Most bottled water labeled "Drinking Water" comes from the same sources used by the municipal utility companies. There are exceptions but they are rare. In fact, in most cases the quality of this water is questionable, as the water may or may not have been somewhat filtered, and may or may not have any disinfectant. It may taste better because it is from a spring fed source and has more oxygen in it giving it a lighter more pleasant "taste" yet the quality may still be lacking. A water analyst can easily test your bottled water and let you know what quality of water you are paying for. Below are bottled water studies that have been done. If you are spending money on bottled water we highly recommend you read these reports before you purchase anymore.
European Bottled Water Study
NRDC Bottled Water Report
EPA BOTTLED WATER STUDY
Deficiencies in bottling firm's surveillance, facilities and their operation and plant quality control result in the production of bottled water whose quality does not comply with the 1962 U.S. Public Health Service Drinking Water Standards.
The pilot survey of 25 bottling establishments and bacteriological and chemical examination of approximately 50 bottled water products revealed the following :
1. .Eight percent of the bottled water samples examined evidenced the presence of the coliform organism which is an indicator of the potential presence of pathogenic bacteria. High standard plate counts gave additional evidence of contamination.
2. Gross changes in standard plate counts noted in the 25 samples that were examined during a 63-day storage test.
3.. Discrepancies were found between the actual chemical composition and that stated or implied on the label.
4. Quality control measures were generally deficient in the bacteriological and chemical analysis of the bottled water and were not regularly performed. Bacteriological surveillance was judged inadequate in almost all cases.
5. None of the 25 bottlers reported ever having a complete chemical analysis of their bottled water. Laboratory control data revealed virtually complete lack of source water testing or chemical analysis of finished water.
6. Based upon criteria covering eight sanitation categories, it was found that in many cases bottling was not performed under sanitary conditions.. Sanitary deficiencies were found in all facilities surveyed.
7. Plastic bottles arrive at the plant in cardboard cartons and are shipped without caps, thus the interiors are exposed to airborne contamination and the presence of foreign matter. Yet, these bottles are presumed by the bottlers to be sanitary enough to be filled without even rinsing.
8. Glass bottles are usually washed with a hot caustic solution but the temperature or strength of the caustic solution is seldom monitored. Bottle caps are sometimes used directly from the packages in which they are received, sometimes (but not always) disinfected and frequently placed on by hand.
9. The significance of .employee sanitation and facility maintenance is that the product water is subject to contamination, not only from the containers, but also from the physical surroundings and the people who come in contact with any part of the bottling operation.
10. It seems apparent that. high bacteria plate counts occurred in water subject to filtering or distillation, as well as those subjected to any of the forms of disinfection commonly used in the bottling industry.
11. In some cases labeling of bottled water did not correspond with the contents revealed by chemical analysis. Results of chemical analysis revealed trace amounts of the following in virtually every sample : chlorine, sulfate, nitrate, copper, manganese, lead, iron, zinc, mercury, and arsenic.