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Is Bottled Water Better Than Tap Water?

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posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 05:20 PM
An activist group, Corporate Accountability International, has gone to the streets with a "bottle water vs. tap water taste test". They found that very few people could tell the difference between tap water and bottled water, which is why most people drink bottled water. They also claim that tap water is safer than bottled water to drink because the industry has to perform tests themselves as to whether the water they are bottling is safe to drink. they point out recalls because of unsafe levels of bacteria, chemicals and bromate, a carcinogenic.
A 1999 study by the National Resources Defense Council of more than 1,000 bottles of water found that, while most bottled water was safe, some brands violated strict state standards on bacterial contamination, while others were found to contain harmful chemicals such as arsenic. The report concluded that bottled water was no safer than water taken from the tap.

In fact, many times bottled water is tap water. Contrary to the image of water flowing from pristine mountain springs, more than a quarter of bottled water actually comes from municipal water supplies. The industry is dominated by three companies, who together control more than half the market: Coca-Cola, which produces Dasani; Pepsi, which produces Aquafina; and Nestlé, which produces several "local" brands including Poland Spring, Arrowhead, Deer Park, Ozarka and Calistoga (a fact that itself often surprises participants in the Tap Water Challenges). Both Coke and Pepsi exclusively use tap water for their source, while Nestlé uses tap water in some brands.

Of course, Coke and Pepsi tout the elaborate additional steps they take that purify the water after it comes out of the tap, with both companies filtering it multiple times to remove particulates before subjecting it to additional techniques such as "reverse osmosis" and ozone treatment. Reverse osmosis, however, is hardly state of the art -- essentially consisting of the same treatment applied through commercially available home tap water filters, while ozonation can introduce additional problems such as the formation of the chemical bromate, a suspected carcinogen. In March 2004, Coca-Cola was forced to recall nearly 500,000 bottles of Dasani water in the United Kingdom due to bromate contamination that exceeded the U.K. and U.S. limit of 10 parts per billion. This past August, three grocery stores chains in upstate New York who all used local company Mayer Bros. to produce their store brands issued recalls after samples were found contaminated with more than double the bromate limit; in some cases, contaminated water was apparently sold for five weeks before the problem was detected.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

They claim bottled water is for the most part tap water being bottled. That very little if any natural spring or aquafir water is used.

They also say bottled water is more prone to be contaminated due to the filtering and/or decontamination process. The article also states that the advertising campaigns these companies use discourage the publics use of tap water and undermines societies willingness to invest to improve public water supplies.

I drink tap water when I'm at home, but do drink bottled water when I'm out and about, and this article probably isn't going to change that. I was wondering (after reading the whole article) if people who drink bottled water all the time will be swayed by this article?

posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 06:12 PM
Bottled water usually doesn't taste all that much different...
but one thing it doesn't have, is industrial waste mixed with it, that supposidly protects our teeth...

Yes folks... its flouride we are talking about.... and not the good kind...
this is the stuff that is a toxic industrial by-product SOLD to our water companies... for the supposed reason of keeping our teeth strong and clean....

all recent tests point to the opposite....
so dont drink bottled water for the taste, drink it to make a point...
that people would rather pay more money to drink safer water...
(regardless of whether it is safer in the long run)

posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 06:53 PM
Yea, I drink bottled water to avoid the fluoride...there is just too much evidence showing how bad it is, and no proof that it benefits the teeth at all. (More people suffer from fluoridosis (sp?) than other dental problems due to all the fluoride, and it is definitely not good for kids)

posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 06:56 PM
I also drink bottled water. Cause of the things Ive heard about tap water. But then again nothing we eat or drink is safe.

posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 07:14 PM
Some bottled water is actually no different than the local tap water but the difference is the quality of your tap water. I was born and raised in central Pennsylvania where the are are many natural springs that run underground even below me where i sit at this moment, just so you know aqua fina bottles its water right here utilizing these natural springs, so for me to buy bottled water really wouldn't make much difference. However i moved to orlando florida for two years to goto school and the local tap water here is undrinkable so i bought bottled water while living there.

