Safe Bottled Water Guide – Which Bottled Water Brands Are Safe?

This post contains affiliated links. Please read my disclosure page.

Safe Bottled Spring Water

Which bottled water brand is safe?

 

After I heard the news about microplastics found in almost all of bottled waters, I wanted to find a safe bottled water brand for me and my family. While researching, I realized that bottled water not only contains microplastics in it, but also plastic bottles can leach toxic chemicals such as endocrine disruptors into the water. Also , some bottled water brands source their water from municipal supply and their purification of this water makes water mineral-deficient. Many of these bottled waters are also acidic and take minerals out of our body. In addition, there is a possibility that spring or mineral water with high minerals are contaminated with harmful metals or viruses. I’ve been enjoying bottled water for a long time now but which brands are safe? In this post, I share with you my findings about bottled water brands and the brand that I chose.

 

Bottled Water That Is Not Packaged In Plastics

 

Microplastics

In the study done by journalism organization Orb Media, 11 brands were tested  across nine countries for microplastics.  Brands include Aqua, Aquafina, Bisleri, Dasani, E-Pura, Evian, Gerolsteliner, Minaba, Nestle Pure and San Pellegrino.  93% of bottled water tested had microplastics. That means  almost all bottled water contained microplastics. Amount of microplastics found in the bottle differed even within the same brands.  Some bottles of Bisleri and E-Pura showed no micro plastics, however, when they were purchased elsewhere, they contained microplastics. Other brands were the same. While they contained small amount of microplastics when they were purchased at one location, large amount of microplastics were found when they were  purchased elsewhere. This could mean all bottled water has microplastics in the water. Even within same brands, some will contain it and some will not. We just don’t know which bottles have it.

So how did micro plastics end up in a bottle?  One theory is that while opening the bottle, the debris from bottle cap may have fallen into the water. Bottle caps are made of polypropylene and 54% of microplastics found in bottled water was also polypropylene.  So does that mean microplastics only get into the water when you open a water bottle? Just like research done by by journalism organization Orb Media, researchers at McGill University also did the study on microplastics in bottled water. They used a sampling of Aquafina, Dasani, Eska, Naya and Nestle Pure Life brands. They tested bottled water purchased from Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal, Canada. 30 of 50 bottled water tested had microplastics in their water. Each brand had microplastics found including a glass bottle of Eska. (Eska’s glass bottle cap is not plastic.) Amount of microplastics found in glass bottles were lower amount than microplastics found in plastic bottles. However, the fact that they were found in even glass bottles suggests that microplastics may have gotten in the water where bottling took place. These studies suggest that all bottled water brands can contain microplastics. Therefore, I didn’t find any bottled water that is safe from microplastics. Now another study has also  came out and said 83% of tap water in the world are contaminated with microplastics.  US had 94%, the highest contamination rate. So microplastics are everywhere, not just in bottled water.

(Microplastics found in some Canadian bottled water)

(Plastic Fibers Found In Tap Water Around The World, Study Reveals)

 

 

Plastics Leaching Harmful Chemicals (antimony, phthalates, Bisphenol A(BPA) or Bfluorene-9-bisphenol (BHPF)

Bottled water is packaged in plastic called polyethylene terephthalate (PET). However, this plastic material leaches harmful chemicals into the water. Leaching chemicals include antimony, phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA) or Bfluorene-9-bisphenol (BHPF). These chemicals will be released more and faster if the water bottles are placed in a warm or hot temperature. Also, the longer water is stored in the bottle, the more chemicals will be leached. Unfortunately, most bottled water is packaged in plastics so it is hard to avoid this problem. If you don’t want to drink bottled water, you can use filter for the tap water at home and filter water yourself. If you do drink bottled water, do not store in a warm, hot place for a long period of time. Another option is to buy bottled water packaged in glass or paper instead of plastic.

Bottled water that is packaged in glass or paper is as follows. (However, there are other factors to be considered other than packaging to choose safe bottled water so please read on!)

 

Water Packaged In Glass

Voss Artesian Sparkling Water

Mountain Valley Spring Water

Eska Water

Frank Water

Perrier

S. Pellegrino

 

Water Packaged In Paper

Boxed Water

Just Water

Rethink Water

 

 

Bottled Water With A Safe pH Level

The neutral pH level of water is 7. Ideal pH of water should be between 6.5 ~ 8.5 which is close to the pH level our bodies naturally maintain. (7.35 to 7.45.) PH water that is too acidic or alkaline can damage our health. Some popular brands such as Dasani and Aquafina, have a pH of 5 which is too acidic.  Beverages such as Gatorade and Vitamin Water also have pH level that is too low, 3.5 and 3.4.

