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Is Bottled Water Worth It?

April 30, 2013

Multiple empty water bottles

Bottled water has become exponentially more popular over the last few decades. In fact, some people refuse to drink tap water, believing that bottled water not only tastes better, but is more pure, too. But is bottled water really healthier and cleaner—or is its surge in popularity just the result of a massive marketing campaign?

As it turns out, the answer largely depends on where you live and what brands of water you use.

If you look at a bottle of water, you might see that your water bottle contains more than just water. There might be sodium or other metals added to change the taste of the water. It’s also true that tap water often contains weird contaminants and minerals which can give the water a funny taste. However, most municipal water supplies have pretty strict standards, and the water will be constantly tested for any contaminants that could make you sick. While bottled water also shouldn’t make you sick, there is a high chance that your bottled water has more contaminants than your tap water.

Some Facts About Bottled Water

  • There’s little regulation in the bottled water industry. The reason for this is because the type of water you drink is regulated by different organizations. The EPA regulates your tap water while the FDA regulates water bottles because packaged water is a consumable good. While you can rest assured that the water isn’t going to contain any contaminants that will make you sick (most states have laws requiring decontamination), it should be understood that the “purity” of bottled water can vary greatly from brand to brand. Some types aren’t much cleaner than tap water, while others really are very pure.
  • Bottled water is a lot more expensive than tap water. The bottles themselves are both costly to make and bad for the environment. In just Salt Lake City, water costs $.00118 for a gallon while a 16-0z bottle of water costs $1.50. This difference is huge!
  • Different areas have different laws regulating the cleanliness of tap water. If you’ve traveled around the United States, you may have noticed that some areas have different tasting water—some water will have a metallic taste, while other sources of water will taste more pure. Preliminary studies have shown that areas with higher levels of calcium and magnesium in the water are actually slightly healthier overall.

Want the Best Water? Invest in a Water Purifier

The jury’s still out in terms of judging the value of bottled water. However, one thing that’s certain is that truly pure water both tastes better and can be better for you. If you’re a fan of that pure water taste, you’ll want to consider investing in a water purifier.

Water purifiers will consistently produce good tasting water (by ridding the water of unnecessary minerals and contaminants,) while also saving you money. Since plastic bottles aren’t particularly environmentally friendly, a water purifier can also be good for the environment.