The U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not impose any specific standards on bottled water companies. Tap water in public water systems is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) under the Safe Drinking Water Act.
The EPA requires that the results of these tests be made available to the public, as well as information about the possible health effects of contaminants in drinking water, the source of the water, and regulatory compliance. Bottled water is regulated as a food product by the FDA. The FDA does not require bottled water companies to use certified laboratories to test water quality or to report test results, but they do require that bottled water labels include ingredients and nutritional information. Bottled water can come from a variety of sources, including many of the same sources as tap water, such as springs, wells, and surface water.
In some cases, bottled water is simply public tap water that has been improved in some way, such as by changing its mineral content. Labels must comply with legal requirements regarding the source, content, quality and uses of the water. It is especially important to use bottled water to mix infant formula or give water to babies under one year old. Bottled water may also be the best option if a person has a health condition that requires lower levels of a substance; it is recommended that individuals consult their doctor for advice if they are considering using bottled water. Fluoride is an essential component in reducing tooth decay and is important for everyone from babies who have their first teeth to adults.
Tap water in municipal public water systems almost always contains fluoride, while bottled water may not contain fluoride or may not have an optimal level. If you buy bottled water, it is important to find out how much fluoride it contains; if it comes from a spring, this information must be included on the label. Companies may also add fluoride to their products; contact the bottling company for more information. MDH does not recommend reusing single-use plastic bottles as they can be contaminated with bacteria and other disease-causing organisms. Empty bottles should be recycled to reduce waste in landfills. The FDA considers bottled water to have an unlimited shelf life if it is produced correctly and not opened; however, companies may choose to add a date to the bottle due to concerns about taste and smell.
Bottled water should be stored in a cool place away from direct sunlight. For more information on local tap water safety, search for your local water quality report on MDH's Consumer Confidence Reports webpage. A bill introduced in the Minnesota Senate would ban the sale of plastic water bottles statewide; however, this would not affect machines that dispense water into containers. Keep in mind that there are current good manufacturing practices (CGMP) specifically for bottled water established by the FDA. When selling bottled water in Central Minnesota, it is important to understand all applicable regulations and restrictions. The FDA does not require any specific standards for bottled water companies, but they do require that labels include ingredients and nutritional information.
Tap water is regulated by the EPA and MDH under the Safe Drinking Water Act, while bottled water is regulated as a food product by the FDA. It is especially important to use bottled water when mixing infant formula or giving it to babies under one year old. When buying bottled water, it is important to find out how much fluoride it contains; if it comes from a spring, this information must be included on the label. Bottled water should be stored in a cool place away from direct sunlight. Finally, keep in mind that there are current good manufacturing practices (CGMP) specifically for bottled water established by the FDA and that a bill has been introduced in the Minnesota Senate which would ban the sale of plastic bottles statewide.