design, recently said it would revise its labels to include the phrase “public water sources.” A Coca-Cola spokeswoman said there were no plans to put similar disclosures on Dasani bottles. Both companies cite local supplies as their water’s source on their websites, though neither provides a detailed water quality analysis.

Right now, they don’t have to. Bottled water is regulated as a food product by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, unlike public water systems, which fall under state regulation. The federal government doesn’t demand the level of disclosure that the bill in Sacramento would.

The Governator has until October 14 to decide if consumers have a right to know that their bottled water is the same stuff coming out of the faucet, only 1,000 times more expensive.

Source of water would be clear under new law [L.A. Times]
(Photo: Getty Images)


Edit Your Comment

  1. SgtRich says:

    how nice, now all of you people that annoy me by drinking bottled water can know what I’ve known for years.

    That you’re stupid

  2. tcm22 says:

    Why does other people’s consumption of bottled water annoy you? Seems like you might need some therapy.

    That people thought the source of the water was ever something other than a municipal water source is what cracks me up. I agree that people are stupid.

    I still buy the water. I know that it’s probably sterile and meets some minimal FDA guidelines, regardless of the source. When I’m out and about, a bottle of water is a handy way to quench thirst. It doesn’t really matter if it didn’t come from a Manchurian glacier. It’s just water.

  3. ceejeemcbeegee is not here says:

    @tcm22: Word. Aguafina & Dasani already clearly state that it’s purified water. What needs to be monitored are those waters that say “mountain spring” and are NOT cleaned or sanitized.

  4. it5five says:

    It’s just water: water that used countless gallons of water to create a 20oz bottle of the stuff. Water that used countless gallons of oil to create that plastic bottle you probably won’t be recycling.
    Yeah, it’s just water.

    Get a fucking refillable bottle, fill it up at home, and bring it with you when you’re out. It’s not hard.

  5. CoffeeAddict says:

    I’m all for knowing the source of the bottled water I drink. In Canada it’s something that has been in place for a very long time. I like my Fiji water as it tastes the best. If it costs me more to know where it comes from that is fine by me.

  6. obbie says:

    Aquafina and Dasani are fine by me. I dont see what the big deal is about it coming from a PWS. I frankly prefer it that way. Besides its filtered by reverse osmosis, meaning its clean and tastes better. No big deal.

    What everyone should be worried about is Spring Water.
    Take a close look at how clear that water is, it looks and tastes like there is sediment and other gross things floating around.

  7. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @it5five: Seriously. And if you want it purified, buy one of those filter pitchers or the thing you snap onto your faucet.

  8. PDQ2 says:

    CoffeeAddict says:

    “If it costs me more to know where it comes from that is fine by me.”

    It’s just adding another line of text to the label. Why would that cost any more?

  9. ekincam says:

    The only bottled water I drink I bottle myself straight from the tap. The only thing I know about is that it’s ground water and it’s fairly hard. Unlike bottled water, however, municipal water is regularly sampled and tested for contamination and the results are publicly available.

    I moved from NorCal where they have excellent tap water from Hetch Hetchy but my parents won’t drink anything that hasn’t been previously boiled unless it was store bought and came home in a bottle. I also have a bunch of grade-school age family members which won’t drink water unless it came from a sealed bottle. While visiting NorCal, one saw me filling my Camelbak from the tap, she said “isn’t that stuff bad for you?”

    I would really like to change their habits but I don’t know how to go about it. Who knows how much fuel is used to move and package that water especially since they drive 15 miles each way to Costco every week to replenish supplies.

    I managed to convince one, who is a freshman in college, to drink tap rather than make weekly trips to Costco after giving him a Brita pitcher. Not sure how much better or worse that is compared to bottled water though.

    Keep in mind pitchers for home use are filters only meaning that they filter out sediment and such. They are not purification systems meaning virii in the water will likely make it through the filtration process (which is generally not an issue was tap water). If you are in the wilderness, then you may want a purifier which will remove virii also.