Bottled Water and Federal Labeling Requirements

Bottled Water and Federal Labeling Requirements

Bottle Water Plant / Small Bottle Water Plant / Mineral Water Project

Though many people lump “bottled water” into a single category, it is important to note that there are many different types of bottled water.  Bottled water should not be generalized, and one should always read the label of any bottled water so you know what you are drinking.

The Code of Federal Regulations states that “Bottled water is water that is intended for human consumption and that is sealed in bottles or other containers with no added ingredients.”  The addition of anitmicrobial agents and flouride are exceptions.

The following are the basic definitions for different bottled water types, per the U.S. federal labeling requirements:

  • Well Water: Defined as water that is tapped from an underground aquifer.
  • Spring Water: Defined as water that must come from an underground aquifer from which the
  • Water flows naturally to the surface and the location of the spring must be identified.
  • Artesian Water: Defined as water from a well tapping a confined aquifer in which the water level in the well rises above the water level in the aquifer.
  • Mineral Water: Defined as water that must naturally contain at least 250 ppm of total dissolved solids (TDS). The TDS content of mineral water cannot be enhanced by mineral additives.  If mineral water contains less than 500 ppm of mineral content, it must be classified on the label as “low mineral content.”  If mineral water contains greater than 1500 ppm of mineral content, it must be classified as “high mineral content.”  Water containing between 500 and 1500 ppm of TDS does not require futher label classification.
  • Sparkling Water: Defined as groundwater that is naturally carbonated due to the high pressures that exist in an aquifer. Sparkling water does not include water with added carbonation, such as tonic, seltzer and club soda, which are considered soft drinks and fall under different regulations.
  • Purified Water: Defined as high purity water that must meet certain requirements contained in the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). Purified water can be further classified by how it is produced, such as through “deionization (DI),” distillation,” or “reverse osmosis (RO).”
  • Sterilized Water: Defined as water that must meet certain requirements contained in the USP for sterilization.

Bottled water from a municipal or community source must state on the label that it is “from a community water system” or “from a municipal source,” unless it has been further treated by a purification or sterilization process.

Note: All of the above definitions are basic definitions and may be subject to additional requirements not listed in this article.

Source: Water Quality Products Magazine, Volume 15, Number 9, page 20. “Bottled Water: Federal Labeling Requirements.”
To read the complete article visit Water Quality Products Magazine or a related article here.
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