Is Bottled Water Safer Than Tap Water? Please…

Bottled water isn’t any safer than tap water, and could actually be more dangerous, according to a report from the Government Accounting Office. The big difference lies in the government regulator: tap water is covered by the Safe Water Drinking Act, administered by the aggressive and powerful Environmental Protection Agency, while bottled water falls under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act overseen by the powerless anything-goes industry-lovers over at the Food and Drug Administration.

In fact, bottled water makers are not required to disclose even as much information as your local municipality. If you live in a city of 10,000 residents or more, you probably receive a copy of a water report each year. The Solid Waste Disposal Act requires that public water systems test tap water for various contaminants using certified laboratories and issue a water-quality report, called the consumer-confidence report (CCR), once a year. (For particularly toxic contaminants, the SWDA requires results to be reported within 24 hours.) The CCR summarizes local drinking water quality, information about the water source, levels of detected contaminants, whether any of the detected contaminants exceed federal levels, as well as information on the potential health effects of certain contaminants. (If you live in a smaller town, consult the EPA’s Web site.)

In contrast, bottled water manufacturers don’t have to use certified laboratories nor report the results of any water quality testing to the FDA, even if the contaminants exceed federal standards. The GAO study also found that only a small percentage of the 83 bottled water labels looked at, companies contacted, or company Web sites reviewed contained information comparable to that required of tap water.

Consumer Reports tested bottled water in 2000 and found that it was safe when it met FDA standards, which wasn’t always the case. All water should be regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, but since it isn’t, we’ll stick with tap water, thank you very much.

Is tap water safer than bottled? [Consumer Reports]
(Photo: Snap®)


Edit Your Comment

  1. StevePJobs says:

    Salmonella: Coming to a water bottle near you!

  2. supercereal says:

    Eh, I just buy bottled water because it just tastes better than my straight tap water. Plus I’m too cheap to buy a Brita filtering system, though I’ve heard very good things about ’em.

    • corkdork says:

      @supercereal: Too cheap to buy a Brita, but bottled water is reasonably priced? Drink tap for a couple weeks, save up for the filter; bank the savings.

      • anduin says:

        tap water has a different taste that much I know for sure, Im an avid water drinker and the crap they serve in certain bottled water (like the Coke brand one) is simply cleaned up tap water which is pointless to buy. The good stuff comes from natural springs which are best from outside the US.

      • supercereal says:

        @corkdork: Looking at my last receipt, I literally pay 39 cents every couple of weeks for a gallon of store brand bottled water. Yes, that is absolutely more reasonably priced than buying the device and replacement filters.

        • 3DaysTillTheState_GitEmSteveDave says:

          @supercereal: You only drink a gallon of water every few weeks? You should really drink more.

          • supercereal says:

            @3DaysTillTheState_GitEmSteveDave: @jamar0303: I’m not usually at home a lot (and water is plenty free at work and on travel). Plus, there are other plenty of other things to drink besides a glass of water that have water in them. You’re treating this as if that lone gallon of water is my only source of hydration.

            @EinhornIsAMan!: Yes, 39 cents per gallon of the Wal-Mart spring water special.

            • jamar0303 says:

              @supercereal: Guess I’m a health nut- I don’t touch most “other things to drink that have water in them”. And I… don’t get around quite so much, so if that’s enough for you because you have other sources, so much the better. If only all of us had a job like yours…

              • supercereal says:


                Guess I’m a health nut- I don’t touch most “other things to drink that have water in them”.

                All concentrated fruit juices (which is pretty much 80% of what’s on store shelves) have water in them. They’re far from the unhealthiest thing in the world, though many tend to have a lot of sugars in them as well.

                If only all of us had a job like yours…

                Eh, I wouldn’t go that far. Free water/coffee/tea isn’t anything to write home about. And the novelty of business travel wears off very quickly.

            • ktetch says:

              @supercereal: I used to buy the walmart distilled water (wet cell batteries, and baby forumula). Ever actually checked the source (it’s on the jug). IIRC It’s a municipal source in Tn (or is for the bottles sold in Ga).

              In other words… tap water.

        • jamar0303 says:

          @supercereal: O RLY? Don’t normal humans need way more hydration than that?

        • K-Bo says:

          @supercereal: not really, since replacements are done based on total # of gallons filtered, it would be 5 years after you first buy the pitcher and filter ( at around $15 for a base level model) before you would have to buy another filter for around $8.

