FAQs – Answered by DWRF Trustees

Get answers to your most complex drinking water questions by submitting them via the comments box on the Contact Us page.

Q. How do I find bottled water brands that contain Fluoride?

Click this link to get a list of IBWA members who produce bottled water containing fluoride: www.bottledwater.org/fluoride

Q. What types of water processing techniques do bottled water companies use to treat their water?

All bottled water products – whether from groundwater or public water sources – are produced utilizing a multi-barrier approach. This helps prevent possible harmful contamination to the finished product as well as storage, production, and transportation equipment. Many of the steps in a multi-barrier system are effective in safeguarding bottled water from microbiological and other contamination. Measures in a multi-barrier approach may include one or more of the following: source protection, source monitoring, reverse osmosis, distillation, micro-filtration, carbon filtration, ozonation, and ultraviolet (UV) light. For water processing techniques used for a specific brand, it’s best to contact the company. For bottled water companies that are members of the International Bottled Water Association, a list of contact information can be found here:www.bottledwater.org/members/bottlers

Q. Why do people choose bottled water over tap water?

Consumer preference is a personal matter of choice. Many consumers report they prefer bottled water because of chlorine or chloramine taste issues with tap water.

Q. Are there any harmful chemicals that could be in bottled water that wouldn’t be in tap water?

Because of precautions taken when selecting a source for natural bottled waters, and no additives during the bottling process, no chemicals are added to bottled water.

Q. Are there any harmful chemicals in tap water that wouldn’t be in bottled water?

The presence of chemicals in some source waters and the addition of treatment chemicals and chemical disinfectants during the processing of tap water increase the chances of chemical or treatment byproduct chemical presence in finished water, unless otherwise removed by treatment prior to finished water distribution.This video does a good job at pointing out some of the differences between bottled water and tap. Also, there is a great document on our website that goes into much more detail about the differences. You can get this document by clicking this link.

Q. Why do you think society believes that bottled water is less contaminated and cleaner than tap water?

We cannot speak to consumer perceptions, but if you compare the safety records of tap water and bottled water, you will find, for example, that 6, 435 public water systems reported violations of the Total Coliform Rule to the USEPA in 2011. Many of those violations resulted in boil water orders for consumers. Bottled water, in comparison, is documented by FDA as having only one (1) Class II recall for fecal coliform bacteria in the past 20+ years.

Q. I am having problems reading my water quality report as I don’t understand many of the words. Can you help me?

The report should have a page of definitions in it. If not, use the contact information in the document and contact the city/state water quality department and they will surely be able to guide you.

Q. How do I find local plastic recycling facilities where I live?

For a complete list of recycling facilities for recycling empty plastic bottles in your area see: www.earth911.com — a website that provides recycling center information nationwide.

Q. We have an artisan well on our property and the water is of great quality. We are thinking of bottling and selling the water but we’re wondering if it needs to be bottled on the property?

In the U.S., water can be bottled either at a plant that is located on-site, or the water may be transported to a location off-site.

Q. Does DWRF have a list of industry professionals they recommend working with if they want to learn more about starting their own bottled water business?

For assistance in the development of a source or bottling facility, we recommend that you contact a consultant. A list of IBWA member consultants is available by calling 703-647-5213 or writing to [email protected]

Q. Why does bottled water have dates on the bottles?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates bottled water as a packaged food product, has determined that there is no limit to the shelf life of bottled water. Some companies place date-based lot codes on bottled water containers, which are typically used to assist in managing stock rotation at distribution and retails points.

Q. I am wondering about the average life-span of a 5-gallon bottle?

The service life of a 5-gallon bottle can vary widely amongst companies using them, but most bottles are cleaned, sanitized, and refilled at least 50 times during their lifespan. The bottles are inspected upon every return for signs of wear and are immediately destroyed and recycled at the end of their service life.