What Real Bottled Water Statistics Most Companies Hide from Us?
There is a lot of information available on the Internet regarding bottled water facts, but many are simply misleading. Most companies in this competitive industry will only show you their most positive bottled water statistics, like sales figures and awards.
The following list of commonly asked questions and answers address some of the most frequently raised concerns, facts and statistics:
Interesting Bottled Water Facts & Statistics on Quality
Why People Drink Bottled Water?
There are several reasons people often choose bottled over tap water.
The first is taste. Tap water is disinfected with chlorine in most locations within the US. Chlorine often causes taste issues which many people do not like. Bottled drink, on the other hand, is most often disinfected with ozone, which does not leave any after-taste.
Another reason is people often believe that purified bottled water is simply cleaner than tap water. For most major bottled water brands this is true. These brands will often take water from the tap, but will further disinfect it at the bottled water plant, removing much of the material that is present even in high-quality tap municipal source.
Others drink bottled water because it is fashionable to do so.
Lastly, some drink it so they can get more alkalinity in their water than what is provided by municipal water systems. While others, especially those with bladder or urinary problems, buy bottled water because they find brands that are lower in alkalinity.
Should We Stop Drinking Bottled Water?
This is a personal preference. For those with clean, safe tap source, stopping the use of bottled drinks should not be a problem. For those with suspect tap water, bottled is a safer alternative.
There are some, however, that believe the process of packaging water bottles brings about numerous environmental problems. There is some truth to this. In 2008, it took over 50 million barrels of oil just to produce plastic water bottles. These same bottles, for the most part, end up in landfills instead of recycling centers.
Also, the use of water bottles is increasing. Studies from 1976 up to 2007, show that, on average, the bottled water consumption increased in the US by some thirty times, from a little over one gallon per person to thirty gallons per person per year.
Is Bottled Water the Same as Distilled Water?
No, not really. Distilled water must go through a special process of distillation. Most commonly bought water is not distilled. Bottles that are labeled as distilled must meet certain purification process requirements before it can be labeled as such. Most bottled drinks goes through a filtering process known as reverse osmosis, which is not the same as distilling.
Is Tap Water Cleaner than Bottled Water Sold at Stores?
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has established strict guidelines for municipal water treatment plants in terms of quality. Even so, tap water can contain a variety of unwanted minerals and chemicals such as chlorine and fluoride.
If your tap has a properly functioning high-quality water filter attached to it then it may be cleaner than bottled one. If not, then both are about equal in cleanliness. The cleanest form of H2O is actually distilled bottled water source.
What Is The Best Bottled Water To Drink?
Which bottled water is the best? – A tough question to answer. This depends on your own personal preference and budget. Consumers often do well when they look for a water bottle that is low in sodium content. So it is impossible to answer the question of “what is the best brand of bottled water?”, as much as it doesn’t make sense to try and figure out what is the voted best brand for fashion clothes.
People Who Drink Bottled Water Are Stupid?
Many of those drink purified water would say that people who drink from the tap source are stupid. Much of the criticism that is leveled at those who drink filtered water has to do with cost. There is no denying that pure water can cost hundreds of times more than tap water, and there is much debate as to whether or not quality of bottled water is really better than the supply from kitchen tab. Statistics show that the share of bottled water supplies from municipal source went up 50 percent over the past decade.
People Do Not Mind Drinking Bottled Water as Long as they are Not Paying for it
This is often true but that does not change the fact that filtered water production is not cheap and has to be paid for by someone. One interesting option is gaining popularity with many people and that is they buy a bottle of water, drink it, and refill it with tap source, which is often as clean as expensive store-bought water.
12 Reasons Why We Should Stop Drinking Bottled Water
- Plastic bottles are not safe for reuse and must be discarded.
- Discarding billions of empty bottles is impacting the environment.
- It takes millions of barrels of oil to make plastic bottles per year.
- Energy costs for making bottles are rising.
- Bottled water cost is expensive when compared to tap supply.
- Most tap water is safe to drink.
- Many bottles for sale are just tap water in fancy bottles.
- Regulation is still weak in the US.
- Consumers do not always know what is in their bottled water ingredient.
- Some an be very high in salt content.
- It must be carried home and stored.
- Some brands can taste “flat”.