One nice thing about my local water is that it's a community well and there is no floride added unfortunatley there is chloride added.

Also much of your bottled water is distilled so you know that won't have floride in it. or shouldn't anyhow

posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 07:28 PM
i guess it depends on the big question : " why are you drinking it ? " , you need water from somewhere - and it is reccomended that your intake be 2 litres / day

plain [ i hesitate to say pure ] water , is far better for you than processed beverages with sweeters / shugar and other crap .

drink lots of water folks

i have 2 of the " brita filter jug " things at home - so i never drink bottle water in the house or ever buy the huge multi packs .

i cannot however carry my camelbak pack everywhere, or make room for amy water bottle in my pack [ if i am carrying one ]

so i very occasionally drink bottled water when i am " out and about " because , i can throw the bottle away once i am done - and its far better than drinking crappy beverages chock full of addatives .

people who have botled water at home frankly baffle me

posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 08:32 PM
Sorry to burst your "safety" bubbles, but that flouride excuse is BS. The majority of people in any given city drink tap water, including myself. Now this may be hard to believe, but it is almost impossible to distinguish mentally or physically bottled to tap drinkers anywhere. I mean really, how many of yourr city mates do you see running around with all kinds of defects, cancers, or whatnot? What exactly do you believe all this flouride actually does?

In case yall have not noticed, the average human today is living a much longer life span than two hundred years ago. You know, before chlorine and flouride.

How about instead of throwing everything you believe in from something you read, simply take a look at the people who live in your city. They are not feral maniacs, mutated freaks, or dumbasses

Man I swear working in the Water Department at Wal-Mart can be one of the most irritating things. Customer testimonials:

"I don't drink distilled, spring water is the purest"
"Drinking water is disgusting, thats why I think the Distilled is the best"
"I don't drink any of that crap, Dasani is the purest(even though they add SODIUM)"

They get mad sometimes when I laugh out loud after they refuse to believe me when I say every single water here came from a tap, and the majority of it came from the same locations and through mostly the same filters.

You bottled drinkers are starting to sound like them.

Just get a Brita or Pur filter and drink at home. Much more cost effective.

posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 08:42 PM
I see this report as nothing but activist hype, however I will admit that bottled does have its place in society in 3rd world countries where their standards are not the same as in the US.

I myself drink water from my own well that is allegedly 10,000 years old according to a state agency and that is simply because I refuse to pay others outrageous prices like 2.00 a bottle in Vegas and Ball parks that are uncalled for. Hell I can go to the store and buy a gallon from a machine and only pay 69 to 79 cents for one gallon why pay others 2.00 for 12 ounces? Now who can we thank for that? Yup it is the very same activists complaining they are depleting our water supply only in that case they allege the water is contaminated, so who do you believe?

[edit on 10/26/2006 by shots]

posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 08:52 PM
There's different qualities of tap water and there's different qualities of bottled water as well. I can't see how a test can be done. On some occasions tap water might be of better quality than bottled water. On other occasions it's not. The water is not the same everywhere. And this goes for both tap water and bottled water.

posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 09:03 PM
I will keep my bottle water, you know why, because I do not trust the test done on the drinking water in my nation that comes out from the EPA a system that have been broken for many years.

In many studies drinking water is polluted.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has overstated the purity of the nation's drinking water in four recent years, potentially leaving millions of people at risk, according to a new report.

From 1999 through 2002, the EPA announced that it met its goal that 91 percent of U.S. residents have access to safe tap water. But the data the EPA used to make those conclusions were "flawed and incomplete" because states did not report all violations to the federal agency, stated a report released this week by Kwai Chan, the EPA's assistant inspector general.

