What Does Bottled Water Mean?
Bottled water is a convenient way to get clean, fresh-tasting drinking water. It is also a good choice for people with health conditions that may require lower levels of some substances. It can be especially helpful in emergency situations, such as after a natural disaster, or when the local tap water system is too dirty or contaminated for treatment.
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Almost 75% of bottled water comes from approved sources such as springs and wells, or from municipal supplies that are treated with methods such as distillation, reverse osmosis, deionization, filtration, ozonation or ultraviolet light disinfection. In addition, a significant amount of bottled water is treated with fluoride to prevent tooth decay and improve dental health.
The FDA regulates bottled water products, working to ensure that they are safe and wholesome. Its standards are based on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) standards for public drinking water, and it requires that bottled water meets its quality standards and follows its good manufacturing practices.
What Does Bottled Water Taste Like?
The United States government defines bottled water as water that is intended for human consumption and sealed in bottles or other containers. It can be flavored with additives or other substances, but it must meet all FDA requirements for taste, safety and labeling.
What Does Bottled Water Cost?
The average price for a gallon of bottled water is nearly three times higher than the same amount of tap water. The higher costs reflect the fact that bottled water is a high-volume product. This also means that bottled water requires more energy and chemicals to produce than tap water, which has a much smaller environmental impact.
What Does Bottled Water Mean in the EU?
The European Union has a strict set of rules and regulations for bottled water. These are called the Drinking Water Directive and are essentially divided into two categories: natural mineral water and spring water.
Aside from the classification, the main difference between these types of bottled waters is their origin and the method they have been treated before sale. For example, spring water must be potable at its source and mineral water must have a certain level of naturally occurring minerals in it.
In the EU, bottled waters can only be labeled as natural mineral water or spring water when they meet specific criteria, including microbiological quality and regular testing at the source. They must be sourced from an underground source and protected from pollution, and they must have consistent levels of naturally occurring minerals.
They must be free from contaminants, such as lead, cadmium and chlorine, and they must meet the quality standards for bottled water. They must be packaged in opaque bottles and labeled according to their type.
These regulations apply to all bottled waters that are sold in Europe, and they are subject to an annual inspection by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) International, which has stricter rules than the FDA.
If a contaminant is found in the water that is being bottled, the manufacturer has to stop distribution or face penalties from the EPA. In some cases, if the contamination is not reported to the FDA, it can be difficult or impossible to recall the product.