There is no way around it: Water is a necessity of life. It’s pure. It’s clear. It’s unadulterated. Or is it, really? Bottled water marketing portrays an image of being cleaner than tap water, but its quality is actually about the same. Many more eco-conscious people are now switching back to the traditional tap because they have found it to be the safer, greener option. And, when you compare the use of a water filtration system versus bottled water to see which is greener or more reusable, there are many factors to consider.
- Both bottled and tap water come from the same sources, such as lakes, springs and aquifers.
- More than 25% of bottled water comes from municipal supply — with filtration and flavor added.
- Bottled water that is transported across state lines is regulated by the FDA to be bottled under sanitary conditions. When it’s shipped within the same state, the water is only required to follow that particular state’s regulations.
- Bottled water plants are required to be tested for coliform bacteria once a week, while city tap water is tested 100 or more times each month.
- Tap water must meet specific standards for toxic and cancer-causing chemicals, but bottled water companies were exempted of similar requirements by the FDA.
- The manufacturing and distribution of bottled water can consume as much as nearly seven times the amount of water that the bottle actually holds.
- About 72 billion gallons of water are used, more than 17 million barrels of oil are consumed and 2.7 million tons of carbon dioxide is produced in making 900,000 tons of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) water bottles.
- More than 22 million tons of bottled water is shipped between countries each year, consuming roughly 15 million barrels of oil (or enough to generate electricity for 250,000 homes or fuel 100,000 cars for one year).