But the debate does not end there. Fans and believers of bottled drinks might argue with contradictory opinions and some very convincing reasons why we should keep bottled water.
12 Reasons Why We Shouldn’t Get Rid of Bottled Water
- In some areas, the ultra pure water bottled products are much cleaner and more hygienic than kitchen tap supply.
- Bottled H2O can be used in remote locations where tap water is not an option.
- Some homes have problems with pipes, such as rust or lime buildup, and bottle water is a good, clean alternative.
- It can be easily transported from place to place, in a variety of container sizes.
- Containers that are sealed can be kept indefinitely for use during emergencies or droughts. It can also be used should tap water service go off.
- Fluoridated water can be used by consumers who do not get enough fluoride in their daily intake.
- Tap water source that is high in salt content can be replaced with bottled one that is low in salty minerals.
- Many people feel safer when consuming bottled water (though this is questionable).
- Many brands come in flavors which some consumers prefer over bland tap water.
- The flavored bottled water prices are constantly coming down, making it more affordable for more people.
- The production employs millions of people across the globe – the economy can suffer if thousands of people losing jobs.
- For some people, water that is higher in alkalinity is desired and they can get this in various bottled brands.
The Source of Supply
Where Bottled Water Comes From?
Most filtered water comes from local community water sources, as evident in these tap water source disclosure 2007 and 2008 Consumer Confidence Reports. It is then further purified by the company and placed into sterile bottles. Some come from natural springs or aquifers. An example of this would be Fiji Water.
If most bottled water comes from tap source, the better question might be where does water from tap come from? Municipal systems draw their source water from local rivers, lakes, streams, and underground aquifers. This water is treated according to EPA guidelines before it is distributed, which includes disinfecting the water and removing much of the particulate material found in it.
Are there Any Bottled Water Companies that Really Get their Water from Natural Springs?
This is one of those issues where consumers can be misled. Many water bottling companies like to say that their products come from spring water but this is not always the case. Their marketing is misleading, to be blunt about it.
Consumers who want and are willing to pay for natural spring bottled water should do their own research on the brands they are interested in before buying in order to ensure that they are truly getting what they are paying for.
What is in Bottled Water?
It depends on the manufacturing process. Many brands (as much as 40%) only contain filtered tap water and a few minerals used for taste enhancements. Other brands add flavors to their drink to give them a unique taste.
Consumers should note, as well, that a few companies also add fluoride to their products. This fluoride-enhanced water is fine for those living in areas where city water is not available, but should not be used when city-treated water, which already contains fluoride, is consumed. This can lead to an overdose of fluoride which can harm teeth, especially in children.
Additives are listed on the container, which you should read before purchasing.
What Additives are in Bottled Water?
Bottle water is rarely truly 100% “pure”. Pure water, also known as “distilled”, has a flat taste which most people do not like. Some brands will add certain minerals to their water in order to enhance the taste of the product.
Sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate are two popular additives that are often found in bottled water. Magnesium and calcium are often added as well. For some brands, but not for all, oxygen and fluoride are added. Also, certain flavors may be added to enhance taste and give consumers more flavorful options. Here is the list of common additives along with mix proportion stattistics.
Which Brands of Bottled Water are Alkaline?
The brands that are most alkaline include: Fiji, San Pellegrino, and Trinity Springs. Alkalinity is measured as pH. A pH value of 7 is considered neutral. Levels below 7 are considered acidic, and values above 7 are considered alkaline bottled water.
The level of alkalinity is often adjusted (raised or lowered) by the bottling company. Most experts agree that some alkalinity in water is good for health reasons.
Does Bottled Water Have Flouride?
Many sources contain small amounts of fluoride naturally. The amount is usually very low. A typical bottled water factory will add fluoride to its supply and advertise it as such. If fluoride is added it must be stated so on the label.
Which Bottled Water Contains No Fluoride?
Fluoride, in trace amounts, can be present in virtually all water sources. This means that trace amounts of fluoride in bottled water is commonly found in most bottled products. The FDA does not require that fluoride levels be printed on labels unless the company is adding the chemical to their water.
The current FDA bottled water standards in terms of fluoride are that it may not contain more than 2.4 mg/L of naturally occurring fluoride. Imported bottles may not contain naturally occurring fluoride above 1.4 mg/L.
