How Safe Is Your Bottled Water?

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Earlier this week, Niagra Bottling recalled 14 brands of bottled water as a precautionary move amid a report that one of their spring sources showed potential E. coli bacterium present. All bottles packaged between June 10–18, 2015 from Acadia, Acme, Big Y, Best Yet, 7-11, Niagara, Nature's Place, Pricerite, Superchill, Morning Fresh, Shaws, Shoprite, Western Beef Blue, and Wegmans Spring Water have been pulled from shelves, although there have been no reports of any consumers becoming sick. 

This isn't the first time there's been safety concerns over bottled water. As we reported earlier, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tests bottled water only periodically, and between 60 to 70 percent of bottled water brands are nearly exempt from scrutiny because they bottle and sell within the same state. FDA safety tests for pollutants in bottled water become more stringent only when the water crosses state lines. Even with lax regulations, there have been numerous voluntary recalls of bottled water. In 2005, Starbucks removed 4.1 million bottles of its Ethos Water from shelves after testing revealed excessively high levels of bromate, a disinfectant byproduct, and in 2008 Nestle yanked 138 bottles of its Pure Life Purified Water Brand amid fear the bottles contained cleaning solution. 

Tap water, which is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is kept under a much closer watch. Water from public systems undergoes frequent testing, and the EPA publishes a public-water-quality report annually. Your best bet? Ditch the plastic, buy a reusable bottle, and fill it up with filtered tap water. 

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