Bottled Vs. Tap

Those beautiful mountain illustrations on water bottles are often far from the true source of the water inside.

Artesian, ground, spring or well water was taken from an underground aquifer and may or may not have been further treated. Purified water often means that the water is minimally treated tap water.

Seltzer, tonic and sparkling waters, meanwhile, are considered soft drinks and not regulated as bottled water.

Is bottled water really safer than tap water?

The advantages of bottled water are consistent taste and implied safety over treated and untreated tap water. But  bottled water is often no safer or better tasting than treated  tap water in fact, 25 percent of all bottled water is actually  just repackaged tap water.

And in one test of more than 1,000 bottles of water, 22  percent of the water tested contained man-made chemicals, bacteria and arsenic. Differences in regulation between bottled and untreated tap water tell the rest of the story.

What are the costs of bottled water?

Bottled water is second only to soda in beverage sales in the United States. The average American drinks approximately 24 gallons of bottled water annually.

Bottled water sales are $10 billion in the United States and $46 billion worldwide. The cost of the actual water sold in a bottle can be as little as a fraction of a cent.