Bottled Water, Straight From the Tap

We all know bottled water is better for you than plain old yucky tap water. Right?


Well, ask Coca-Cola, who have just admitted that their brand of bottled water, Dasani, is just treated tap water (at least when sold in the UK; the BBC broke the story, and no US journalists have followed up yet to see where American bottlers of Dasani get their water from). The irony is that this probably can’t be taken as a knock on Dasani, mostly because most tap water is of pretty damn high quality — unless you live in the District of Columbia, that is.



March 2, 2004
9:16 am
From NYT, includes a quote from Dasani’s FAQ that admits such.
Also notes that Aquafina is filtered tap water, but without added minerals.
In fact, in this area, it’s likely that your Dasani comes from Lake Murray, near Columbia, SC. Columbia water is fairly decent, though my main preference over the water supply around here is a far lower mineral content, meaning I can actually wash my clothes and make tea.
Penn and Teller’s Bullshit! program on Showtime also mentioned this and demonstrated how easily people can go along with perception over their own taste buds.
Also worth noting is that, while Clinton decided that once we’d survived his presidency, he ought to dramatically tighten water quality standards (it was good enough for his presidency, but not the next guy’s), he didn’t force the EPA to apply the same standards to bottled water. In fact, even under the water standards that Clinton allowed during 8 years in office, tap water is more strictly controlled than bottled water.
I’m waiting until “naturally processed vegetarian pies” are sold, made up of dried cow dung. Doubtless someone in PETA will claim it tastes better than anything made with animal products. 😉

Jason Lefkowitz

March 2, 2004
9:25 am

Heh… I saw that P&T “Bullshit!” episode too. What a riot!
I love the Coca-Cola/Olive Garden document in the doc you linked to, as well. What a masterpiece of CorporateSpeak it is…
“Water. It’s necessary to sustain life, but to many Casual Dining restaurant chains it contributes to a dull dining experience for the customer. Many customers choose tap water not because they enjoy it, but because it is what they always have drunk in the past. In response, some restaurant chains are implementing programs to help train crews to sell alternative choices to tap water, like soft drinks and noncarbonated beverages, with the goal of increasing overall guest satisfaction.”
Ah yes. Their only goal was to “increase overall guest satisfaction”, not to replace free water with $2.50 sodas. How noble!

Zoran Lazarevic – Laza

March 2, 2004
4:22 pm

Read the label! It does NOT say Dasani is SPRING water, so it must be tap water. I always thought this is implied. I am not sure why all the uproar.
> he didn’t force the EPA to apply the same standards to bottled water.
All food products are subject to FDA standards. I am not sure if they are looser than the federal water regulation standards.


March 2, 2004
8:50 pm

> I am not sure if they are looser than the federal water regulation standards.
I am. They are.
Read and ph33R.