Tap Water vs Bottled Water FAQ

Tap Water Bottled Water
Regulated by EPA Regulated by FDA
Cannot have confirmed E coli or fecal coliform bacteria A certain amount of any bacteria is allowed
Filtered and/or disinfected No federal disinfection requirements
Violation of drinking water standards is grounds for enforcement Water in violation of standards can still be bottled and sold
Must be tested by certified labs Testing by certified labs not required
Utilities must report test results to state and/or federal agencies Bottlers have no reporting requirements
Water system operators must be certified Bottled water plant operators do not have to be certified
Water suppliers must issue an annual Consumer Confidence Report Bottlers have no public right-to-know requirements
Costs pennies a day-about $04 per gallon Costs $.80 - $4 per gallon
Contains essential nutrients such as calcium and iron Some bottlers filter out nutrient minerals
Residual chlorine prevents bacterial growth No disinfectant to prevent bacterial growth as water ages