What bottled water does not contain fluoride? To know for sure, you must contact the manufacturer or visit their site to get this information. Another option for completely fluoride-free drink is distilled water. Do keep in mind that the process of distillation definitely leaves a flat taste to it which many people do not like.
Which Type of Bottled Water is Naturally Highest in Salt?
Most will contain some level of salt, but those that are considered sparkling or mineral water are often the highest in salt content simply by virtue of their natural chemistry.
The exact amount of sodium content can be found on the label of all bottling brands or you can search for this data on company’s official website.
How to Measure Mineral Salts in Bottled Water?
Mineral salts are measured in units known as TDS (Total Dissolved Solids). The higher this number is the more mineral content the water has in it. TDS readings are located on the labels or can be found by visiting the brand’s website.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has mandated that bottled water calling itself “mineral water” must contain somewhere between 500 and 1,500 mg/L of dissolved minerals, represented by its TDS levels.
Bottled Water that Doesn’t Contain Salt
Virtually all beverage drinks contain some form of salt or sodium. This is true even though many labels say that the product does not contain sodium. This is allowable as long as the salt level is below a certain level.
The only kind of drink that is truly without salt content is “distilled”. Distilled water will be labeled as such on the container.
Does Safeway Bottled Water Have Salt?
Safeway uses a filtering process that is known as reverse osmosis to purify its water which means it does not contain salt or other minerals. Reverse osmosis removes virtually all mineral content from water and is considered one of the best filtering in use today.
Which Type of Bottled Water is Naturally Highest in Sodium?
Generally, mineral and sparkling waters have the highest levels of sodium naturally occurring in them. San Perregrino would be an example of high-sodium content bottled water quality if you are searching for a specific brand.
Is Bottled Water Chlorinated?
No. While it is true that many bottle companies get their supply from municipal sources, which is usually chlorinated, studies tests and investigations has shown that the bottlers will remove the chlorine before packaging it into their bottles. This is often accomplished through additional filtering known as reverse osmosis filtration system.
Is There a Maximum Limit for Total Dissolved Solids in Bottled Water UK?
The UK has a set of regulations concerning water drinks, its labeling, and its cleanliness standards. These rules can be found through the European Parliament Directives 80/777/EEC and 96/70/EC. Additional information can be found through the Natural Mineral Water, Spring Water and Bottled Drinking Water Regulations 1999 and their subsequent amendments.
Which Bottled Water has the Lowest TDS?
O’Canada Spring Water contains a very low level of TDS (Total Dissolved Solids). The source comes from Canada’s Rocky Mountains area and is first filtered naturally through the rock formations of the mountains. This filtration process results in a TDS content of 10 to 25 PPM (parts per million).
Facts about Bottled Water Prices
What is the Average Cost of Bottled Water?
The cost of water bottling, on average, depends on the brand that you choose, as well as the quantity purchased at the time. Designer brands can cost as much as double what store brands cost. Buying in volume often saves consumers money.
On average a bottle of 20 ounces will retail/cost around $1.00. This, however, is only an average with many brands costing less and other brands costing much more.
How Much an Average Person Spent Per Year on Bottled Water?
On average, a 20-ounce bottle of water cost about $1.00. If one bottle a day is consumed, the cost would be $365 per year. This number, however, is very subjective as many people drink much more than one bottle of water per day, while many others do not consume any at all.
Another source states that in 2008 alone, Americans consumers, on average, drank 215 bottles of purchased water which equaled 66 billion bottles.
How Much Money Spent on Making Plastic Bottled Water Each Year?
The actual cost is not known but it can be estimated that it is in the billions of dollars per year. It is impossible to come up with an accurate number on this subject. The vast majority of water bottling companies do not want consumers to know the true cost of producing their products.
It can be estimated, however, that the cost of producing one bottle is somewhere between .25 and $2. The majority of this cost, nearly ninety percent, is spent on packaging, advertising, and shipping. Very little money is spent on the water itself or the processing and filtration, once it gets to the bottling plant.
Which is Cheaper Bottled Water or Brita Filter Water?
This depends on the amount of water one uses on a daily basis. For some consumers, an attached filter to the tap will result in lower costs. For others, who only drink a small amount per day, the bottles may be less expensive.
