Bottled water advertising - The Stories Vs The Facts

Oregon Rain Natural Virgin Water’s label tells an incredible story - the clouds providing their water avoid populated areas!

“100% rainwater. Over the Pacific Ocean, where fresh, cold air from the North Pole meets warm air from the equator, clouds dripping with naturally clean, pure water are produced. These clouds travel from the ocean, avoiding populated areas and arrive over the Willamette Valley. There on a specialized farm, Oregon Rain captures the water, passes it through a one-third micron filter and ozonates it in the bottle. The result is truly Heaven in a Glass.”

Another popular brand Fiji Natural Artesian Water tell us their water is Purified by equatorial winds. On its website, Fiji claims that its water comes from rain “purified by equatorial winds after traveling thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean. Winds that carry acid rain and pollutants to other parts of the planet just don’t come [their] way” (Fiji, 2010). In its water quality report the company describes a far different process relying on mechanical filtering — not winds and ecosystems — and divulges that the water is “filtered to remove any particulate matter, micron-filtered to remove microbiological particles,” adding that “ultra violet light is applied to insure disinfection.”

Pure, clean water.

That’s what the ads say. But what does the lab say?

When you shell out for bottled water you have a right to know what exactly is inside that pricey plastic bottle.

Most bottled water makers don’t agree. They keep secret some or all the answers to these simple questions:

  • Where does the water come from?
  • Is it purified? How?
  • Have tests found any contaminants?

The Environmental Working Group in America have found that among the ten best-selling brands nine (Pepsi's Aquafina, Coca-Cola's Dasani, Crystal Geyser and six of seven Nestlé brands) don't answer at least one of those questions.  Read their report here.

The industry's refusal to tell consumers everything they deserve to know about their bottled water is surprising.  Overall, 18 percent of bottled waters fail to list the source, and 32 percent disclose nothing about the treatment or purity of the water. Much of the marketing nonsense that drew ridicule last year can still be found on a number of labels.

EWG recommends that you drink filtered tap water. You'll save money, drink water that’s purer than tap water and help solve the global glut of plastic bottles.