The Top 10 Things that Beverage Companies Don�t Want you to Know about Bottled Water

Bottled water is BIG business in the United States and the rest of the world. Worldwide, we spend over $50 billion each year. In the U.S., over $15 billion of bottled water is sold, and that figure rises by about 10% each year. Look at the label of most any bottle of water and you see majestic mountains, clear streams, and pristine springs that are purported to be the sources of that brand of bottled water. A closer look at the bottled water industry reveals some startling and very disturbing facts about the sources and purity of bottled water.

Here is a list of the top 10 things that beverage companies don�t want you to know about bottled water:

  1. Municipal water systems are required by law to provide regular reports on what their water contains. Lobbyists successfully killed legislation that would have required bottled water producers to submit these reports.

  2. Public water utilities are required to filter and disinfect drinking water so that it is safe to drink. As of 2007, there are NO such federal regulations governing bottled water.

  3. Over 1 billion bottles of water are consumed in the U.S. each week, but over 70% of the empty bottles are not recycled. They go straight to landfills at a rate of over 38 billion bottles each year.

  4. Dasani and Aquafina, produced by Coke and Pepsi respectively, are the top brands in the U.S. market. But they are produced and sold in individual states so that they are not subject to stricter interstate regulations regarding purity and contaminants.

  5. Public water systems can have no fecal coliform bacteria in the water that they produce. The Food and Drug Administration laws for bottled water include no such provision.

  6. Up to 40% of the bottled water sold in the U.S. comes from the same municipal water systems that provide our tap water. We choose to pay an exorbitant amount of money for pretty much the same water that we can drink at home for pennies.

  7. Bottled water is an enormous profit center for producers. Each plastic bottle costs around 12 cents to produce, and the costs of transportation and the water itself adds a few more pennies. Given that most bottled water sells for over $1 each, you can see how profitable it is for the companies that produce it.

  8. Carbonated and sparkling water are completely exempt from FDA rules that govern levels of allowable water contaminants.

  9. A test conducted by the National Resources Defense Council in 1999 found that 22% of bottled water sold in California contained levels of synthetic compounds that exceeded federal water cleanliness standards and 17% contained levels of bacteria above the same water standards.

  10. One of the main driving forces behind the marketing of bottled water is the assumption that it is better for you than tap water. Several tests conducted by independent laboratories have shown that in many cases, bottled water is no better for you than tap water and may actually be more harmful due to lax standards for contaminants and the synthetic compounds that leach into the water from plastic bottles.