Varieties of bottled water
Let’s dissect the issue a little more. Did you realize there are several different varieties of bottled water? Products can be labeled as bottled water, drinking water or several other names. The following definitions for bottled waters have been authorized by the FDA.
• Artesian water or artesian well water is from a well that taps a confirmed aquifer (a water-bearing underground layer of rock or sand).
• Drinking water is sold for human consumption in sanitary containers and contains no sweeteners or chemical additives. It must be calorie-free and sugar-free. Drinking water must be sodium-free or contain very low amounts of sodium.
• Mineral water contains not less than 250 parts per million total dissolved solids.
• Purified water has been treated with processes such as distillation, deionization or reverse osmosis. Basically, this means that the bacteria and dissolved solids have been removed from the water.
• Sparkling bottled water, the fizzy kind, contains the same amount of carbon dioxide as it did when it emerged from its source.
• Municipal or tap water is type of water we have in our homes. While not regulated by the FDA, it must meet strict standards defined by the Environmental Protection Agency.
• Well water comes out of the ground from a well, usually drilled by an individual for personal use. his water is not regulated by any agency, and is generally of an excellent quality.
• Distilled water is any water that has been through a heat distillation process in an attempt to purify or improve the overall quality of the water by removing the impurities.
The NRDC also makes the following recommendations for improving bottled water safety precautions (and remember these are just recommendations):
• The FDA should set strict limits for contaminations or concerns in bottled water.
• The FDA’s rules should apply to bottled water nationally and within the state in which it is packaged.
• Water bottlers should be required to disclose water source, treatments and other key information as is now required of tap water systems.
• State bottled water programs should be subject to federal review.
While Americans who choose to buy bottled water deserve the assurance that it is safe, the long-term solutions for our water use continues to be to ensure that safe, clean, good-tasting drinking water comes from the tap.