Bottled Water Regulation
How Is Bottled Water Regulated?
Bottled water is regulated at three levels: federal, state and industry. This ensures the safety of bottled water from the time it is produced and packaged through to when it is consumed.
Federal Regulations for Bottled Water
The FDA basically uses the EPA standards for drinking water as a guideline for bottled water. The combination of these standards with the FDA's Good Manufacturing Practices makes it clear that bottled water is a product with checks and balances. Along with these standards is the FDA's labeling rules for bottled water, which clearly defines the type of water you are purchasing. These terms are standardized definitions of the various types of water sold on the market from "spring water" to "seltzer water" and every kind of water in between.
The primary responsibility for the safety of bottled water at the state level lies in the certification and inspection of the water source. States can also require that bottling plants be registered with the state and meet state requirements. Most states will also inspect bottlers annually and sometimes perform unannounced inspections of the bottling facility.
Many bottled water companies join the IBWA (International Bottled Water Association) and adhere to IBWA standards (which are stricter than the FDA's). To become a member and maintain good standing, bottlers must allow plant inspections annually that are often unannounced. These inspections include the water source, the plant facility and the production process.
As you can see, bottled water available in the U.S. is as safe as possible. From the source to you, safety and purity are a priority.