Arizona professor: Bottled water may not be safer than tap water
Or it looks a little cloudy.
Bottled water has become the No.
1 beverage choice in the U.S., with 12.8 billion gallons sold in 2016, according to the Beverage Marketing Corp. Wholesale sales totaled $16 billion last year.
About 45 percent of bottled water, including leading brands Dasani and Aquafina, comes from public tap water that the companies treat before they bottle it, according to the companies’ websites and California-based scientist Peter Gleick, who wrote the book “Bottled and Sold.” Arizona State University professor Elisabeth Graffy, who used to work at the U.S. Geological Survey, said consumers shouldn’t assume any bottled water is completely safe.
Phoenix officials said they conduct more than 5 million tests on the city’s water systems every year, and they test for more than 100 substances.
While there are some similar regulations, according to a 2010 analysis by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group, 18 percent of bottled water brands do not provide customers with the source of the water, and 32 percent do not give any information about how they test the water.
During the summer and fall, tap water throughout the Phoenix Valley of the Sun can develop an unappealing, musky taste and smell.
Algae builds up over the summer and collects in canals that valley-area cities use to transport the tap water supply, according to the city of Phoenix.
The city filters out the algae, but the taste and smell can linger.
“But I go more by taste and smell, and there’s just something odd that sticks in your head.” Wood has a reverse-osmosis system that filters the tap water in her home, but she relies mostly on bottled water.