The data provided by IBWA (International Bottled Water Association) reveal that bottled water has become extremely popular in the US market. More that $11 billion dollars has been spent for the consumption of bottled water and its consumption increase three times in the last 10 years. The market of bottled water in the United States is the second largest apart from the soft drink. In 2006, the U.S consumption of bottled water was more than 32 billion liters compared to 20 billion liters consumed in 2001. Yearly, an individual in Houston consumes average of 90.5 liters of water more than global average of 24.2 liters. Such growth in the consumption of bottled water is ...view middle of the document...
Fig 2: Reason People Drink Bottled Water
Source: (Olson, 2013).
Despite the general people’s perception that bottled water are safer that tap water, evaluation of bottled water in Huston reveals that bottled water may not be safer than the tap water.
The EPA regulates Houston tap water while the FDA regulates Houston bottled water. However, between 60 and 70% of bottled water is unregulated because the FDA water regulations do not cover packaged water. The Huston Public Water delivers the tap water for the city of Houston, which is the fourth largest city in the United States, and the Trinity Rivers is the sources of tap water for the city of Huston. However, the Huston Public Water makes series of treatment to the water before it is made available as tap water for people to drink. In 2012, the Department of Health carries series of health evaluation on the tap water in Houston and the results of evaluation reveal that Huston tap water is rated superiors because it exceeds or meets the Federal EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) drinking water requirements. The results of the evaluation are presented in the table below:
2012 Evaluation Results
Co MCL MCLG AVG MAX
Barium (ppm) 2 2 0.067 0.067
Fluoride (ppm) 4 4 0.24 0.26
Nitrate (ppb) 10 10 0.39 0.39
Zinc (ppm) 0 0 0.009 0.0012
Synthetic Organic Contaminants
Simazine (ppb) 4 4 0.17 0.33
Hexachlorocyclopentadi-ene (ppb) 50 50 0.12 0.13
Atrazine (ppb) 3 3 0.26 0.33
Turbidity (NTU) N/A 0.12 0.28
Source: The City of Houston (2014).
While USEPA provides stringent regulations for the water in the Huston Texas, however, the regulations on bottled water are less stringent. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) regulates all bottled water in Huston to ensure that all bottled water meet the FDA’s quality standard, good manufacturing practice as well as labeling regulations. Despite the FDA regulations on bottled water, there is a growing concern about the quality of bottled water especially the concentration of organic and inorganic chemical contents of bottled water. Typically, FDA considers bottled water as low risk products, thus, bottlers are left to regularly test the purity of their water meaning that FDA may not inspect plants yearly. Some FDA officials even cited that it was the bottlers’ responsibilities to comply with rules and regulations. Thus, manufacturers are not obliged to let consumers aware if their products are contaminated or not. Between 1990 and 2007, manufacturers had been obliged to withdraw their bottled water product from the Huston markets. Among the reasons for the recall are microbes, chemical contamination, even crickets. (Jemmott, 2008).
On the other hand, the Houston government pride themselves in supplying high quality drinking tap water for people. The government claims a team of 300 water professionals is running the water operations in order to produce...