Is It Time to Rethink What We Drink?

The Tap Water vs. Bottled Water Debate Continues

Without thinking about where it comes from or how safe it is, many Americans drink bottled water every day. The truth is, a bottle of “spring water” may have come from a well in a parking lot or near a dangerous garbage dump. And what many people don’t know is that the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) regulations don’t apply to the majority of bottled water in the United States.

Is the water we drink really healthy for our bodies? Bottled water is usually regulated at the state level, rather than by the FDA, because it is considered “low priority.” The FDA and individual states dedicate very few staff members to making and enforcing the rules around bottled water.

If water doesn't get tested, it may contain tiny harmful bacteria such as E.coli, giardia, and cryptosporidium. These bacteria can cause intestinal distress. Yet, the FDA allows companies to sell untested water if its label states that it contains chemicals or bacteria.

The alternative to bottled water seems to be less risky. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates tap water. Employees at the EPA are certified to handle and produce tap water, which must always be disinfected according to strict standards. Therefore, a number of health and consumer advocates say that we should drink tap water rather than bottled water.

Bottled water was popular among consumers 10 years ago, but this is not necessarily true today. In light of this information, many water consumers are continuing to make changes regarding what type of water they drink.

[Source: Simpson Street Free Press Archives]