Clean drinking water is a must have especially for people with weakened immune systems (such as the frail elderly, cancer patients, infants). These days with high healthcare cost we all are making more effort to stay healthy and make healthier food and beverage choices.
Many of us are grabbing bottle water instead of soft drinks or high added sugar beverages. That’s the good news. The bad news is that your water may not be as clean as you would think. That’s because the bottle water industry is not as well regulated as your own tab water at home or office.
The water bottlers are not required to publish water tests results and disclose where the water comes from. City tap water must have water tested by a certified laboratory, and required to notify customers within 24 hours if they find elevated levels of contaminants. Bottled water companies don’t.
The most popular brands for bottled water are not always the cleanest bottled water. I was surprised to read that Walgreens or Sam’s Club had better rating than the “name brands’.
Here is the report from the Environmental Working Group (a nonprofit advocacy organization)
An 18-month Environmental Working Group investigation of bottled water labels and websites has found that:
Only 2 bottled waters disclose water sources and treatment methods on their labels and offer a recent water quality test report on their websites. These best performers are:
- Ozarka Drinking Water
- Penta Ultra-Purified Water
Just 18% of bottled waters disclose quality reports with contaminant testing results. Among them, all 8 Nestlé domestic brands surveyed:
- Poland Spring
- Nestlé Pure Life
- Deer Park
- Ice Mountain
None of the top 10 U.S. domestic bottled water brands label specific water sources and treatment methods for all their products.
Solutions for consumers:
- Use the safest bottled water you can find in your area. See recommended brands of bottled water as above. If you use a local brand then contact the company to get the water safety facts mentioned.
- Carry your own water. You can purify your own tap water with the activated carbon water filters — like Brita pitchers or faucet attachments. If your budget permits, the reverse osmosis type filter is the best for filtering tap water. This method saves money and is environmental friendly.