Bottled Water: Pure Drink or Pure Hype?

Update: July 2013

We are pleased to report recent regulatory action based on NRDC's advocacy. Since the publication date, the FDA has agreed to more stringently regulate bottled water safety to NRDC's standards. Our two main recommendations, to test for and ban water sources contaminated with E. coli and to regulate the level of di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) consistent with EPA regulations, are now in place.


NRDC's March 1999 petition to the FDA and attached report are the results of our four-year study of the bottled water industry, including its bacterial and chemical contamination problems. The petition and report find major gaps in bottled water regulation and conclude that bottled water is not necessarily safer than tap water.