No More Bottled Water

Many people believe that bottled water is safer than tap water. The fact is that this is simply not the truth. If you are still using bottled water, please read this. It’s a great list of “12 solid reasons to kick the bottled water habit;” put together by the (Thanks!)

• American tap water is among the safest in the world.

• As much as 40% of the bottled water sold in the U.S. is just filtered tap water anyway.  Be sure to check the label and look for “from a municipal source” or “community water system”, which just means it is tap water.

• By drinking tap water, you can avoid the fertilizer, pharmaceuticals, disinfectants, and other chemicals that studies have found in bottled water.

• Tap water costs about $0.002 per gallon compared to the $0.89 to $8.26 per gallon charge for bottled water. If the water we use at home cost what even cheap bottled water costs, our monthly water bills would run $9,000.

• 88% of empty plastic water bottles in the United States are not recycled. The Container Recycling Institute says that plastic water bottles are disposed of (not recycled) at the rate of 30 million a day.

• Plastic bottles can leach chemicals into the water if left in the sun, heated up, or reused several times.

• Production of the plastic (PET or polyethylene) bottles to meet our demand for bottled water takes the equivalent of about 17.6 million barrels of oil (not including transportation costs). That equals the amount of oil required to fuel more than one million vehicles in the U.S. each year. Around the world, bottling water uses about 2.7 million tons of plastic…each year.

• Bottled water companies mislead communities into giving away their public water in exchange for dangerous jobs.

• It can take nearly 7 times the amount of water in the bottle to actually make the bottle itself.

• On a weekly basis, 37,800 18-wheelers are driving around the country delivering water.

• The EPA sets much more stringent quality standards for tap water than the FDA does for the bottled stuff.

• One out of 6 people in the world does not have safe drinking water, and about 3,000 children a day die from diseases caught from bad water…that we know of. This while Americans spend about $16 billion a year on bottled water

Source 1, 2

11 Responses to “No More Bottled Water”

  1. I totally agree!

  2. With respect, I’m not convinced the issue is as simple as this short post would lead us to believe.

    Bottled water is one of the most significant, positive contributors to American’s health in years. Bottled water has made a large dent in consumption of Soda, which is a major contributor to our nationwide obesity epidemic. Tap water doesn’t cut it.

    Writing “40% … is filtered tap water” lumps Sam’s Club with Evian, Perrier, Peligrino et al, which is like lumping incandescent bulbs with CFLs and LEDs and claiming what their energy use is.

    As for “tap water is safe”, that blanket statement can’t be touted as universally true. The reports are too lengthy for this post, but from arsenic to waste back-flows to local pipe issues, there are often problems. Note that restaurants such as Chez Panisse, that tout removal of bottled water from their menus, actually have $7,000 filters to “improve” their tap water.

    I know many of this site’s visitors won’t agree, but for me bottled water is a substitute for other beverages, so the net shipping is a wash, because bottled water files a role tap water can not. What we need is better recycling, better testing/regulation, and more focus on areas with more leverage IMHO.

  3. Mostly correct, but what about when its demonstrated that the tap water is unsafe, i.e. in Washington DC, where there had been seriously elevated levels of lead?

  4. But what about the tap water that just tastes nasty…and even worse over time. A glass of tap water in Las Vegas doesn’t taste that great to begin with. But a sip from a glass left overnight on the bedside table is frankly nauseating.

    I try not to buy bottles individually, but it would be hard to give up our home water cooler.

  5. I certainly see both sides of this, the water in my town is perfectly safe but has a distinctive chlorine smell and is high in harmless but not-so-tasty minerals. I find my water filter does a great job and we use refillable bottles as much as we can when we want to take water with us. Of course we through out the filter every 6 months, there are no perfect solutions but there are much better options than buying cases of bottled water.

  6. In reply to JimF, who I presume drinks carbonated bottled water (since he’s using it to replace soda) - it is possible to make carbonated water at home. We use filtered tap water and make great fizzy water with a home carbonator. It tastes just like Poland spring and works out much much cheaper. One canistor of compressed CO2 lasted us about 9 months, and we send it back to the manufacturer for recycling when we get our new one.

  7. I remember reading an article saying that most bottled water labeled “spring water” is actually municipal water. Apparently, to be considered spring water the water must be extracted from a spring — but since the bottlers generally want more water than the spring can provide, they actually pump the water into the spring at a nearby location.

  8. As a business owner with a traditional 5 gallon water cooler I was indirectly one of the biggest polluters around. My office used to go through 10 jugs a month. But I’m happy to say that late last year we tossed out the old cooler and bought a UV filtered bottleless water cooler from It hooked up right to our water line and now everyone in the office has access to fresh filtered water. I’m no longer polluting the environment and it ended up being a lot cheaper than purchasing the jugs every month. :)

  9. Oops looks like my XHTML tags were missing the end tag. I meant to say I bought it from

  10. I have to use bottled water for my pet frog’s tank because of the chlorine and other additives in tap water. He would die if I used tap water because it kills the microorganisms in his breathing rocks and would damage his thin skin. I can’t afford a filtration system and have to rely on processors to do it for me.

    Bottled water has its place.

  11. If they stop putting that poison Fluoride in the tap water I would start drinking that again. It is a devastating nurotoxin. Do your research, there is no reason for it to be there. Hitler and Stalin are the first people to use it in the water at the work camps. If that does not tell you something then I don’t know what to say.

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