Fact or Myth: Is Bottled Water Tap Water?

This is FACT.

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), approximately 25% or more of all bottled water is really just tap water, and only occasionally further treated. The latest breaking news reveals that Aquafina, the largest bottled water brand, has admitted that its water is really just tap water in disguise. An exposé in USA Today revealed that Aquafina has changed its labels to indicate P.W.S. (Public Water Source) due to pressure from Accountability International. Basically, you’re paying for the same water you can get from a kitchen sink!

bottled water2000 Times the Cost!

In an interview with Business Insider, Nick Colas, Chief Marketing Strategist for ConvergEx Group, broke down the expense of bottled water: In 2012 the bottled water industry grossed $11.8 billion on 9.7 billion gallons of water. That puts bottled water at nearly $1.22 per gallon nationwide—300 times the cost of tap water. But, factor in the fact that two-thirds of all bottled water is sold in single (500 ml) bottles, and that cost is closer to $7.50 a gallon—2000 times the cost of tap water!

And No Safer!  

The NRDC conducted a 4-year analysis of the bottled water industry and its safety standards, including a comparison between the national regulations for bottled water versus the national regulations for tap water. Researchers determined that there’s no proof that bottled water is any cleaner or safer than tap water…just more expensive!

Let’s also consider the environmental ramifications of bottled water in plastic bottles, which take more than 1000 years to degrade. Then there’s the matter of your health. Studies suggest that when phthalates from the plastic leak into bottled water they interfere with hormones such as testosterone. It is safest to store water in a non-toxic glass bottle or stainless steel container.

How Do I Know If My Bottled Water Is Tap Water?

Check the labels. If you see “from a municipal source” or “from a community water system” then it is essentially tap water. You can also call the company and ask, or contact the bottled water program in the state it was packaged.