          • maztec says:

            Importing water to drink is stupid on so many levels. On the other hand, I like mineral water, but can’t find anyone that imports a decent mineral water – it’s all filtered out, bleh.

          • cerbie says:

            @K-Bo: 5 years? I see 2 months/40 gallons for the Brita pitchers, and I haven’t seen any with ore than around 200 gallon capacities.

            None of the pitchers have enough filter capacity, IMO (probably by design–profit).

            Personally, I don’t see how anyone can possibly drink straight tap. That stuff is nasty–the worst contaminants are added by the utility, and considered OK (if there’s enough chlorine that it can be smelled, it’s not at a safe level, OK?). I grew up pretty much dehydrated all the time, not knowing that water didn’t have to be nasty.

            I’m currently debatiing between Aquasana ($$$) and Crystal Quest (unkown performance beyond NSF standards met), for my future filtering. I had a cooler type w/ carbon filters (rebranded Addipure), but it kept getting moldy during summers.

            The demand for water better than the tap isn’t based on myth, though I won’t say the good-tasting water is particularly healthy, either (one reason I’m going for filtered, which will be more of a known quantity).

    • Heero says:

      @supercereal: when its chilled, the tap water unfiltered where i live tastes basically the same as the average bottled water. I guess it depends where you live though. Up in Wisconsin when i go to see relatives their water tastes like crap to me.

    • The Black Bird says:

      @supercereal: I purchase bottled water for the same reason, it tastes better than my tap water. I stick with 3 brands that according to the CR article, which I remember reading when it came out, were ok.

      A friend of mine has the Brita filtering system and although it does make the water taste better I still prefer the taste of bottled water.

    • HiPwr says:

      @supercereal: Our tap water comes from wells owned by the village. It reeks and leaves white shit on everything it touches. I’ll stick with bottled.

      • JuliB says:

        @HiPwr: White stuff? Probably hard water. Buy a water softener and you’d be shocked at the difference in taste. Plus your dishes and clothes will wash better, and your hair will be softer.

        • krista says:

          @JuliB: Actually, water softeners waste a huge amount of water. I live in a very hard water area, and looked into it. But it’s just too environmentally unfriendly for me, even though I love when I visit a place where my shampoo actually lathers.

      • fjordtjie says:

        @HiPwr: ours too. sometimes it comes out looking and smelling like bleach additionally (slightly yellow and reeking of chlorine). i’m not a health freak, and until i moved a couple months ago i drank tap water, but due to the disgusting state of the local water here, it’s bottled only at my house.

        @JuliB: sink water doesn’t go through the softener, so no, it won’t change the flavor. it also won’t take out the chlorine in our water, and neither will a filter. the clothes, dishes, and shower part is true. it also helps the water heater last longer by avoiding deposits inside the unit.

    • Bgeezy says:

      @supercereal: Same my water in my area either smells like floride or sulfer real bad and after I drink it I get dry mouth. Not just my apartment either, pretty much everywhere in my county. I go buy gallon jugs of water at walmart and even use that water to make kool aid and tea. Sucks that the water is so horrible because I have a useless ice maker also and have to go purchase ice also.

    • greyspot says:

      I can’t stand the taste of city water. The fluoride and chlorine makes me gag. Plus, I’m sure you’ve heard about all of the geniuses that love to throw old medicine down the toilet. I just get distilled water in gallons from the store. And well water just sucks. It smells like eggs if you don’t change the filter every week and add plenty of salt, makes my ice maker useless, and makes me feel all slimy after a shower (although my hair feels softer…).

  3. taney71 says:

    GAO doesn’t stand for Government Accounting Office. It is Government Accountability Office.

    Now GAO use to be General Accounting Office until a few years ago but no longer.

  4. JulesNoctambule says:

    Isn’t a lot of bottled water just filtered municipal tap water anyway? I remember Pepsi threw a big fit when our city was in a severe drought and there were plans to limit the amount of our water they could take to sell under their brand.

  5. nakuls says:

    we started using brita filters after i saw the article

    i must say it is really worth it, bottled water consumption in my house hold has reduced drastically, this article is going to reduce it further.

  6. tangent4 says:

    Bottled water can be noticeably better if it comes from a source upstream compared to your municipal water. A recent Frontline episode talked about water quality in Washington, DC – even EPA scientists said they would never drink DC tap water because of all the endocrine disruptors and other things that come from the downstream Potomac.