Guess what taking into consideration how environmentally safe is our administration I will keep my bottle water at hand just in case.

posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 09:13 PM
I don't think fluoridation was nationally introduced until the 70' if there are long term problems from it, we wouldn't see them yet. And, only about 70% of the country is fluoridated.

Also, why do you care so much what kind of water people drink? You're not paying for it, so go on and drink your tap water if you like it so much. I'll keep drinking bottled water because I know it is purer, and tastes better. It only costs me about 20 cents a bottle anyway, so I'd rather drink that instead. Home filters don't filter out the fluoride.

There's no reason that we should be forced to drink fluoride for "dental health". Sorry, I just don't buy the motivation behind that. How many other things could they add to the water that really would be healthy? A multi vitamin complex, or minerals that are necessary for overall, they add fluoride. If it's so good for teeth, then why do we need to drink it? It's already in toothpaste...

It's the same thing as having the fortified orange juice. If I wanted calcium and vitamin D, I would buy that orange juice...but I want pure juice. I want pure water, but I can't have it because the state, for whatever reason, decided that I need fluoride. Sorry, but if you really want fluoride that badly, you can go out and take fluoride supplements while the rest of us just drink the pure water. But you should be brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste anyway, so...

The generation that grew up in the 50s and earlier is the one that is living so long and healthily, judging by their success at old age...before so many pesticides/herbicides were used on crops, drugs used in livestock, and artificial ingredients added to packaged food. Before fluoride. Many scientists are saying that our new generation will be the first generation in history to die younger than their parents. Back then, the average, recommended fluoride intake was something like 1-2 grams per, they put an average of 1 gram per liter of water (in my city they do, and i think most places as well), so if you're drinking 3-4 liters of water per day to stay healthy, thats 3-4 grams of fluoride. Not to mention the amounts that are present in almost any other food or drink on the market because of the fact that the food is either grown, rinsed, prepared, or mixed with tap water from somewhere, and so the fluoride amounts pile up.

I have read enough studies to convince myself and many others I know that fluoride is bad. I have not read anything to convince me of its worth. So I refuse to ingest it just because it happens to be in the water, when I can pay a little extra for pure water...

posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 10:02 PM
Man I swear, I think I am starting to see why conspiracy theorists have been looked at as loonies for so long now. 30 years is an adequate amount of time for anything horrible to begin showing up in our generation. If any alleged issues are remotely true of flouridated water, we would be seeing pretty close to a pandemic in the majority of the populations where the municipilaties are utlizing this treatment.

posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 11:02 PM
Alright, keep telling yourself that. I'll keep drinking my bottled water.


posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 11:09 PM
I keep a one month supply of Always Save (the cheapest available) 3gallon jugs in rotation. The label reads: reverse osmosis, microfiltration, ozonation.

This water reads 3 PPM.

The tap water in my pipes reads 280 PPM. Letting it run, it settles around 240.

That's not a huge number, but the difference is enough to keep me sucking from the jugs.

posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 11:17 PM

Originally posted by marg6043

I will keep my bottle water, you know why, because I do not trust the test done on the drinking water in my nation that comes out from the EPA a system that have been broken for many years.

In many studies drinking water is polluted.

What makes you think the bottled water companies are being better regulated?

Original Article

In fact, says Kellett, not only does tap water often taste the same as bottled water, but it is also often safer to drink as well. "They are spending tens of millions of dollars every year to undermine our confidence in tap water," she says, "even though water systems here in the United States are better regulated than bottled water." That's because tap water is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which imposes strict limits on chemicals and bacteria, constant testing by government agencies, and mandatory notification to the public in the event of contamination.

Bottled water, on the other hand, is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which according to federal law is technically required to hold itself to the same standards as the EPA. The devil is in the details, however, since FDA regulations only apply to water that is bottled and transported between states, leaving out the two-thirds of water that is solely transported within states. State laws, meanwhile, are inconsistent, with some mirroring the FDA standards, some going beyond them and some falling far short of the national regulations. What's more, FDA regulations rely on companies to do their own testing, and perform voluntary recalls if products are found to be in violation of standards (if a company fails to do so, the Justice Department can order a seizure of products).

