Spring water bottled by bottling companies may not be any better, and in some cases worse, than good old tap water. There are several reasons for this but first consider how the industry has grown. In the last 10 years the spring water in a bottled concept has more than tripled. The aggressive campaign by the bottling companies to convince consumers that tap water isn't safe is mainly responsible.
Several outbreaks of bacterial infestation in some major city water suppplies has contributed as well. What is important to understand is that the standards that are set by the government agencies for both spring water bottled and tap water are completely different. The tap water standards are much stricter. A number of bottling companies had be caught in blatant violation of such standards. One company was shut down after drawing water right out of the Potomac River near Washtington D.
C. to be bottled and sold. Even today others have been heavily fined for drawing water from the tap and bottling for sale. Their are numerous considerations that need to be made before blindly purchasing srping water bottled for sale.
Spring water is water that is derived from an underground formation from which water flows naturally to the surface of the earth. Spring water must be collected only at the spring or through a borehole tapping the underground formation feeding the spring. Spring water collected with the use of an external force must be from the same underground stratum as the spring and must have all the physical properties before treatment, and be of the same composition and quality as the water that flows naturally to the surface of the earth. Just the fact that a spring water bottling water company extracted that water from a spring it doesn't mean that chemicals weren't added.
Over the road tractor trailers are known to contribute to contaminants seeping into the water being transported. It can still be contaminated by acid rain, industrial pollution, or parasites. A label on a bottle that says "spring water" doesn't necessarily mean that it is natural, safe, healthy, and pure. One of the aspects of FDA regulations that govern the standards of the bottled water industry is that they don't regulate the companies that package and sell bottled water in the same state (which is 60-70% of all water sold in the U.S.).
This means that one in five states doesn't regulate this water. Observe some of the labels below of several companies that caused the FDA to take regulatory action in 1995 that drive home this point; Spring Water (a picture of a lake with a mountain backdrop on the label). This water was actually taken from an industrial parking lot next to a hazardous waste site. Alasika™ Alaska Premium Glacial Drinking Water: Pure Glacier Water From the Last Unpolluted Frontier, Bacteria Free" -- Apparently came from a public water supply. This label has since been changed after FDA intervention. Vals Water "Known to Generations in France for its Agreeable Contribution to Health and Purity .
. . Reputed to Help Restore Energy, Vitality, and Combat Fatigue" -- The International Bottled Water Association voluntary code prohibits health claims, but some bottlers still make such claims. If one can't be sure then if bottled water is safe, what is the alternative? How about tap water? Drinking water from the tap has become so taboo that some people will avoid water altoghether unless it comes from a bottle. The following conditions for bottled water are not required by the FDA; disinfection, confirmation of the absence of E. Coli and Fecal Coliform, filter removal of pathogens, and testing for Cryptosporidium, Giardia, and viruses.
These are all required by the EPA for tap water but not for bottled water. Surprising wouldn't you say? Another consideration; the testing frequency for bacteria in tap water is hundreds of times per month where bottled water is once per week. Testing for synthetic organic chemicals for tap water is once per quarter whereas bottled water is once per year. What's even worse is that carbonated and seltzer waters follow none of the aforementioned guidelines or standards.
So the next time you purchase bottled spring water thinking it is the answer to the tap water, do remember that the FDA standards that govern the bottled water industry aren't as strict as EPA standards for tap water. Marketing is very powerful tool to sell products. Now that we know that bottled water is not necessarily purified water my suggestion is to acquire the city water testing standards and results to be safe but purchase a carbon block filter/uv light purification water treatment system for your home drinking water.
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