Here are some brands that fall into neutral pH range. If you want to find more about what water pH levels are and how acidic & alkaline water affect health, please read my previous post, Safe Bottled Water Guides: How Bottled Water Can Be Toxic.

(Analyzing And Comparing Brands Of Bottled Water)

 

* I have also put ORP (Oxidation-Reduction Potential) number after water’s pH level. ORP measures the cleanliness of the water and its ability to break down contaminants. The higher the reading, the more oxidizing water is. I left it blank if I didn’t have an ORP number available. (What is ORP?)

*San PellegrinoMountain Valley Spring Water, Eska Water and Just Water which are not packaged in plastic bottles, have pH level between 7 and 8. However, quality of water also depends on its source and treatment it receives.  I will talk about that next.

 

Good Quality Bottled Water Based On Source And Treatment

Bottled water can be naturally sourced from glaciers, lakes and springs. It is also sourced from public water such as municipal supply. When water is sourced, it may or may not go through filtration or purifying process before getting bottled to remove contaminants or chemicals. Let’s take a look at types of water based on its source and treatment. I have categorized bottled water as  following:  Water with natural minerals and water without natural minerals.

 

1. Water With Natural Minerals

Mineral Water

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration classifies mineral water as water coming from an underground source and containing at least 250 parts per million total dissolved solids. Minerals must come from the source and can not be added later. Mineral water could be natural spring water or artesian well water.

 

Spring Water

Spring water is surface water that come naturally from the ground of the earth. It is filtered naturally through layers of sand and rock formations as it moves through an underground aquifer which is contamination-free. It may or may not be filtered or purified artificially before getting bottled. According to U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), spring water must be collected only at the spring or through a borehole that taps the underground formation feeding the spring. If water is collected through a borehole, it must have the same quality as water collected at the spring. If spring water goes through purification process, the water will be classified as purified water, not spring water. (Bottled Water Everywhere: Keeping it Safe)

Spring water contains natural minerals that are healthy for our body unlike tap water or treated water. Minerals such as calcium, lithium and magnesium are essential minerals we can get from water. On top of this healthy benefits, spring water doesn’t have harmful chemicals that tap water contains. However, spring water can be contaminated from human or animal waste, storm water runoff, improperly treated septic and sewage discharges and wildlife. Groundwater may be pure but when the groundwater is on its way to the surface, it can become contaminated. The quality of spring water can be vary greatly depending on a spring. Some spring water can be safe to drink without any treatment while some may have contaminants. Spring water is generally more pricier than other types of bottled water since it is rich in natural minerals that are healthy. (Spring water not as pure as you may think)

 

Examples of spring water includes as follows.

Evian – Derived from springs in France, naturally filtered

Icelandic – Spring water from Iceland, naturally filtered

Eternal – Filtered, treated spring water

Volvic – Filtered, treated spring water

Zephyrhills – Filtered, treated spring water

Absopure– Filtered, treated spring water

San Pellegrino – carbonated water derived from natural springs at the foothills of the Italian Alps near Bergamo (Lombardy)

 

Spring Water I like

Evian: Evian mineral water is from French Alps where a natural filter developed over several ice ages. The water source is protected under a fortress of geological layers built up by glaciers 30,000 years ago, it slowly travels through a natural glacial sand filter. Water is bottled at the source and also samples are taken every day to ensure quality.

Mineral content of bottled water is one of the most important part of water quality.  Evian has the highest mineral content, lowest turbidity (how clear water is  the lower number the better), highest conductivity/ but Evian has the highest nitrite and nitrate contamination compared to other brands. Contamination found in Evian water is not health threatening to immune competent people. However, infants, children, elderly, cancer, transplant, HIV patients should not drink water with Nitrite or Nitrate. Evian also has the highest barium compared to other brands. However, nitrite, nitrate and barium Evian contain are all well under federal maximum contaminant level. (Heavy Metals detected  In Bottled Spring Water.) (A Guide To Healthy Drinking Water)

*You can get Evian Water in a glass bottle if you want to avoid plastic.

*Evian Water pH level: 7.0

 

 

Altesian Well Water

Artesian well water is an underground water that doesn’t rise to the surface naturally so it is collected from a well that taps an aquifer. Water is tapped by artesian pressure in the aquifer pushing water above the level of the aquifer.

Examples of Artesian Water is as follows.

Fiji Water – Derived from springs in Fiji, naturally filtered

 

Artesian Water I like

Fiji Water: Fiji Water comes from an artesian aquifer in Viti Levu of Fiji. The water slowly filters through layers of volcanic rock, slowly gathering the natural minerals and electrolytes. The water is bottled at the source.