A simple way to determine which type of water would be cheapest for you is to first determine how many bottles of store bought water you drink per day. Multiply this by the cost per unit. Multiply that number by 365 for a yearly cost. Then find the Brita water filter that you would purchase for your tap.
Check out the cost of replacement filters as most tap filters must be replaced occasionally in order to provide maximum protection. Compare the cost between the two and you will be able to see which is the least expensive option. For those who currently drink more than two bottles of water per day, the filter will most likely be less expensive over the long run.
Bottled Water Safety & Health Concerns
How Safe is Bottled Water?
While generally speaking, most bottled water products (nearly 80%) are of high quality and have minimal amount of chemical contamination, the jury is out for very few spotty manufacturers, who simply sell bottled water using unfiltered tap water. People with weak immune systems (newborns, elderly, diabetes, and transplant or HIV/AIDS patients) may face the potential dangers of cancer and other health problems.
Can Bottled Water Go Bad?
Does bottled water go bad? Yes, it can and does go bad if it is opened. There is a risk of contamination. Bacteria growth, such as E. Coli, is a possible once the seal is broken on any type of bottled container.
How Long is Bottled Water Good For?
Containers that are securely sealed can last for years or almost indefinitely and have very little risk of contamination under normal conditions.
For small personal bottles, once the seal is broken, water should be consumed within two days or less. Any longer than that and bacterial contamination can occur.
Larger containers (3- and 5-gallon containers) should be consumed within two weeks of opening in order to avoid any contamination problems. If left unopened, these, too, can last for years if stored properly.
Sale rule applies to the question of “How long can you keep bottled water?” or “When to throw plastic bottled water?”. However, some people prefer to toss the product after its expirations date, which is normally two years from manufacture.
What is the Cancer Causing Agent in Bottled Water Plastic?
The chemical, which is no longer used in single serve water bottles but is still used in 3 and 5 gallon containers, is called BPA. BPA stands for Bisphenol-A, and is used for making containers stronger.
While the FDA recently stated that it does believe the chemical causes cancer, many consumers prefer to avoid ingesting the chemical anyway. BPA can be released into the drink through simple leaching over time, and cannot be removed once it enters the water.
Which Bottled Water Doesn’t Contain the Use of BPA?
All major brands today use containers that do not contain the chemical Bisphenol-A, also called BPA, for their single serve containers. However, BPA is still used for the production of 3- and 5-gallon water containers used on free standing water dispensers.
New, non-BPA, bottles are called PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles. The best advice is to check the bottle itself before purchase. Look for PET bottles that have been marked by the #1 recycling symbol. This is normally located on the bottom of the bottle.
Is it True that Bottled Water in Your Car is Very Dangerous?
The jury is still out on this one, but there does seem to be some linkage between water that has been heated and cooled repeatedly (such as what happens when bottles are left in cars) and some forms of cancer.
The organs most affected by this process are the reproductive organs, and the onset seems to be more prevalent in women than in men.
Bottled filtered water left in your car is dangerous especially for women and children. But in order for it to be harmful, one must drink a lot of it on a regular basis.
Can Bottled Water Irritate Bladder?
Yes and no. Medical research has shown that some types of bottled water quality can irritate the human bladder. These waters are those that are high in Total Dissolved Solids. The higher the level of TDS’s, the more irritation it can cause in some people.
On the other side, drinking water that is low in TDS’s can actually help prevent bladder irritation and is considered far better, health-wise, than tap water for those who suffer from bladder or urinary problems.
Can the Plastic from Bottled Water Irritate Bladder?
The answer to this question is still being formed by doctors and researchers. Some experts suggest that any form of leaching from the plastic can cause bladder irritation in those who are susceptible to these types of urinary problems. Other experts are not yet ready to agree with this assessment. One thing is certain, however, particulates, in general, found in both bottled and tap source can cause bladder irritation in some people.
How Long is it Safe to Store Bottled Water?
Bottle water can be stored indefinitely as long as it remains securely sealed. Some experts suggest that keeping containers in a dark, unheated area away from direct sunlight is the best way to ensure that water stays fresh longer.
How Long Does Bottled Water Last?
The US FDA requires that all food products (including bottled beverage) have an expiration date on the package. Under this rule, for legal reasons, labeling states shelf life of bottled water can be up to two years, but in truth it can last much longer if the seal is not broken on the container.
