Bottled Water

The United States has one of the safest water supplies in the world. Serious health and safety problems with tap water are rare. Yet, bottled water is the country’s fastest growing drink. Americans spend billions of dollars each year to buy it. Why? Though there are some differences between bottled water and tap, both are quite safe, and bottled water costs much more. Some people choose bottled water because they are convinced (perhaps by appealing ads) that it’s healthier. Some buy it because they like the taste or because it’s convenient to carry around. However, many condemn its use because all those plastic bottles adversely affect the environment.


How do these two products differ, and which is the superior product? If you google this topic, you’ll find many arguments on both sides. Some answers, primarily from academic sources and government agencies, are provided in the following Q/As.


Water Shelf Life
Bottled Water, unopened1-2 years- -
Bottled Water, opened- -2 weeks
Boyer, Renee, and Julie McKinney. "Food Storage Guidelines for Consumers." Virginia Cooperative Extension (2009): n. pag. Web. 7 Dec 2009.

EHSO Environment, Health and Safety Online - “Drinking Water Information: Bottled Water or Tap Water?”

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