1. What is bottled water?
Bottled water is potable water that is gathered and stored in a plastic, glass, paper, or aluminum container. Bottled water can come from a variety of sources like springs, aquifers, or wells. Bottled water can also be sourced from a municipal water source as long as it is purified with the requirements implemented by the Food and Drug Administration. Bottled water can go through a filtering process or be completely pure water from a natural source. Both flat and sparkling bottled waters can be bottled and distributed provided they meet the requirements. Any water that is contained within a packaging can be considered bottled water. It is usually sold or distributed in disposable single-serving containers. The term bottled water can be applied to bottled water of any size. Bottled water is an $86.9 Billion a year industry globally with the majority of sales occurring in the United States of America. Tyler Mountain Water provides bottled water in a variety of sizes perfect for your home and office in the Poca, West Virginia area.
2. How is bottled water regulated in the USA?
Unlike tap water, which is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, Bottled water is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. This means that bottled water is under more scrutiny and regulations than tap water. Bottled water is treated as a consumable food product while tap water is treated as a natural resource. Due to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic act, bottled water must be regulated for the safety of the public.
The regulations placed on bottled water are developed at both the Federal and State level. These regulations are in place to protect the quality and safety of the water. The FDA requires companies to provide quality water to consumers that are free of any harmful byproducts or chemicals.
The label and packaging that comes on your bottled water are also highly regulated by the FDA. The FDA is a firm believer in transparent marketing when it comes to water. Because of this companies are only allowed to advertise their water using certain words like artesian, groundwater, distilled, deionized, reverse osmosis, mineral, purified, sparkling, spring, sterile, and well water if it can prove that their source meets these descriptors.
The FDA does allow companies to sell tap water in bottles. If the tap water is filtered and purified to meet the FDA standards it is free to distribute without a disclaimer. However, companies can bottle tap water without purification, but they must note where the tap water was collected from on the label of the bottle.
3. What are the types of bottled water?
Bottled water is initially divided into flat waters and sparkling waters. Sparkling waters have carbonation while flat waters do not. Each category of water can be broken down further into subcategories that are determined by the source from which the water comes.
Spring water is water gathered from a natural spring or spring source. The water must flow from an underground source to the surface of the earth naturally to be called spring water. Spring water can be treated, but the raw water gathered has to have the same physical properties as the water exiting the natural spring.
Purified water is water gathered from a natural or municipal source that is purified in one of a set number of ways. To be called purified water the water must be treated using distillation, deionization, or reverse osmosis. This water must meet the requirements of the FDA after it is filtered.
Mineral water is any water that contains over 250 parts per million of total dissolved solids. This can be any minerals or trace elements that are naturally occurring at the source of the water. The water must come from a natural source. No extra minerals or materials may be added to mineral water after it comes from the source.
Artesian water is any water that is harvested from a confined aquifer. Artesian water must come from water stores that are separate and often higher than aquifers. This water is often confined by sand or rock away from the already established aquifer.
Well water is any water that is harvested from an aquifer found under the ground. The hole can be drilled or bored into the ground to access the water. Well water is limited to the amount of water found or supplied by the underground aquifer.
All of these water types can be bottled with or without carbonation. To be labeled as such, each water provider needs to prove that their source fits the requirements established by the FDA. Producers are required to disclose which type of water each of their products is based on the source. These water types can be found on any bottled water label.
4. Is bottled water better than tap water?
There are many factors to consider when deciding which form of water is better. It all comes down to your preference. Here are some pros and cons to help you decide if bottled water is better than tap water.
Bottled water is regulated as a food product and therefore is sure to be more reliable when it comes to safety. All bottled water is either treated or proven to come from a clean source that will not get you sick.
Bottled water will always have a more consistent taste than tap water. Since tap water is regulated by the municipality that it comes from, you never know exactly what water you will get where. Tap water must also go through a series of pipes before it is accessible in your home. This process can affect the taste of your water. Bottled water is always bottled in the same way and you can be sure that every bottle has the same great taste.