    Living in DC, I would much rather drink bottled water from an upstream source than the stuff that comes out of the tap… The EPA doesn’t regulate endocrine disruptors in ANY water and there is no way to filter or remove it from water — so water source matters.

    Bottled water can be a good way to avoid endocrine disruptors and other things that aren’t regulated and you can’t remove yourself.

    • Megalomania says:

      @tangent4: The mere existence of the Anacostia seems a pretty good reason to not want to drink DC water either.

    • yevarechecha says:

      @tangent4: I would not drink DC tap water, either. They say they fixed the lead problem but I don’t believe them.

      However, I live in the DC suburbs, and I do drink the tap water. I run it through a filter pitcher just because there is some psychological effect to it and I like having it chilled in the refrigerator beforehand. When I lived in Minnesota, filtering was a must because it was so hard and metallic-tasting that it was undrinkable otherwise.

      I think bottled water is a waste of money if your tap water is safe, though, and all the bottles are bad for the environment. Aquafina actually tastes quite disgusting, IMO, and Dasani isn’t great, either. I do like Evian, Poland Springs, and Deer Park, but 95% of the time I drink tap water.

      • Kogenta says:

        @yevarechecha: To be brutally honest, some companies are just bottling municipal tap water. I’m sure I read somewhere that one of the Dasani bottling plants just draws off the Calgary, Alberta water supply.

        • Featherstonehaugh says:

          Dasani is gross. They add salt to it….. Aquafina is my favorite.

        • EarlNowak says:

          @Kogenta: The calgary municipal water supply is outstanding. It comes out of the bow river, straight down from the rocky mountain glaciers.

          As opposed to, say, the new orleans municipal water supply, which comes out of the mississippi river- after it’s been through most major cities in middle america.

        • shepd says:


          Calgary, Alberta is better than where Aquafina/Dasani (can’t remember which, now) get their water from here: Pickering, Ontario.

          You know, the place with the nuclear power plant? The one that was accused of dumping heavy water? Yeah, that Pickering.

          Gimme city water any day. Tastes great and is ALWAYS FRESH.

      • 3DaysTillTheState_GitEmSteveDave says:

        @yevarechecha: Do you like coke and pepsi? B/c their bottled water is just the water they use for the soda w/nothing in it.

      • bohemian says:

        @yevarechecha: Reverse osmosis or distilling will remove most of the junk in tap water. Ours is undrinkable. Between the metallic taste and all the chemicals the city dumps in to counter the farm runoff it is disgusting and probably not the best thing to be drinking. It is like drinking pool water from a rusty cup.
        We started distilling or filtering our water after I added up how much we were spending on bottled water.

    • EinhornIsAMan! says:

      @tangent4: Shit, is DC water really that bad? Unlike a lot of other places I’ve been, I don’t get nasty tasting water out of my tap, and it’s perfectly tolerable through my Brita.

      Or maybe I should just move

    • subtlefrog says:

      @tangent4: According to Tyrone Hayes, who sort of led the charge on atrazine and other endocrine disruptors in the water, Brita filters et al. will in fact remove them from the water.

  7. balthisar says:

    This is disingenuous: the article says, “Bottled water isn’t any safer than tap water, and could actually be more dangerous, according to a report from the Government Accounting Office.” But it doesn’t say that. It only says there are differences in testing. While strictly speaking, “could…be” is factually correct, there’s no cause to raise an alarm, because there’s no evidence that this is the case. It’s like saying, Coca Cola is bad for you because the EPA doesn’t monitor the water that goes into it. Raising false alarms without any basis in fact is irresponsible. If there *is* basis in fact, then present it.

    (And no, I don’t work for a water bottling company.)

    Let us not forget that people that have wells have to monitor their own water quality. Perhaps we should all take the burden to understand what we ingest.

    • ugadawg says:

      @balthisar: And how many cases have you heard of the EPA failing against the FDA failing. I can count on more than one hand how many times the FDA has botched up with E. Coli at peanut plants, Vioxx being pulled too late from the market ([]), FDA approved Byetta being heavily monitored now that they know it causes acute pancreatitis ([]), over 73,000 cases of food poisoning occurring every year among Americans ([]), and other instances. Yeah the FDA is doing quite a bang-up job protecting us.

    • VouxCroux says:

      @balthisar: FDA standards for water are NOT as strict as EPA standards and the FDA has so few inspectors to enforce their regulations that it would be almost laughable if it weren’t so serious. The EPA takes it seriously.