And one of the original quoted paragraphs.

A 1999 study by the National Resources Defense Council of more than 1,000 bottles of water found that, while most bottled water was safe, some brands violated strict state standards on bacterial contamination, while others were found to contain harmful chemicals such as arsenic. The report concluded that bottled water was no safer than water taken from the tap.

It almost sounds like a game of Russian Roulette.

I'll take ... tap water, no wait, bottled water ...wait ...

posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 11:53 PM
Yea, well the no-name/local brand bottled waters are probably just bottled tap water. The well known brands like Dasani, Aquafina, and others go through reverse osmosis, which removes fluoride and most of anything else. You can certainly taste the difference...crappy bottled water is just from the tap somewhere, and most of them are, but the good ones are purified, which will of course be better than just straight tap water. Then there are brands like evian or fiji that just come from natural sources and contain natural minerals, but they are quite expensive...

I don't trust the epa any more or less than I trust the fda, especially in regards to fluoride. See the last report and link...

A review of fluoride toxicity showed decreased fertility in most animal species studied. The current study was to see whether fluoride would also affect human birth rates. A U.S. database of drinking water systems was used to identify index counties with water systems reporting fluoride levels of at least 3 ppm. These and adjacent counties were grouped in 30 regions spread over 9 states. For each county, two conceptionally different exposure measures were defined, and the annual total fertility rate (TFR) for women in the age range 10-49 yr was calculated for the period 1970-1988. For each region separately, the annual TFR was regressed on the fluoride measure and sociodemographic covariables. Most regions showed an association of decreasing TFR with increasing fluoride levels. Meta-analysis of the region-specific results confirmed that the combined result was a negative TFR/fluoride association with a consensus combined p value of .0002-.0004, depending on the analytical scenario. There is no evidence that this outcome resulted from selection bias, inaccurate data, or improper analytical methods. However, the study is one that used population means rather than data on individual women. Whether or not the fluoride effect on the fertility rate found at the county level also applies to individual women remains to be investigated.

PMID: 8169995

The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of bone fracture, including hip fracture, in six Chinese populations with water fluoride concentrations ranging from 0.25 to 7.97 parts per million (ppm). A total of 8266 male and female subjects > or =50 years of age were enrolled. Parameters evaluated included fluoride exposure, prevalence of bone fractures, demographics, medical history, physical activity, cigarette smoking, and alcohol consumption. The results confirmed that drinking water was the only major source of fluoride exposure in the study populations. A U-shaped pattern was detected for the relationship between the prevalence of bone fracture and water fluoride level. The prevalence of overall bone fracture was lowest in the population of 1.00-1.06 ppm fluoride in drinking water, which was significantly lower (p < 0.05) than that of the groups exposed to water fluoride levels > or =4.32 and < or =0.34 ppm. The prevalence of hip fractures was highest in the group with the highest water fluoride (4.32-7.97 ppm). The value is significantly higher than the population with 1.00-1.06 ppm water fluoride, which had the lowest prevalence rate. It is concluded that long-term fluoride exposure from drinking water containing > or =4.32 ppm increases the risk of overall fractures as well as hip fractures. Water fluoride levels at 1.00-1.06 ppm decrease the risk of overall fractures relative to negligible fluoride in water; however, there does not appear to be similar protective benefits for the risk of hip fractures.

