Bottled Water Overview
Bottled water, which includes sparkling water, distilled water, and mineral water, is often advertised by companies as the purest form of water.
It’s important to note that water bottles are not necessarily “more pure” than tap water and it’s important to understand the benefits and drawbacks of bottled water. For example, while bottled water is a good alternative to public or well water, particularly in times of crisis, it costs much more than tap water and produces a large amount of plastic waste.
The cost of bottled water can be 2,000 times more than public water sources.
SOURCE AND TREATMENT
There are three types of bottled water: distilled, spring, and mineral water. The water source is crucial in understanding the various environmental and health impacts associated with the bottled water.
Distilled water is often drained from existing water sources, such as tap and recycled through purification.
Spring water is captured from surface water.
Mineral water is drawn from groundwater.
While most bottled water is drawn from the ground, surface water, such as lakes and rivers, are also a common source. According to the Pacific Institute, they estimate that 45% of bottled water comes from local municipal systems, which means the water in the bottle might be the same as what comes out of your local tap. In recent years, more attention has been given to the source and quantity of water extracted from local rivers and lakes by bottled water companies.
Once water is pumped from its source, it undergoes a series of treatment steps to remove contaminants. While each company varies in the treatment process, the state of Michigan has regulations on bottled water and requires testing for synthetic chemicals, such as DEHA and benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP). Water that has undergone reverse osmosis water has undergone the greatest filtration.