      You KNOW your tap water is safe to drink (unless there’s an environmental catastrophe/terrorist activity) whereas you believe that your bottled water is safe.

      • balthisar says:

        @dcs315: But the same goes for everything that’s sold in a bottle.

      • Copper says:

        @dcs315: Actually you KNOW your tap water is safe at the plant because that is where testing is done. It has to come to you in pipes, which are usually old. Try testing the water as it comes out of your faucet and see how safe it is.

    • Mary Marsala with Fries says:

      @balthisar: Well, there are also a ton of OTHER reasons not to buy bottled water…pollution, profiteering and much more…the fact that it’s less strictly regulated for quality may not be an alarm itself, but it adds a few decibels to the alarms that already ought to be going off!

  8. krispykrink says:

    I disagree. My bottled water is safer than tap water. It goes through 4 different filters before it goes through the reverse osmosis filter, then I bottle it and stick it in the fridge.

    • Dansc29625 says:

      @krispykrink: Why not distill it?

    • subtlefrog says:

      @krispykrink: Yes, but I think what they are trying to point out is that no one is regulating those filters. So if they’re not being adequately cleaned, or if other safety protocols are not being followed, for example, then the water you buy may not be as filtered as you hope, because there is no oversight agency in charge that has any teeth.

    • maztec says:

      @krispykrink: Ugh, honest, I like good mineral water, but once water has been filtered that much, you may as well just distill it and add a couple minerals for a flavor profile back in.

  9. AppleAlex says:

    we get our water from this windmill type thing. it’s the shape of those golf windmill things you have to shoot the ball into but it lacks the fan thing. you just put the gallon under the nozzle and it fills it and we bring that home

    no clue where that comes from and what water it uses but I’ll never drink tap water I don’t buy bottled water tho, just sodas

    • wehsmith says:

      They use city water, do the reverse osmosis and UV, and possibly other things. After filtering it is stored in the top of the windmill. My wife likes it. I was filling about a month age and the lady was there cleaning, taking money out etc. Got to see inside, looked pretty clean. She said she was getting a whole house filter for her water and that it does about the same thing.

      • wehsmith says:

        I actually never thought about the minigolf angle… Maybe I’ll go putt some balls at the thing and give passers by something to talk about…

  10. Lucky225 says:

    As someone who worked at an Arrowhead Water bottle plant in Cabazon, CA, this report just pisses me off. We use reverse osmosis and UV filters to kill everything and the water comes from a natural spring piped in, it’s way better then any tap water you’ll find IMHO.

    • Featherstonehaugh says:

      Thank you.

      Apparently water is just water to some people. For those of us who do not want to make do with tap water, we choose bottled. Keep up the great work in Cabazon!

      • Lucky225 says:


        This isn’t to say ALL bottled water is equal. While I approve of Arrowhead because I used to work there and have actually SEEN the filer system we use and the numbers that we’re not REQUIRED to give to the gov’t (which were SUBSTANTIALLY lower then that of TAP in Southern California), Aquafina and some other bottlers, including some that say ‘Natural Spring Water’, are substantially WORSE then TAP as the report says. But while working at Arrowhead, I can tell you that Arrowhead Mtn Spring water and Ozark bottled water (Both of which are owned by Nestle Waters of North America) are safe, and in most cases safer, to drink then tap.

        • The Black Bird says:

          @Lucky225: While I’ve never seen either Arrowhead Mountain nor Ozark bottled water in my area two of the bottled waters I use are from Nestle Waters of North America (Deer Park and Poland Springs). The third one is Great Bear. I only purchase Great Bear when I cannot get either of the other two.

    • my secret identity says:

      @Lucky225: @Featherstonehaugh: Just because water is tap doesn’t mean it’s inherently worse off than bottled. The community I live in happens to have great tap water that we are actually kinda proud of ’round here.

    • cerbie says:

      @Lucky225: we know. But, see, tons of people without taste buds or olfactory nerves want to tell everyone different, and put their heads in the sand, rather than admit that it’s bad when it comes ou of my faucet. I generally get Deer Park, BTW, and intend to move to filtering tap again, soon.

      @Fett101: when the stench is assaulting, it keeps dried foods from reconstituting, and overpowers the flavors of teas, is blind testing really necessary? Bottled has none of these problems, nor well-filtered water. Filtered doesn’t leave that red scum around, either.

