Drinking water is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)which is responsible for public drinking water (tap water)and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)which regulates bottled water. Specific Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs) have been established by the FDA to ensure the safety of bottled water. These guidelines require companies that produce bottled drinking water to:
- Process, bottle, store, and transport water in sanitary conditions
- Protect water sources from contaminants, including bacteria, chemicals, and others
- Ensure water is safe and free from contaminants through approved quality control processes
- Test samplessource water and final productsfor contaminants
What Is Bottled Water?
Labeling rules established by the Food and Drug Administration define bottled water as:
- Artesian water
- Deionized water
- Demineralized water
- Distilled water
- Drinking water
- Mineral water
- Purified water
- Reverse osmosis water
- Sparkling bottled water
- Spring water
Other beveragesincluding club soda, tonic water, and seltzeralso are regulated by the FDAas soft drinks. Flavored water and nutrient-added drinks, which contain vitamins, electrolytes, and/or amino acids must also meet bottled water requirements if the term "water" is included in the name of the product. Flavorings and nutrients added to these beverages must be identified on the ingredients list and must also comply with FDA safety requirements.
Bottled Water Inspection
The FDA inspects bottled water and water processing plants as part of the agency's food safety programs. Inspections help ensure companies that produce bottled water follow all regulations regarding source water, operational water, and final products. Washing and sanitizing procedures are inspected and bottling operations are monitored regularly to make sure bottled water is safe.
Our sister publication, Diabetes Focus (Fall 2015), reported that substituting a glass of water for just one soft drink per day can cut your risk of type 2 diabetes by 14 to 25 percent, according to a study of more than 25,000 adults in the UK. Add some flavor to your water with a slice of lemon or a sprig of mint.
Sources: U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA); Diabetes Focus (Fall 2015)