Bottled Water Vs. Tap Water

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Purer Water or Pure Hype?

Seventy percent of the human body is comprised of water. This makes drinking water quality vital. The EPA estimates the average adult consumes 1.2 liters daily or 115 gallons of community (tap) water daily while the average consumption of bottled water per capita in the U.S. is in excess of 30.8 gallons per year and is expected to continue to increase according to the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) and the Beverage Marketing Association’s 2013 report. Bottled water costs anywhere from 240 to 10,000 times more per gallon than the average cost of tap, but people’s perception that bottled water is purer, safer or healthier is driven, in part, by strong bottled water marketing campaigns that focus on news reports about crises that involve municipal water supplies. (NRDC, “Bottled Water Pure Drink or Pure Hype”) The sources for both tap and bottled waters as well as additives to either enrich or neutralize contents of water determine the mineral and chemical composition of drinking water. Is bottled water really any purer or healthier than local tap water? Drinking water provided by a municipality, “tap”, is regulated by the EPA. Additionally, the Safe Water Drinking Act requires all states submit annual reports regarding public water system violations to the EPA. The EPA determines Maximum Contaminant Level Goals (MCLGs) for tap water. The goals are the levels at which a consumer could perceivably drink
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