      As to the bottling itself, no doubt (not just packing, but also that it is stressing local water supplies, and many municipalities are weak in the face of the businesses in question–OK, 90% of the time it’s Nestle).

  11. Featherstonehaugh says:

    I’m not sure why everyone is so anti-bottled water. I drink it because I like the taste. That is all the reason I need. If you are content drinking tap water then go right ahead…

    • Fett101 says:

      @Featherstonehaugh: Because unless you’ve performed a double blind taste test of your chosen brand of bottle water to tap water (which you may have for all I know), then the ‘taste’ argument may just be in your head.

      Also, because of the packaging and shipping, bottled water is more harmful then tap.

      • Featherstonehaugh says:

        I really do prefer the taste of bottled, so I am willing to take my chances with it being “more harmful.” :)

        • bennilynn says:

          @Featherstonehaugh: Are you willing for your children to take that chance for all the damage that’s being done to the environment so you can enjoy the taste a little more?

          Petroleum used to make the bottles, shipping costs, costs to run the factory, plastic bottles being used once and tossed into a landfill where they’ll sit for tens of thousands of years slowly leaching poison into the groundwater (that I drink) as the chemicals used in the production slowly, slowly breakdown…

          That’s worth it to you for a slightly different flavor? Seriously? Priorities, man…

          There are lots of things we have to do that have an impact on the environment that even the most conscientious of us can’t avoid. Why add one more that we can?

      • CompyPaq says:

        @Fett101: I have performed a double blind taste test between my tap water, filtered tap water, and several brands of bottled water. The tap water tasted bad, the filtered water tasted worse, and now we drink only bottled (Poland Spring delivery, although Evian was actually at the top of the test)

    • bohemian says:

      @Featherstonehaugh: I drink bottled water when I travel. It is usually easier than finding tap water. It also removes the question of water quality. That goes double for camping. Well water usually isn’t tested.

  12. H3ion says:

    A faucet filter or a Brita filter or the ones that go in the refrigerator with an external ice and water dispenser do the job just fine. The water tastes at least as good as the bottled purified tap water and you don’t have the plastic bottles to dispose of.

    • Erin Cummins says:

      @H3ion: is it expensive to replace the filters? I recently swore off disposable plastic bottles and purchased two BPA free Nalgenes that I fill with tap water. The water isn’t bad, it’s just the taste is a little off from what I’m used to and I was considering buying a Brita filter for my tap. I just don’t know if I want to spend the money now and then spend more later to replace the filters. Have you had good results with yours?

      • calquist says:

        @Erin Cummins: I love my Brita filter. The filters are kinda expensive, but they last 3 months officially (I usually keep them for 4 – 5 months each) and I like the taste of the water. It is fresher tasting than my tap water and since I have the pitcher in the fridge it is always colder than the tap and I don’t have to put ice in the cup. It is definitely much cheaper than buying bottled water and healthier for me because when I wanted a cold drink I used to grab soda or juice that was already in the fridge instead of getting tap and waiting for it to cool with ice, now I just grab the cold water pitcher.

  13. Ronin-Democrat says:

    nyc water, best in the world. it is the actual faucet you have to worry about.
    i think bottled water came into vogue because faucets at parks were SKEEEEEEEVY if the fountain worked at all.

  14. KhaiJB says:

    “drink” water?…..

    I’m thirsty not dirty….

  15. Karl says:

    Unfortunately, just because the water is deemed safe at one point doesn’t mean it’s safe everywhere. Building pipes vary a LOT, so the same water that’s clear at my apartment is yellowish somewhere else (which doesn’t necessarily mean it’s unsafe, just that *something* is leeching into the water).

    The quality of bottled water might be less regulated, but I suspect it’s easier to control.

  16. Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

    I stopped buying bottled water about a year ago.. I realized that I’d be better off with a Britta system since the water we get from the tap isn’t bad.

    That said.. If I found a place where they sold bottled water from Australia I would TOTALLY buy it.. because.. I have dreams about that stuff it is SO good.

    I don’t even know what they do to it.. but it tastes like nothing.. just waterey water. And that’s just what water should taste like.

    Aussie bottled water FTW!

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      @Kimaroo: Ha, I feel the same way about the water in Aberdeenshire in Scotland… you know, the stuff they make whiskey out of :D Seriously, when I was there I could have sucked directly off the hotel tap. I LIVE in Houston, where the municipal toxic soup isn’t really fit to even bathe in.

      • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

        @speedwell, avatar of snark: I live in a suburb of Houston so I know what ya mean. Lol. Right down the road from me at my old job, the water smells like rotten eggs. I’ve never been brave enough to try it.

  17. I Love New Jersey says:

    Reminds me of this:

    General Jack D. Ripper: Mandrake, do you realize that in addition to fluoridating water, why, there are studies underway to fluoridate salt, flour, fruit juices, soup, sugar, milk… ice cream. Ice cream, Mandrake, children’s ice cream.

    Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Lord, Jack.

    General Jack D. Ripper: You know when fluoridation first began?

    Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: I… no, no. I don’t, Jack.

    General Jack D. Ripper: Nineteen hundred and forty-six. Nineteen forty-six, Mandrake. How does that coincide with your post-war Commie conspiracy, huh? It’s incredibly obvious, isn’t it? A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual. Certainly without any choice. That’s the way your hard-core Commie works.

  18. bobpence says:

    Oh really, is anyone buying bottled water because they think their good-tasting, healthy tap water isn’t?

  19. tbax929 says:

    When I lived near Philly, the tap water was awesome there. In Tucson, our tap water isn’t even clear. No way in hell I’d drink that crap. I get water from Sparkletts, and it’s delicious.

    • Featherstonehaugh says:

      Have you done a double-blind taste test to confirm this? Apparently the taste difference may all be in your head! :)

  20. my secret identity says:

    I love my tap water. I would drink it over almost any bottled water. It comes from the Mississippi River and gets filtered 11 times before coming to my faucet. I don’t attach any filters to the faucet or anything weird like that. I love it.

  21. Mike Geiselman says:

    You want drink tap water, drink tap water. But bottled water tastes better and is more convienent. No way around it. Besides, like it has been said numerous times already, tap water quality is going to vary from location.

    My family of 5 goes through a case of water in about six days @ 3.99 (or less) a case. That’s roughly $245 per year … I can deal with that to pass on the over-chlorinated pool water that comes out of the tap around here.

    • EinhornIsAMan! says:

      @Mike Geiselman: Tap water is a helluva lot more convenient when I’m lounging around and don’t feel like leaving or dragging bottles back to my apartment

    • Dansc29625 says:

      @Mike Geiselman: So you would be able to give us a figure on how much chlorine is in your tap water and what the chlorine water should be?

      • bohemian says:

        @Dansc29625: I know someone who used to do pool maintenance. They had to do water quality tests and submit them to the city. They tested a pool water sample and a tap water sample just for kicks. They tap water failed the pool water quality test. Just gross.

        Our tap water smells like over chlorinated pool water in the spring. All the snow melts and takes all the crop chemicals and cow poo with it. So all that nasty crap runs into our city water source. They dump in tons of chemicals to make it pass.

    • sponica says:

      @Mike Geiselman: i was always taught that chlorine evaporates from water when left open to the air….but i do remember the water in my dorm was so chlorinated i’d get palm prints on my bedspread from when I washed my hands and didn’t dry them off completely.

    • Mary Marsala with Fries says:

      @Mike Geiselman: $245 per year plus the cost of recycling those bottles, right?

      Or are you just passing that on to everyone else?

    • riverstyxxx says:

      @Mike Geiselman:
      I think its clever how they show up and don’t bother replying…Really adds to their credibility, doesn’t it?

  22. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    I have a Pur water filter on my faucet when I’m drinking water at home. And I buy bottled water when I’m on the go. I like Aquafina. It’s city tap water, but filtered through reverse osmosis. So it gets rid of most of the nasty stuff.

  23. farmerjeanh says:

    Its safer than MY tap water-I have a well and its water is chock full of bacteria, lead and so much salt it kills plants. Other than buying an expensive reverse osmosis unit, our tap water is totally undrinkable. Its not even safe for tooth brushing. And it smells like a**.
    BTW, the current well is brand new and 280 feet. The older,shallow well was worse. The joys of country life…

  24. Joe Lachiana says:

    the most OUT OF TOUCH people are behind these studies. WE CAN’T DRIVE WITH A GLASS OF WATER IN THE CAR DOUCHE-BAGS! It costs about 20cents for a bottle of water when bought in bulk. What should a bottle cost? 3cents?

    20cents for CONVENIENCE PEOPLE! Safe? Dangerous? Is there an outbreak of bottled water related illness?


    This is just another SCARE TACTIC to get people to change their ways at the expense of COMMON SENSE!

