University of Missouri Extension

Bottled Water

You see them everywhere - people carrying bottles of water. Who puts the fizz in "sparkling" water? Does bottled spring water really come from a spring? The Food and Drug Administration says that bottled water must be safe, sanitary and meet the same standards for contaminants as municipal tap water.

Spring water must come from a spring that flows naturally to the surface or is pumped from its source.

Sparkling water must be naturally carbonated - though fizz can be added if some of the natural fizz is lost during bottling.

Water labelled sterile must meet FDA standards for sterility - or the label must also state that it cannot be used to prepare infant formula unless boiled or otherwise purified.

Mineral water must be labelled as "high" or "low" in mineral content. Brands with significant levels of calcium, iron and sodium are required to carry a nutrition label like packaged foods.

Source: "Who puts the fizz in 'sparkling' water?" Work and Family Life newsletter, March 1997, p. 7; Food and Drug Administration.

Food and Drug Administration -


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Last updated: March 09, 2005
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