People choose bottled water because it is a safe, healthy, and convenient product. Whether bottling spring water from protected underground aquifers or producing high-quality purified bottled water from a municipal source, America’s bottled water companies consistently meet consumer demand for safe, quality drinking water at home, at work, on the go, and when emergencies and natural disasters strike.
Also, because it is comprehensively regulated by the FDA as a packaged food product, bottled water provides a consistently safe and reliable source of drinking water.
Bottled Water: Proven Safety & Consistent Quality
At a July 8, 2009 hearing before the United States House of Representatives Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, the FDA testified that the agency is aware of no major outbreaks of illness or serious safety concerns associated with bottled water in the past decade.
At that same hearing, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) made public its report on bottled water, which found that based on a survey of water quality and health protection officials in all 50 states and the District of Columbia there was no evidence that bottled water caused any illnesses during the previous five years. (See United States Government Accountability Office Report on Bottled Water, GAO-09-610, June 2009.)
In contrast, EPA scientists and researchers have estimated that tap water consumption is the cause of over 16 million cases of acute gastrointestinal illness (vomiting and diarrhea) in the United States each year (Messner M., et al., Journal of Water and Health, 2006; 4(Suppl 2):201-40).
Bottled water facilities test multiple times per day and in conformance with their respective EPA and FDA regulatory requirements for minimum test frequencies*. Bottled water is tested for total coliform bacteria at least twice as often as tap water. In some cases, bottled water is tested up to 36 times more often than tap water on a gallon-for-gallon basis. (*FDA: 21 CFR 129.35(a)(3)(i) / USEPA: 40 CFR 141.21(a)(2))