    Now for that Texas sized pile of plastic in the ocean, that’s different and scary BUT they insist on sticking up for tap water which is FAR FROM WHAT THE DEAL IS. We do not have taps available while on the go BUT for under a QUARTER you do and that for some reason doesn’t count.

    • tofoomeister says:

      @Joe Lachiana: They SELL these nifty non-disposable reusable BOTTLES that you can fill with TAP WATER that you can drink when you’re DRIVING US ALL MAD WITH YOUR INAPPROPRIATE CAPS.

    • JulesNoctambule says:

      @Joe Lachiana: I hear they make these things called ‘water filters’ and ‘reusable bottles’ now! Oh, the wonders of modern technology.

  25. Joe Lachiana says:

    WOW! I almost forgot that for the past 5-10years there’s been WATER BANS EVERYWHERE! Just this year they lifted them as it’s been raining for 40days/nights over here.

    God dam they need to do a study on the deaf, dumb and blind people they got behind these studies.

  26. Joe Lachiana says:


  27. Dansc29625 says:

    Folks Penn and Teller’s BS show did a story on this a while a go.

    The Most important thing to remember, is that the FDA has no jurisdiction on water sold and bottled in the same state.

  28. HogwartsAlum says:

    I just drink tap water in a BPA-free reusable bottle, unless the tap water where I happen to be is gross. The only thing that bothers me is when it’s warm. I like it cold.

    We have a drinking fountain at work that puts out cold, cold water. I take my bottle to work and fill it there. Mmmm.

  29. shepd says:

    No bottled water discussion should be without this:

  30. Anonymous says:

    I like Dasani. I know where it comes from, I don’t care. I know about the environmental impact, still don’t care. It tastes better and is no more wasteful than any bottled beverage.

    I like tap water alright as well, it seems reasonably clean and tasty most of the time, but sometimes I can taste mold. It’s probably my pipes, but I can’t afford to get them replaced, so I turn to Dasani. Also, Dasani is more convenient when I’m out, no worrying about the plumbing in other places.

    Does this make me a stupid, lazy or uneducated consumer? Not at all. Does it mean I’m selfish, considering environmental factors? Maybe. Don’t care. Tell your mythical grandchildren I said ‘Hi’. I don’t bow to the popular moral panic of the moment. The planet will be fine, whether I drink bottled water or not.

  31. GoBobbyGo says:

    From Penn and Teller

  32. runswithscissors says:

    Three things to say:

    1) This is why I make my own water at home out of farm fresh Hydrogen and organic Oxygen from Trader Joe’s.

    2) Evian is “naive” spelled backwards.

    3) We have a saying here in Springfield about the tap water: “If it’s brown, drink it down. If it’s black, send it back.”

  33. Joe Lachiana says:

    Reusable water bottles that up to a few months ago were leaching poisons into our filtered water…that has carbon floating around in it because if you use them properly (which no one does) would cost you in money and irritation.

    People have done lost their minds. Keep buying into this nonsense that only beats up on legit businesses when our country is all but broke.

    As for my inappropriate caps or yelling WE ARE IN A DEPRESSION AND 2 WARS and you are worried about something that is 100% personal preference + convenience.

    Get a life and join the army if life is this easy for you.

    Wait till you see my replies on SMOKING IN THE ARMY. I’ll be sure to use a nice large font so the world can see how out of touch the USA is these days.

    • bobcatred says:

      @Joe Lachiana: Is there a reason you can’t just post ONE comment? Because the constant conspiracy posting is kind of making you look like a spammer.

  34. laughingweek says:

    For all you people complaining about convenience, there are some fabulous aluminum bottles out there at that are good for life. All sizes, colors, etc.

    I filter my own water, use the bottle, and I don’t have to worry about the plastic bottles leeching into the water (which is the OTHER health issue), wasting plastic bottles, or adding to the carbon footprint by the shipping of water when I get it in my sink for basically free.

  35. Levi Martin says:

    This is another reason I drink steam distilled water.

  36. ChuckBlack says:

    This is an awesome doc on the whole bottled water industry.


  37. Skin Art Squared says:

    Wasn’t there a news story about this a few years back where they showed that most of these bottled water companies were simply filling the bottles right from the tap? I remember a few different brands being tested (Aquafina Dasani, etc) and there was literally no difference between them and regular tap water. Some were found to even be filling the bottles directly from their own taps in places like Ohio.

