The world’s biggest bottled water brand has basically admitted that the water comes from the exact same source as the tap water. USA Today reports Aquafina has changed its labels to specify P.W.S. — Public Water Source — under pressure from Accountability International.
The company said it was reasonable to make people understand that they were paying for water that is easily available in their bathroom sink. Of course, Aquafina is filtered and purified, but it’s certainly not mountain spring water. It’s just processed tap water — the same stuff that fills your toilet bowl when you flush.
ConvergEx Group Chief Market Strategist Nick Colas stated in an interview with Business Insider:
“The [bottled water] industry grossed a total of $11.8 billion on those 9.7 billion gallons in 2012, making bottled water about $1.22/gallon nationwide and 300x the cost of a gallon of tap water,” Colas says. “If we take into account the fact that almost 2/3 of all bottled water sales are single 16.9oz (500 mL) bottles, though, this cost is much, much higher: about $7.50 per gallon, according to the American Water Works Association. That’s almost 2,000x the cost of a gallon of tap water and twice the cost of a gallon of regular gasoline.”
According to the Beverage Marketing Association, a trade group, nearly 50% of all bottled water sold in the U.S. is just tap water that’s been purified. Unfortunately, bottled water is often just as bad, or even worse, than tap water in the United States and elsewhere. In fact, most municipal tap water must adhere to stricter purity standards than the bottled water industry. The EPA requires large public water suppliers to test for contaminants as often as several times a day, but the FDA requires private bottlers to test for contaminants only once a week, once a year, or once every four years, depending on the contaminant.
Additionally ,”mountain water” and “glacier water” labels are not FDA standard phrases — so if you see either of those on a label, they really mean nothing.
Filter the water yourself
You can save a lot of money by filtering your own water at home (rather than buying bottled water). I recommend using this filter. The Berkey water filter system is so powerful it is classified as a purifier. This classification shows that we far exceed the abilities of the standard water filter.