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Special Feature October 25th, 2007

Are you paying way too much for Bottled water?

Bottled and tap water may be different (and may be the same)

Were you aware that between 25 and 49 percent of the bottled water sold in the United States comes from a municipal water source? You may thus be paying hundreds to thousands of times more for repackaged municipal water that costs you only pennies out of your tap.

The bottled water industry is regulated as a food by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) while municipal water is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The FDA standards apply only to interstate sales which amount to 30-40 percent of bottled water sold in the United States.

Water packaged and sold in the same state is subject to that state’s requirements which may or may not be as strict as the FDA’s standards.

Municipal supplies, however, are regulated federally with authority given to the states to enforce and enact the federal EPA’s standards. Some differences between municipal water versus bottled water include:

Tap Water Bottled Water

Cannot have bacteria

Filtered and disinfected

Drinking water standards enforced

Tested by certified labs

Test results reported to state officials

Water operators must be certified

Water quality report made annually

Must maintain residual chlorine to prevent bacteria growth

Certain amount OK

No federal filter, disinfectant requirement

Violation of standards can still be sold

No lab certification testing required.

No water reporting requirements

No bottled water plant operator certification required

No public right to know requirements

No disinfectant to kill bacteria required.

In North County, check the following municipal water sources:
Escondido: (760) 839-4658
San Marcos: Vallecitos Water District, (760)744.0460
Lake San Marcos: Vallecitos Water District, (760)744.0460
Vista Irrigation District: (760) 597-3120
Carlsbad: (760) 602-2420
Rancho Bernardo (619) 533-4679
Oceanside: (760) 435-5800

 

 

 

 


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