    Bottled water is a scam. Period. If you live in the U.S., tap water is perfectly safe to drink. Bottled water is no better than tap. If you really want to know what’s in your water, buy a $4 dollar water testing kit. It will last you for roughly 25,000 tests.

  38. Skin Art Squared says:

    @Mike Geiselman: “My family of 5 goes through a case of water in about six days @ 3.99 (or less) a case. That’s roughly $245 per year … I can deal with that to pass on the over-chlorinated pool water that comes out of the tap around here.”

    I promise you, my pool water far exceeds the quality of any bottled water you’re drinking. (non-chlorine pool) My koi pond water as well. (zero chlorine) It’s quite satisfying to understand and balance water composition to perfection. (keeping it there is tricky at times).

    If you want perfect water every single time, pass it through a UV sterilizer filter. You could double up and pass it through a sand filter also, but the UV really makes it unnecessary unless you really want to remove any particulates. Check your chemistry for Total Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness, Chlorine level, and pH balance. Adjust as necessary.
    If you just want to remove the chlorine from it, aerate it by spraying into a container. Aeration will remove the chlorine. (although the level in tap water is human-safe to begin with).

    If you’re not checking the chemistry of your bottled water, you have no idea what condition it’s in. Thus, it’s no different than tap water. It’s Schrödinger’s cat. Neither good, nor bad.

    The big point is, there is (practically speaking, without getting into truly toxic materials) no such thing as bad water. Only undesirable chemical composition. ALL water can be chemically corrected and filtered. It doesn’t need to be complicated. Brita and PUR filters are more than acceptable.

    But for those that insist on bottled water for whatever reason, I have to ask…. are you buying special ice cubes? Making your own from bottled water? Bring your own with you when you go out to a restaurant or bar?

    Remember, just because it’s in a plastic bottle with a picture of a mountain on it, doesn’t mean it’s any different than what you’re showering with every day.

  39. JuliB says:

    Here’s something many don’t think about. Many houses have PVC pipes for water in them. I don’t think there have been any long term tests on them. Who knows what we’ll find out in 20 years?

  40. Crazytree says:

    didn’t the Bush administration lessen protections with respect to PPM limits on certain types of carcinogens in drinking water?

  41. Joe Lachiana says:

    Water filters are the SPF equivalent of false sense of security. Zero standards and everyone just assumes they are working when no one keeps up with them.

    I love the people that have 27 filters on their house. How’s that water pressure working for ya? Would you drink urine that’s passed through those filters? Why not? It’s 99% water.

    Also not ONE mention of anyone drinking water from a well.

    Bottom line, everyone’s situation is different. There is no correct answer. If 20cents is too much to spend on something that is far from “dangerous” then don’t buy it!

  42. RexMaximus says:

    Where I grew up, the tap water is very good. Where I live, on the other hand, it’s disgusting and literally stomach-turning. I live on bottled water because of that, and I recycle every single bottle.

  43. bobcatred says:

    When the municipal water system stops putting fluoride in our water, I’ll drink it again. The fluoride makes me nauseous. Water should not make you nauseous. There’s a reason the dentist makes you spit that junk out in the sink.

    And if you’ve ever been somewhere that has lakewater the algea’s blooming in the lakes… Yeah, the water smells like ass. I don’t blame people for drinking bottled water there. All the chlorine in the world apparently doesn’t kill that stench.

  44. joshua70448 says:

    My wife hates how the water in our city tastes, so I got an undersink water filter for $35 ([]) that just hooks into the sink’s cold water line. She likes the taste now, and we don’t have to refill a pitcher or keep buying bottled water.

  45. TheAlarmist says:

    Bottled water is the biggest scam. BIgger than Madoff. Bigger than anything this world has ever seen. What a colossal waste of energy, water (to both produce the plastic, and to bottle) and paper for packaging and cardboard for shopping and gasoline for transportation.

    If your tap water isn’t good, get a Brita filter. The only time bottled water should be used is if your tap water is unsafe, or perhaps you are traveling.

  46. riverstyxxx says:

    Guys, there’s a movie called “Blue Gold: World water wars” on dvd and free download for the torrent file (The director allows anyone to download then ask for a donation if they like it)


  47. mrearly2 says:

    I wouldn’t count on a municipal water supply being “healthy”. Sure, bottled water is poisoned by the compounds leaching from the plastic, but city water has its poisons, too: fluoride and chlorine, to name a couple.