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Buyers Guide to Bottled Water

The claim that bottled water is “pure” may not mean what you think. It’s usually safe to drink, but not necessarily safer than tap or well water.

Bottled water is only “pure water” in that it has no food additives.

Those clear beverages with a hint of flavouring and sweetener are not considered bottled water by government regulators and the bottled water industry. “Demineralized,” “purified” or “distilled” water could simply be tap water that’s been processed to lower the mineral content and remove chlorine.

Brands claiming to be “spring water” or “mineral water” must, according to Division 12 of federal Food and Drug Regulations, come from an underground source.

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Susan Hirshorn