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What Are the Best Sources of Drinking Water?

Here’s what to know about good drinking water.

Bottled Water continued...

“They contract with municipalities across the country, set up plants, and have a ‘formula’ for their water, so if you buy a bottle of Aquafina in Sacramento, it tastes the same as it does in Dubuque,” Karrh says.

How can you tell if your bottled water is really from a “pure mountain spring” rather than the filtered product of a municipal water system in another state? Look for the words “spring water” on the label.  Bottlers can only claim spring water if their product is verified to be from a spring. (Other bottles will say things like “purified” and “distilled.”)

Like tap water, bottled water is generally safe to drink, although perceptions of it as “safer” than tap water are unfounded.

“The difference really is in taste and what you want in the water. A lot of the bottled water in the U.S. comes from the old European model, which adds minerals to the water like sodium or calcium,” Karrh says. “If you’re trying to watch your sodium intake and don’t want that ‘heavy’ taste, you might not want those.”

“The advantage of municipal water -- whether you filter it or not -- is information. For bottled water, that information is not quite as easy to find,” Mains says. “You don’t get the equivalent of a consumer confidence report on the outside of a bottle of water.”

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Reviewed on July 07, 2009

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