Bottles of water are much more portable and storable than tap water. Whether you are using bottled water in your home or business, it is easy to store for a long period. Water bottles of any size can be used anywhere so you can be sure you have clean and great tasting water wherever and whenever you need it.
However, bottled water comes at a higher cost than tap water. Bottled water companies have a higher overhead cost that includes gathering and treating the water, bottling, shipping, and advertising. Bottled water will always cost more than tap water.
Another con against bottled water is the amount of plastic waste that is produced from single-use water bottles. Single-use plastics are the leading cause of ocean pollution. That is why it is important to utilize recycling programs or to use a water service that refills bottles after you use them.
Bottled water certainly is the better tasting and safer option. Some municipalities have great tap water, but you can never be sure what quality of water you are going to get and what residue it may pull from the pipes used to get it to your faucet.
5. How long does bottled water last?
Water does not go bad and can last for years. Bottled water does have a best by the date that indicates when the water should be consumed by. This date is not based on the expiration of the bottle, but on how long it can stay in the bottle without taking on any harmful chemicals. The water itself does not go rancid or stale. If your bottled water is sparkling, it may go flat within a year and lose its distinctive carbonation and taste. Even after sparkling water loses its carbonation and goes flat it is still technically safe to drink.
The FDA suggests that flat bottled water is consumed within two years of purchase and that sparkling water is consumed within a year of purchase. The FDA also suggests that for the best results you store your bottled water in a cool dry place away from the heat or direct sunlight. Direct sunlight and heat can affect the taste and purity of your water. Bottled water can be safe to drink for many years as long as it is stored properly. If you have any concerns about the quality of your water it is best to discard it and get a new bottle that you are sure has been stored properly.
6. How do I know my water is safe?
If you are consuming bottled water, you can be sure that your water is safe. Bottled water is regulated by the FDA and must meet a very strict set of requirements before it can be distributed for consumption. The FDA treats bottled water as a foodstuff that is required to be tested and measured for safety. If you do not leave your bottled water out in the sun for an extended amount of time it is completely safe to drink. All sources of bottled water are evaluated by the FDA to ensure public safety and health.
Evaluating tap water for safety is a much more difficult process. Each municipality is in charge of treating tap water so that it is safe to drink. However, tap water in some places has been found to cause a variety of health issues to the public. Most tap water is treated and safe to drink, but it is impossible to tell if your tap water is completely safe without running tests on the water that comes from your faucet.
In addition to water contaminants at the source of the water, the pipes that deliver your water into your home or business can also be the source of harmful chemicals or materials. Some municipalities are still operating with lead pipes that have been proven to taint local tap water. Residue, rust, and buildup in the pipes in your home can also affect the safety and taste of your water. Although most sources of tap water are completely safe to drink, you can never be completely sure unless you add your filtration system to your tap water supply.
7. Is bottled water regulated differently from tap water?
Bottled water and tap water are regulated by different agencies in the US. Tap water is gathered, treated, and distributed by local municipalities. The water used for tap water is considered a natural resource and is therefore regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. The regulation of tap water is less strict than the regulation of bottled water. The EPA decides where tap water can come from and how it can be gathered. The EPA ensures that sustainable water sources are used to supply each local municipality with their water. The EPA does not have strict regulations on how the water is distributed into homes and businesses or on what can be added to tap water before it comes out of your faucet.
Bottled water is held to a much higher standard than tap water. Bottled water is considered a food item and is therefore regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA ensures that bottled water is safe to consume. The FDA requires bottled water to meet all of the regulations of other food products. Water must be clear of harmful chemicals that can cause sickness or harm. The FDA ensures that all bottled water on the shelves is safe to drink.
The FDA also regulates the way that bottled water is labeled and identified. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires all bottled water to be labeled with the source and type of water that is contained in the bottle. Bottled water must meet a specific set of requirements to be labeled as each of the types. This transparency makes it easy to tell what kind of water you are going to drink and where it comes from. These strict regulations make it clear to consumers that bottled water is safe to consume.