PMID: 11341339

As part of the longitudinal Iowa Fluoride Study, subjects were followed from birth to 36 months with questionnaires every 3-4 months to gather information on fluoride intake from various sources. Daily fluoride intake in mg per kg body weight (BW) was estimated from water, beverages and selected foods, fluoride supplements and dentifrice. Six hundred and twenty-eight subjects were examined for fluorosis on permanent incisors and first molars at about age 9 by two calibrated examiners using the Fluorosis Risk Index categories. Fluorosis prevalence rates were determined separately for maxillary central incisors and first molars by levels of estimated fluoride intake. There were significant positive associations between fluorosis prevalence and levels of fluoride intake. Cumulatively from birth to 36 months, average daily intake of 0.04 mg F/kg BW or less carried relatively low risk for fluorosis (12.9% for maxillary central incisors, 6.8% for first molars). Average daily intake of 0.04-0.06 mg F/kg BW showed a significantly elevated risk for fluorosis (23.0% for maxillary central incisors, 14.5% for first molars), while fluorosis risk was even higher for average intake above 0.06 mg F/kg BW (38.0% for maxillary central incisors, 32.4% for first molars). The study suggests that fluorosis prevalence is related to elevated fluoride intake when averaged over the first 3 years of life, but is even more strongly related to fluoride intake that is elevated for all of the first 3 years of life.

PMID: 17063020

Age-specific and age-standardized rates (ASR) of registered cancers for nine communities in the U.S.A. (21.8 million inhabitants, mainly white) were obtained from IARC data (1978-82, 1983-87, 1988-92). The percentage of people supplied with "optimally" fluoridated drinking water (FD) obtained from the Fluoridation Census 1985, U.S.A. were used for regression analysis of incidence rates of cancers at thirty six sites (ICD-WHO, 1957). About two-thirds of sites of the body (ICD) were associated positively with FD, but negative associations were noted for lip cancer, melanoma of the skin, and cancers of the prostate and thyroid gland. In digestive organs the stomach showed only limited and small intestine no significant link. However, cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx, colon and rectum, hepato-biliary and urinary organs were positively associated with FD. This was also the case for bone cancers in male, in line with results of rat experiments. Brain tumors and T-cell system Hodgkin's disease, Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma, melanoma of the skin and monocytic leukaemia were also correlated with FD. Of the 36 sites, 23 were positively significant (63.9%), 9 not significant (25.0%) and 4 negatively significant (11.1%). This may indicate a complexity of mechanisms of action of fluoride in the body, especially in view of the coexising positive and negative correlations with the fluoridation index. The likelihood of fluoride acting as a genetic cause of cancer requires consideration.

PMID: 11512573

The NRC committee’s reevaluation of EPA’s MCLG for fluoride in drinking
water failed to identify a safe level of fluoride in drinking water. This failure can
be attributed to misdirection by EPA of the intended goal of the effort. When the
committee requested and received a change in its mandate from evaluating the
MCL to the MCLG, EPA strangely omitted the key scientific criteria necessary for
evaluating this standard. The committee should have been told to look for health
effects that “can be reasonably anticipated, even though not proved to exist.” As a
result of this omission, the NRC panel focused only on end points that were totally
certain and concluded that the current standard of 4 mg/L did not protect against
bone fractures and severe dental fluorosis. For the first time in history, a
committee of the NRC removed severe dental fluorosis from the benign category
of cosmetic effects and added it to the list of adverse health effects. In addition,
Stage II skeletal fluorosis was added to the list, but the committee was unable to
state with absolute certainty that this was occurring at the current EPA standards.
This review applied the necessary criteria to some but not all of the adverse
health effects discussed in the NRC report. The results are as follows:

1 Moderate dental fluorosis is an adverse health effect occurring at fluoride levels
of 0.7–1.2 mg/L, the levels of water fluoridation.

2 The Lowest Observed Adverse Effect Level (LOAEL) for bone fractures is at
least as low as 1.5 mg/L and may be lower than this figure.

3 Stage II and Stage III skeletal fluorosis may be occurring at levels less than 2

4 Stage I skeletal fluorosis, (arthritis, clinically manifested as pain and stiffness in
joints) is an adverse health effect which may be occurring with a daily fluoride
intake of 1.42 mg/day, which is less than the amount the average person
already obtains in their diet in non-fluoridated areas. The Maximum
Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) should be zero.

