Know What You're Drinking: What Else is in Your Bottled Water?


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Do You Know What You’re Drinking: What Else is in Your Bottled Water?

What’s Actually in Your Bottled Water?

You might think that buying bottled water ensures safe, clean water, but is that true? As well as water, bottled water can contain harmful contaminants, toxins and pollutants. 

Bottled water is often marketed as pure spring water, bottled directly at the source. However, the truth is that lots of bottled water is actually just bottled tap water. Some bottled water brands in the US, including ‘Poland Spring‘, are between 25%-45% tap water. We ask: where’s the clarity for consumers?

How Much Water is Tap Water?

Peter Gleick, the president of the Pacific Institute, recently undertook some research. He found that only about 55% of bottled waters in the US are actual spring water. The other 45% of brands are mostly treated tap water. Aquafina, PepsiCo’s bottled water brand, and Dasani, which is Coke’s, are from municipal sources. 

Though bottling water from municipal sources (tap water) may seem less safe than actual bottled water, it’s in fact, the other way around. According to Food Revolution Network, ‘the EPA regulates tap water and requires utility companies to test municipal water hundreds of times per month. Yet, the FDA, which regulates bottled water, requires only one test per week. So, you might be safer drinking tap water after all.

Often, companies will be very protective over the source of their water – not liking to advertise exactly where it comes from. In the US, there is no legal requirement to state the source of the water on the label of the bottle. Only after some investigation is it clear where the water comes from, and at 1,900 times the price of tap water, it’s only fair that consumers know exactly what they’re paying for.

What’s Lurking in the Water?

A study carried out by the EWG (the environmental working group) on 10 major US bottled water brands found that 38 pollutants were found in their water. As an industry that promotes purity, freshness and cleanliness, the findings are both surprising and worrying.

On average, of the brands of bottled water tested by the EWG, each brand contained an average of 8 contaminants. More than one-third of the chemicals found are not regulated in bottled water.’ Even more worryingly, four of the brands tested were also contaminated with bacteria. Ultimately, the findings suggest that consumer trust in the quality and purity of bottled water is not justified.


As well as bacteria, analyses by the University of Iowa Hygienic Laboratory found a wide range of contaminants in the water tested. Those included but were not limited to, ‘disinfection byproducts’, ‘urban wastewater pollutants like caffeine and pharmaceuticals (Tylenol); heavy metals and minerals including arsenic and radioactive isotopes; fertiliser residue (nitrate and ammonia); and a broad range of other, tentatively identified industrial chemicals used as solvents, plasticisers, viscosity decreasing agents, and propellants.’

Switch to Billi

How you can you ensure the water you’re drinking is actually pure? Well, switching to Billi taps is a good start. Our filtration system gets rid of all of the nasties from tap water, and leave you with fresh, clean drinking water you know you can trust. It also negates the need for single-use plastic bottles, as you can refill your own reusable water bottle directly from Billi taps. 

Tap water isn’t all bad, especially from a Billi tap. Our innovative products and filtration system guarantee fast, clean water at the touch of a button. We use the most technologically advanced filtration for instant boiling and chilled filtered water systems. The new filters use Fibredyne™ technology, which is fibrous and matted together, increasing the surface area of the carbon. This means there is greater contact time and improved quality of filtration. Want to know more? Get in touch today.