How Is Bottled Water Produced? 

There are two main sources of bottled water: municipal tap water and protected underground sources. Regardless of the source, water is processed at a bottled water plant to meet federal and state regulations for drinking water. The process may include filtration, treatment and storage in a sealed bottle, packaging, labeling and transportation to market. 

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Typically, bottled water is produced by combining the following steps: protection of sources, processing, storage and distribution. These processes help safeguard a bottled water product against contamination from microbiological or other harmful agents. 

First, a source is protected from potential contamination with a sand filter or other barrier. This prevents water from being mixed with other water, and it also allows the bottler to monitor the source and take action if there are changes in water quality. 

Second, the water is filtered to remove dissolved solids and any other contaminants. This includes a reverse osmosis process, which removes 99 percent of contaminants including bacteria, viruses and chlorine (the disinfectant used to treat municipal water). 

Third, the water is treated for added health benefits. This can include adding fluoride, which is known to improve the taste and hydrate the body, or iodine, which helps regulate thyroid function. 

Fourth, the water is infused with flavorings, extracts and essences from natural or artificial sources. These can be added as little as one percent by weight. 

Fifth, the water is tested to ensure that it meets federal and state regulations for potable water. This can include testing for nitrates, radon and lead. 

Sixth, the water is packaged in bottles that are tested for bacteria and other contaminants. These bottles must be stored in a clean, dry place away from cleaning or chemical products and out of direct sunlight. 

Seventh, the water is stored in storage containers that are designed for long-term transport. These containers are typically lined with a plastic film to protect the contents. 

Eighth, the water is transported to markets, where it is sold for consumption. This can be done using a delivery truck, a trailer or other means. 

Nineth, the water is shipped in units, often referred to as “lots.” Each lot is labeled with a production code that identifies the batch or segment of a continuous production run and the date it was produced. 

Lastly, the water is packaged into units, and each unit package is inspected and marked as it leaves the plant for shipping. This inspection is called a “trial batch.” 

The units are then distributed for sale to retail and wholesale outlets. These units are usually sold in bulk. 

There are many kinds of bottled water, each with its own characteristics and health benefits. All of these can be confusing for consumers, so it is best to consult a professional before making a purchase. This will ensure that you are purchasing the right kind of bottled water and that it is properly labeled. The bottled water label should describe the source of the water, its treatment process, additives and any test results that are not readily apparent from the label.