5 Decreased thyroid function is an adverse health effect, particularly to individuals
with inadequate dietary iodine. These individuals could be affected with a daily
fluoride dose of 0.7 mg/day (for a “standard man”). Since this is less than the
amount already in the diet, the MCLG should be zero.

6 Fluoride has adverse effects on the brain, especially in combination with
aluminum. Seriously detrimental effects are known to occur in animals at a
fluoride level of 0.3 mg/L in conjunction with aluminum. The goal for this effect
should also be zero.

[edit on 27-10-2006 by Shoktek]

posted on Oct, 27 2006 @ 12:17 AM
Found another interesting article about bottled water. Here are some "facts" from the site of "The Earth Resource Foundation".

Health: What's in Bottled Water Anyway?

Bottled Water is not necessarily healthier
Bottle water is FDA-regulated as a food product whereas tap water is EPA-regulated.

FDA regulations are not necessarily stricter (e.g. FDA does not require testing for coliform bacteria; requires listing of additives but not contaminants).

1⁄4 of bottled water is reprocessed tap water (e.g. Aquafina & Dasani).

National Resource Defense Council 1999 and Consumer Reports 2000 studies both concluded that bottled water is not necessarily safer.

There have been 11 major bottled water recalls since 1990 for chemical contamination and high fecal coliform counts.(69)

Consumer Reports Study Aug. 2000(1):

Some exceed the EPA's proposed standards (5ppb, yr. 2000) for arsenic, and a few exceed guidelines for bacterial levels, indicative of "spotty sanitation."

The major taste differences stem from the type of plastic used to make the bottle, PET vs. HDPE.

Bisphenol-A (known carcinogen and endocrine disruptor) leaches into water from polycarbonate containers.

There are other things listed about bottled water in this link if you would like to go there, I'm not going to quote the whole page.

And, if you would like to read an article on

Bottled Water - The $100 Billion Dollar Fraud Industry

I myself am still straddling the fence on which is the lesser evil of the two.

[edit on 27/10/06 by Keyhole]

posted on Oct, 27 2006 @ 12:56 AM
Tap water may be fine, but there is gunk and bateria that can build up in the pipes. Besides, if you have old pipes, they can be led, and get rusty. Bottled water usually doesn't have that. I can tell that sometimes the tap water just tastes bad. I haven't had the same experience with bottled water.

Althugh, I believe most of the time, if you leave the water running for a little while, the good water will come out.


posted on Oct, 27 2006 @ 07:52 AM

Originally posted by apc
I keep a one month supply of Always Save (the cheapest available) 3gallon jugs in rotation. The label reads: reverse osmosis, microfiltration, ozonation.

This water reads 3 PPM.

The tap water in my pipes reads 280 PPM. Letting it run, it settles around 240.

That's not a huge number, but the difference is enough to keep me sucking from the jugs.

Thought I'd draw more attention to my previous post.

If your blood had 280 PPM alcohol, you'd notice.

Also, the original article is misleading. The cheapo filters you can buy, like Pur, are not reverse osmosis. They are activated carbon microfiltration with an ion-exchange resin. After filtering, the resin exchanges metal ions with sodium ions.

I'm not very motivated to go into detail on RO systems... so Howstuffworks.

[edit on 27-10-2006 by apc]

posted on Oct, 27 2006 @ 08:22 AM
Modern tap water has all the same minerals as bottled water, and many of the purification processes are the same quality.

Not only that but tap water is one of the cheapest substances known to man, at 0.4pence per litre, plus it comes with free delivery to your home.

Bottled water includes plastic compounds from the inside of the plastic bottle, not only that but they are made from plastic which doesn't degrade naturally for hundreds of years. This all adds to the worlds' waste problem, and is ecologically, and ethically very bad.

Drinking bottled water is not only ridiculous, but selfish.

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