Surely you’ve seen all the articles in the news lately about the quality of water that is sold in individually portioned plastic bottles at a ridiculous price? Just this week, I saw yet another, titled “Best and Worst Bottled Water Brands.” You know what they were basing their determination of “best” and “worst” on? Very simply how much information the bottler provides the consumer. According to the article, “Bottled water companies try hard to hide information you might find troubling.” Really?

The report behind this article was published by the Environmental Working Group, who analyzed the labels of 173 bottled water products and company websites to see who was diligent in disclosing information such as where the water comes from, if or how the water was treated, and the results of any purity tests. It all came down to this: Do they tell you what’s in the bottle?

More than half of the bottles surveyed failed the EWG’s transparency test with 18% not saying where the water came from and 32% not disclosing treatment methods or purity tests. Some of the most common brands received the following grades from the EWC:

  • Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water = C
  • Aquafina Purified Drinking Water = D
  • Dasani Purified Water = D
  • Poland Spring Natural Spring Water = D

The best grade granted by EWC? Filtered tap water, which received an A. According to the group, if you change your filter regularly, your end result is purer than bottled water, it’s cheaper, it takes less of a toll on the planet, and best of all, the filter manufacturer is required to tell you what contaminants the filter will remove and the municipal water supplier tells you what is present in your water.

So, if you want to know for certain what you’re drinking, a home drinking water system is the way to go. You can either choose an electrically regenerated ion exchange system or a reverse osmosis system. These systems can either be mounted under your kitchen sink or in a convenient bottle-less water cooler. Making your own drinking water, it’s the only way to know for sure.