Bottled Water and the EPA

Published on June 23, 2007 in Diet & Nutrition


Many Municipalities condemn bottled water and bottled water suppliers for not undergoing the same scrutiny as tap water but this is hardly the case.

Municipal tap water is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency while bottled water is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and while some bottled water may contain contaminants and harmful chemicals, purified bottled is 99.9% free of all contaminants. This is especially true for water purified through a distillation/oxygenation process.

But one may ask whether EPA regulation actually protects the consumer? True, the EPA provides oversight and reporting requirements but is so doing, the EPA merely requires municipal water sources to comply with minimum harmful levels of contaminants, chemicals and other poisons (including MTBE and lead) that can prove harmful to the human body. In addition to the actual water supply, water infrastructure, including water pipes found in homes and industrial uses can add to the level of contamination.

One thing that the EPA does effectively is publish reports from the tests of the nation’s municipal water systems. Often, these reports are characterized by glowing ad copy about the purity of the municipal water but a closer inspection yields more accurate information. Although many municipalities comply with EPA standards note the actual amount of contaminants and harmful minerals that exist in municipal water. Visit the EPA web site at

As an example, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently released data from its Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), providing information on toxic chemicals used and released in 2005 by utilities, refineries, chemical manufacturers, and other facilities across the nation.

In EPA’s mid-Atlantic region, the 2005 TRI data indicates an increase of 1.5 million pounds of on and off site chemical releases compared with 2004 data. A total of 383.3 million pounds of chemicals were released during 2005 to the air, water or landfills by facilities in the mid-Atlantic region, which comprises Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Releases in this same geographic area totaled 381.8 million pounds in 2004. Most of these chemicals eventually end up affecting the municipal water supply.

So the question remains, what is the EPA regulating? Tap water contains contaminants that are harmful and the use of chlorine to kill bacteria, results in foul smelling and tasting water. In addition tap water comes from ground water and springs that are repositories of chemical releases.

Some bottled water (as high as 40%) is merely tap water in plastic bottles and bottled spring water is often subject to the same contaminant pressure as tap water.

If you want a healthy lifestyle for you and your family, try purified water using a distillation/oxygenation process. By drinking purified water you are guaranteed freshness and purity and the first steps toward a healthy lifestyle.

Jon M. Stout is Chairman of the Board of Element H2O. For more information about bottled water, private label bottled water and bottled water delivery go to