Bottled water is overrated. You are often paying more money for bottled water, which is simply tap water that has been put in a bottle with a fancy label on it. Many of the bottled water companies promise purer water, with more minerals and better health. This has increased demand tremendously for bottled water and in the US, the bottled water industry was estimated to have a value of $60 billion (USD).
Read the Paradox of Fiji bottled water
1. Higher price and often worse quality
Water is a natural resource which is freely available to most of the people on earth at a minimal cost. It is still astonishing to see the amount of bottled water being sold in the US considering that the price is 10.000 times that of its municipal counterpart - tap water. In reality, all water is "healthy" as long as it doesn't possess high levels of harmful contaminants, which tap water does not. Many studies have compared tap water with bottled water
See the ABC 20/20 documentary showing now differences between bottled and tap water : Link
2. The environment
The biggest environmental problems caused by bottled water are the plastic PET bottles. Did you know that between 32-54 million barrels of oil is used to produce 33 billion liters of bottled water. A recent study (Gleick & Cooley) which documents this also estimates that the energy needed to produce bottled water accounts for about one-third of one percent of total US energy consumption. They cost a lot of energy to produce, estimated at 2.000 times the amount of energy to produce the equivalent amount of tap water.
Water bottles are only sometimes recycled. Unfortunately almost all plastic bottles for water are currently made from virgin PET, so people trying to convince you that everything is being recycled is not telling you the truth. According to a NAPCOR study, the recycling rate for water bottles is 23.4% whilst water bottles account for about 50% of all PET bottles and containers picked up by roadside trash recycling.
The story of bottled water (MUST SEE!): Link
3. Bigger Chance of Harmful Chemicals in Bottled Water
In a recent NRDC study, where 22 percent of bottled water brands were tested, at least one sample of contained chemical contaminants at levels above strict state health limits. The problem in the United States is that the bottled water is regulated by the FDA, whereas the EPA regulates the quality of tap water. The EPA has set maximum contaminant levels for approximately 90 contaminants which if discovered will be reported immediately to prevent any damages. On the contrary, bottled water contamination rarely reaches the public, as would it if it had been public drinking water. The companies making a living out of selling bottled water have an image to uphold, and damaging information is likely to be guarded fiercely.
4. Higher Chance of Estrogenic Chemical Pollution
Another study, conducted by the Goethe University at Frankfurt found that a high percentage of the bottled water in plastic containers was polluted with estrogenic chemicals. Some of the bottled water contained in glass were also found to be polluted with chemicals as well, but the researchers believe the contamination of water in the plastic containers to come from the plastic containers. Leaching of chemicals into the water is related to the plastic bottles being exposed to either cold and high temperatures.
These estrogenic chemicals have now also been found in fish as we continue to pollute our waters. Read more about what these chemicals are doing to fish here: Link
5. Is bottled water just treated tap water?
Some bottled water companies just purify municipal tap water and bottle it. According to the following CNN video, up to 25% of bottled water is actually just purified tap water, and sometimes it is not even purified!
See the CNN Video: Link