Distilling the Truth About Bottled Water

| Total Words: 356

Since the tap water scares of the early 1990s, intense marketing campaigns have convinced consumers that bottled water is the only safe alternative to the tap. But do-it-yourself options like home water filtration systems are generally more convenient and less expensive than bottled water, which costs consumers $22 billion per year.

A closer look into the water that glints so refreshingly within its plastic bottle reveals some startling facts: According to the National Resources Defense Council, 40 percent of all bottled water is nothing more than local tap water, transferred from the pipe to the plastic with little or no treatment.

Despite this, the average cost of bottled water is 1,000 times that of tap water. These high prices should suggest higher filtration standards for bottled water. However, the Food and Drug Administration sets the same or lower standards for bottled water that the Environmental Protection Agency sets for tap water.

According to the National Resources Defense Council, this leads to about 22 percent of all bottled water having below-standard levels of contaminants such as E. coli and fecal coliform.

So what’s the...

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