Is Tap Water Sometimes Used in Bottled Water?

Tap water is sometimes used in bottled water – it is estimated that approximately 25% of all bottled water sold is actually tap water that is packaged, according to a four year study published in 2013 that was conducted by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

The cost of bottled water is calculated to range from 240 to 1,000 times higher than tap water, even if the packaged product contains tap water. Approximately 60 to 70% of all bottled water in the US is not subject to abiding by standards set forth by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because it is packaged and sold within the same state.

More about bottled water:

  • City tap water supplies are tested for bacteria over 100 times per month in the US, compared to bottled water plants, which are tested an average of once per week.
  • Americans spend about $4 billion US Dollars (USD) per year on bottled water, and the average worldwide total is about $100 billion.
  • 12% of plastic water bottles are estimated to be recycled every year, with around 25 billion bottles in landfills or as litter.

Discussion Comments


Is there information about which brands are suspected of bottling tap water?


States should offer money to recycle bottles, whether water or soda. Where I live in Texas, there's none. In Cedar Rapids Iowa,(I lived there) you can take bottles to recycling machine in Walmart & Target.

Mexicans buy bottled water here. It's said, don't drink the water in Mexico. But, they are told the same thing about the U.S. I think the water from my tap is disgusting. I buy bottled.

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