Is Bottled Water Full of Bacteria?
No. Water bottling process is monitored under FDA rules which require that bacteria be removed from the product before it is sold. Does this mean that bacteria can never enter the products? Of course, not, but the same is true with tap water. On the whole, bottled water is safe to drink and does not contain harmful levels of bacteria.
Is Commercially Bottled Water Sanitary?
Yes and no. Over the years, thousands of studies have been conducted on sanitization. The results of these tests have been mixed and are constantly changing as more bottling companies begin to institute better filtering processing.
Bottle water is not regulated by the EPA the same way that tap suppy is regulated. This means that some bottled brands may have higher levels of contaminates within them than one would find in tap drinks. While this may sound ominous, the larger brands are all sanitary in terms of contaminant levels.
Are there Date Codes on Bottled Water?
Yes. Under current US law bottled water expiration date must always be clearly labeled. This is usually two years from the production date, but in reality, these bottles can last much longer than this.
Is Bottled Water Safe to Drink after Expiration Date?
Yes. If the bottle has remained sealed, the contents are all right to drink. Many experts suggest, however, that it be thrown away if it is older than two years.
Generally, is Bottled Water Good?
Yes. It has many benefits, and one of those good things is that it is clean and safe to drink. In addition, treated water is very helpful for those who need clean water but do not have high-quality source at the tap.
Why Is Bottled Water Waste a Concern?
With billions of water containers being produced each year there is concern over the impact on landfills these bottles have on the environment.
Many recent studies have shown that most people do not put their water bottles into recycle bins but simply toss them into the trash. Some estimates have over 90 percent of plastic water bottles going into landfills rather than recycling centers.
It is the sheer numbers of plastic bottles that have so many people concerned at this point. With sales of bottled water increasing, these huge numbers are most likely to only sky rocket over time.
How Does Bottled Water Add to Your Carbon Footprint?
It takes an enormous amount of oil to produce the billions of plastic bottles used each year. This, of course, leaves residue and does impact a person’s carbon footprint if they purchase these bottles.
In addition, plastic bottles must be transported from the bottling plant to the store. This, too, adds to carbon emissions which increases the CO2 footprint of those consuming these products.
What Bottled Water has the Lowest CO2 Footprint?
Anything produced locally in your area will generally have the lowest CO2 footprint because it does not have to be shipped very far to get to your local market. Conversely, brands that have to be shipped from overseas locations will often have the highest footprint because of the fuel emissions required to get the product from point A to point B via ships, trains, trucks, and vans.
The overall production of bottles is about the same for all factories in terms of CO2 output. The manufacturing process of making bottles is fairly consistent across the board.
How to Recycle Bottled Water?
Consumers may be surprised to learn that most plastic containers are not recycled. Studies have shown that only two or three, out of ten, plastic bottles end up in the recycle bin. The majority of water bottles end up in landfills or at incinerators.
When plastic bottles are recycled, they are put to good use and the components can be used to make new containers. However, in order for this to happen, plastic bottles must be placed into the appropriate recycle bin.
Why We Should Not Recycle Bottled Water?
Many people, and this includes researchers and scientists, believer that the cost of recycling water bottles is an unneeded cost to taxpayers since bottled water source is often no cleaner than tap. Some studies suggest that well over ninety-five percent of all water containers do not make it into the recycle bin at all, and thus end up in landfills.
The US recycling rate for all types of plastic bottles is about twenty-three percent. The cost of recycling water bottles is going up and some areas are increasing taxes to pay for their recycling efforts.
Bottled Water is Bad for Environment?
There are many reasons plastic water containers are considered environmentally unsound. Here are a few:
- It is estimated that more than 50 billion units of plastic water bottles are disposed of in landfills every year.
- During 2008, people in America consumed an average of 215 bottles of water, resulting in 66 billion bottles to be disposed of, and of that number less than 22 percent were recycled.
- To get beverage bottles to the marketplace, tens-of-thousands of trains, ships, and trucks have to be used to transport it. This increases carbon emissions.
- It has been estimated that it can take more than 700 years for bottles of plastic to completely decompose.
- The amount of oil needed to make all these bottles is staggering. It currently takes about 17 million barrels of oil just to produce the bottles we use.