Back in 2006, Fiji water had the highest arsenic level found in their water compared to other brands in the study conducted by the City of Cleveland. However, in the 2015 test of Fiji Water bottled in November 2014, there was no arsenic found above FDA limits. FDA limit is 10micrograms per litre where as arsenic level found in Fiji water was only 1.2 microgram per liter.

*There is no glass bottle version of Fiji Water at the moment.

*Fiji Water pH level: 7.5

 

Well Water

Well water is acquired by a hole drilled in to the ground to tap into an aquifer.

Voss – Well water from Norway

Evamor – Filtered well water

Perrier – Filtered, Carbonated water derived from wells

Carbonated Water

Carbonated water also known as sparkling water has  carbon dioxide added in the water. It may be treated beyond carbonation to purify the water to be safe. Some natural sparkling mineral waters which are sourced naturally from a mineral spring, may be carbonated as well. Some examples include Perrier and San Pellegrino and they contain natural minerals and sulphur in their water. Since carbon dioxide and water react chemically make carbonic acid, there is a concern that sparkling water can damage tooth enamel. However, studies show that only when sugar is added to the water, it can be damaging to enamel, not when you drink plain sparkling water. Therefore, avoid drinking sparkling water that is flavored with sugar.

Carbonated water examples are as follows.

Perrier – Filtered, carbonated water derived from wells

San Pellegrino – carbonated water derived from natural springs at the foothills of the Italian Alps near Bergamo (Lombardy) They have plain sparkling water as well as flavored beverage.

 

Carbonated Water I like

San Pellegrino: This water is not only packaged in a glass but also contains lots of minerals in the water. San Pellegrino water if from natural springs at San Pellegrino Terme, Bergamo, Italy. I only like their plain carbonate water, not the flavored beverages since sugar can damage tooth enamel.

San Pellegrino pH Level: 7.7

 

Filtered Water

If the water is not bottled at the spring but is pumped into large tanker trucks to be transported to the bottling facility, water may get contaminated on the way. Therefore, filtration may be needed.  When water is filtered, minerals can be retained rather than being killed. Filtered water goes through carbon filters or a micron filters to remove chemicals, parasites, bacteria, etc. Filtration does not remove everything like purifying water does. Therefore, filtered water can still contain dissolved inorganic contaminants and heavy metals.  However, it can still retain natural minerals that are healthy. Filtration method includes carbon filtration, absolute 1 micron filtration and ozonation.

Eternal – Filtered, treated spring water

Volvic – Filtered, treated spring water

Zephyrhills – Filtered, treated spring water

Evamor – Filtered well water

Absopure– Filtered, treated spring water

Perrier – Filtered, Carbonated water derived from wells

Ozonated Water -Filtered Water

Ozonated water is basically water that has been ozonated.  Ozone gas is used to disinfect the water instead of chlorine. It can destroy bacteria, viruses, and odors. Oxygen we breathe in ever day is O2 which has 2 atoms of oxygen. Ozone has 3 atoms of oxygen bound together (O3). Many people believe ozonated water oxygenates and detoxes our body. Some believe ozonated water has healing and therapeutic properties. Some experts say it can stop the spreading of cancer.

On the other hand, some experts say there is no scientific proof that ozonated water is beneficial. Not only that, ozone can cause harm if used and consumed in the wrong way. Cancer Tutor, the cancer treatment resource website includes drinking ozonated water as a supplemental treatment for cancer. However, they say the container the purified or spring water is in, absolutely must be made of glass.  They said that ozone will tear apart a plastic container and you will end up drinking plastic. Also, ozone is an unstable form of oxygen and they don’t last very long. It readily decays back to normal oxygen.  Cancer Tutor advised to drink ozonated water as soon as it is made because the ozone only lasts  about 10 minutes.

Whether ozonated water is beneficial to our health or not, if ozone will tear apart a plastic container and I end up drinking plastics, that is not what I want to drink.

(Drinking Ozonated Water -What Is It and How Is It Made?)

(Ozonated Water: Supplemental Treatment For Cancer)

 

Here are some examples of ozonated water.

Dasani – Filtered, RO, minerals added and ozonated

Great Value Walmart – Filtered, RO, minerals added and ozonated

Ice Mountain – Demineralized, filtered and ozonated

 

 

2. Water Without Natural Minerals – Purified Water

Purified water can come from any water sources such as tap water or spring water. It is purified to remove any chemicals or contaminants. When water is purified, water impurities must be removed to extremely low levels. Filtered water is not same as purified water. Purified water has less impurities than filtered water. While purified water removes all of the impurities in water, it also kills healthy minerals that our body needs. For this reason, I didn’t choose any of the purified water as my choice. Purified water includes water that is refined in one of following ways: distillation, reverse osmosis or deionization.