- In terms of greenhouse gases, some 120 grams of gas is released for each disposable bottle of water.
Why Does Chilled Bottled Water Freeze When Opened?
In simple terms, when a bottle of cold water (at or below freezing point) is agitated and opened the molecules have more space to form ice crystals and do so in a very fast manner. This same reaction can be seen in other beverages, such as beer.
How Long does it Take to Get Bottled Water to Go Room Temperature?
Water that has been chilled can take as much as four to six hours to become room temperature. Frozen water can take as long as 12 hours, depending on how warm the room is where it is stored. . .
How Many Oz of Bottled Water Quantity Can You Buy?
You can purchase units as small as 3 ounces for kids, up to 5 gallon containers that are used on free standing water coolers for home or office use.
How Many Bottles in a Flat of Bottled Water Can You Order?
Usually 24 bottles but many companies offer smaller flats of 12 units.
What Kind of Bottled Water Makes Aquariums Softer?
Any drinking water that is low in Total Dissolved Solids can be used to soften aquarium water. The less TDS in the water, the softer it is and the more effective it will be. Online sources can be used to determine the amount needed to treat various sized aquariums. It is also a good idea to get a pH reading of the water before attempting to treat it.
Industry Marketing Bottled Water Statistics
What Marketing and Advertising Tools Have Bottled Water Companies Used to Get Us to Buy Their Product?
Companies have used just about every marketing technique available to get people to buy their products. From ads that focus on fear of tap water to sexy ads to make people feel more affluent, manufacturers have used them all. Lately, bottled water companies have begun aggressive marketing campaigns touting their efforts to “go green”.
On the surface, this may sound like a great way to protect the environment from millions of discarded water bottles, but not all of the information consumers get is entirely true or complete. Of the many techniques used in the past to get more people to drink purified water, fear ads about the safety of tap water is number one.
How has the Sales and Distribution of Bottled Water Developed Since the 1970s?
Bottled water sales have skyrocketed over the last thirty years. Much of this increase is due to aggressive marketing by bottling companies. One of the most popular tactics used to get more customers is called the fear factor. This is when companies attempt to scare consumers into buying under the guise that filtered water is safer to drink than tap water.
What they do not tell consumers is that many brands of water bottles are nothing more than tap water anyway. There is usually a bit more filtering of the water before it is bottled, but this, too, is often kept secret.
How Much Water Is Bottled from Econfina Creek?
This number is constantly changing as the Florida board considers the best use for this important water source. For those interested in keeping abreast of this evolving social issue, visit: http://www.nwfwmd.state.fl.us/pubs/annrpt/ar2009.pdf
Is Bottled Water Regulated?
Yes. The US bottled water market is regulated by the FDA. Tap water is regulated by the EPA. The EPA has set up strict regulations on the quality, production, and distribution of public drinking water. This is important because many companies get their water from municipal sources. They then process the water to their own standards.
The FDA regulates this same bottled drinking water as a food product. The current FDA rules state that companies must only produce safe, clean, and accurately labeled products. These rules can be found under Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (21 CFR).
Is Bottled Water Regulated in Ontario?
Yes. As in the US, bottling products in Ontario is regulated under that country’s Food and Drugs Act. The Act has set up certain rules for labeling and producing water. Misleading advertising is prohibited under the Act.
Bottled water manufacturers as well as those who import water products are monitored and inspected by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
Is Bottled Water that is Transported across State Lines Regulated?
Yes. Under the law, water that is moved across state lines is regulated as any other food or beverage. Water that is not moved across state lines is not.
The size of the container does not matter. Any kind of bottled water storage that is transported across state lines will fall under the FDA regulations.
Who Bottles Publix Bottled Water?
Publix is bottled by a variety of vendors and comes from different sources, mainly in Florida. To check the exact bottling company, use the point of contact on the label.
Bottled Water May Look More Appealing?
Unless your tap water is contaminated or your pipes have a lime buildup that is breaking loose causing the water to look milky, bottled and clean tap water should look the same.
Because most flavored bottled water brands contain less Total Dissolved Solids than much of the tap source available in the US, it often has less particulate matter in the bottom of the container when left to sit for a long time than what is often seen in tap water that is left to sit for a long time. This can certainly make the facts about bottled water statistics appear more appealing.