 

Distilled water – Purified Water

Distillation is different from other demineralization process such as reverse osmosis or deionization.  In the distillation process, water is boiled and condensed steam is collected. Any impurities or contaminants are left behind, however, so do minerals. Since distilled water does not have minerals, we should  not drink distilled water for a long period of time. Drinking distilled water can lead to mineral deficiencies. When one drinks distilled water for a few weeks or months, the water grabs and holds onto minerals in our body then passes them out of the body causing mineral deficiencies.  (Water For Health And Longevity)

 

Examples of distilled water includes following.

Deer Park – Derived from springs and distilled city water

Poland Springs – Derived from springs and distilled water

Function – Distilled with minerals added

Smart water – Filtered, distilled and remineralized

Arrowhead – Derived from springs and distilled city water

 

Reverse Osmosis Water – Purified Water

Reverse Osmosis is a commonly used way of purifying water. According to Dr.Lawrence Wilson from L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc., reverse osmosis makes an extremely mineral-deficient water.  He  warned that drinking mineral-deficient water such as distilled, reverse osmosis or demineralized water for  a few months will bring minerals out of the body. Therefore, many bottled water that used any of purifying  method such as reverse osmosis, distillation or demineralization is not good for your heath. (Reverse Osmosis Water – A Poor Product)
(Differences Between Drinking Water And Distilled Water)

 

Examples of reverse osmosis (RO) water are as follows.

Dasani – Filtered, RO, minerals added and ozonated

Great Value Walmart – Filtered, RO, minerals added and ozonated

Essentia – RO filtered, minerals added, ionized water

Deionized Water – Purified Water

Deionizing water uses ion exchange resins to remove ionized salts from the water.  Often, a term, demineralization is used interchangeably with deionization. However, deionizing water removes ionized salts and demineralization removes minerals from water. Deionized water still lacks minerals that our body needs. Therefore, long term drinking of deionized water can lead to organ damage even if minerals are coming from one’s diet. (Is It Safe To Drink Deionized Water?)

 

Demineralized Water

Demineralized water goes through various filtration and chemical treatment to remove minerals and impurities. It is obtained through reverse osmosis, distillation or deionization of the water. This type of water is often used at lab when dissolved minerals can alter results.  Often, in order to get the final product with certain quality, the water will undergo several stages such as distillation, filtration, reverse osmosis.  According to World Health Organization (WHO), drinking demineralized or low mineral water has a negative health effects on us. According to their report, drinking demineralized or low mineral water not only results low intake of essential minerals our body needs such as calcium, magnesium and essential elements but also causes loss of essential minerals and elements in prepared food. It also possibly increases dietary intake of toxic metals. In addition, it has direct effect on the intestinal mucous membrane metabolism and mineral homeostasis or other body functions.
(Health Risks From Drinking Demineralized Water)

(Difference Between Purified Water and Demineralized Water)

(Health Risks From Drinking Demineralized Water)

 

Here are some examples of demineralized water.

Vitamin Water – Demineralized with minerals and flavors added

Propel Zero- Gatorade – Demineralized with minerals and flavours added

Ice Mountain – Demineralized, filtered and ozonated

Gerber Pure Water – Demineralized with minerals added

 

Final Thoughts

Spring water has lots of healthy minerals that are good for our health, however, they can get contaminated and contain heavy metals, viruses, bacterias since the water is not purified or treated. Water from some springs are safe without treatment, however, we, the consumers won’t know that for sure unless we see the test results of water especially after bottling process has been done. Purified water, on the other hand, has very low impurities and the water is very safe to drink. However, purified water filtering and purifying process such as reverses osmosis, distillation, deionization kill healthy minerals water contains. When we drink demineralized  or low mineral water for some time, water will leach minerals from our body. In addition, almost all bottled water has microplastics in water which we end up ingesting while drinking water. On top of that, almost all bottled water is packaged in plastic bottles which can leach harmful chemicals into the water. There are just too many uncertainties involved with bottled water that I can not conclude bottled water in general is absolutely safe. However, I would still liked to continue drinking bottled water for now until I find a better solution. Therefore, between all of these bottled water, I choose natural spring water such as Evian water, Fiji water, Icelandic and carbonated water such as San Pellegrino as a bottled water choice for me and my family. I will not just choose one brand but I will rotate between these four brands.

 

PLEASE SHARE THIS POST WITH YOUR FRIENDS OR LEAVE ME A COMMENT! 🙂

If you want to find out how water can be toxic, please read my previous post, Safe Bottled Water Guides: How Bottled Water Can Be Toxic.

Leave a Reply

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons