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Environmental Protection Agency

 EPA Administrator signed the following rule on 4/8/2024, and EPA is submitting it for publication in the Federal Register (FR). While we have taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this Internet version of the proposed rule, it is not the official version of the final rule. Please refer to the official version in a forthcoming FR publication, which will appear on the Government Printing Office’s FDsys website (https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/). It will also appear on Regulations.gov (https://www.regulations.gov/) in Docket No. EPA-HQ-OW-2022-0114. Once the official version of this document is published in the FR, this version will be removed from the Internet and replaced with a link to the official version. 

40 CFR Parts 141 and 142 

[EPA-HQ-OW-2022-0114; FRL 8543-02-OW] 

RIN 2040-AG18 

PFAS National Primary Drinking Water Regulation Rulemaking 

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

ACTION: Final rule. 

SUMMARY: In March 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed and requested comment on the National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) and health-based Maximum Contaminant Level Goals (MCLGs) for six per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS): perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid (HFPO-DA, commonly known as GenX Chemicals), and perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS). 

 

After consideration of public comment and consistent with the provisions set forth under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the EPA is finalizing NPDWRs for these six PFAS. Through this action, the EPA is finalizing MCLGs for PFOA and PFOS at zero. Considering feasibility, the EPA is promulgating individual Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for PFOA and PFOS at 4.0 nanograms per liter (ng/L) or parts per trillion (ppt). The EPA is also finalizing individual MCLGs and is promulgating individual MCLs for PFHxS, PFNA, and HFPO-DA at 10 ng/L. In addition to the individual MCLs for PFHxS, PFNA, and HFPO-DA, in consideration of the known toxic effects, dose additive health concerns and occurrence and likely co-occurrence in drinking water of these three PFAS, as well as PFBS, the EPA is finalizing a Hazard Index (HI) of 1 (unitless) as the MCLG and MCL for any mixture containing two or more of PFHxS, PFNA, HFPO-DA, and PFBS. Once fully implemented, the EPA estimates that the rule will prevent thousands of deaths and reduce tens of thousands of serious PFAS-attributable illnesses. 

DATES: This final rule is effective on [INSERT DATE 60 DAYS AFTER DATE OF PUBLICATION IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER]. The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of [INSERT DATE 60 DAYS AFTER DATE OF PUBLICATION IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER]. 

ADDRESSES: The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2022-0114. All documents in the docket are listed on the http://www.regulations.gov web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available electronically through http://www.regulations.gov

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Alexis Lan, Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, Standards and Risk Management Division (Mail Code 4607M), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460; telephone number 202-564-0841; email address: PFASNPDWR@epa.gov

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Commercially Bottled Water

Americans spend billions of dollars every year on commercially bottled water. People choose bottled water for a variety of reasons including taste, convenience, as a substitute for other beverages, or because of perceived health benefits.

 

Bottled Water Regulation

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the safety of bottled water and bases its standards on the EPA standards for tap water. If these standards are met, water is considered safe for most healthy individuals. The bottled water industry must also follow FDA’s good manufacturing practices for processing and bottling drinking water.

 
Read the label on your bottled water to learn where the water comes from and how it has been treated to make it safe for drinking.

While there is currently no standardized label for bottled water, labels may tell you about the way the water is treated. Check the label for a toll-free number or web page address of the company that bottled the water to learn more.

 

Bottled Water and People with Weakened Immune Systems

People with weakened immune systems, such as people with HIV, diabetes, organ transplants or going through chemotherapy, should take special precautions with the water they drink. The parasite Cryptosporidium can cause chronic or severe illness and even life-threatening symptoms in people with weakened immune systems. Healthy people would be more likely to develop a mild illness from this parasite.

 

Look for the following types of treatments for bottled water that protect against Cryptosporidium:

  • Reverse osmosis

  • Distillation

  • Filtration with an absolute 1micron filter

 

Learn more about Cryptosporidium and commercially bottled water.

 

Bottled Water and Outbreaks

Although illness outbreaks associated with bottled water are rarely reported, they do occur. It is important for bottled water manufacturers, distributors, and consumers to do these things:

  • Protect and properly treat water before bottling

  • Maintain good manufacturing processes

  • Protect bottled water during shipping and storage

  • Prevent contamination after consumers purchase bottled water

 

If you suspect an illness resulting from drinking bottled water, contact your local public health department.

Contaminated bottled water can harm your health, including causing gastrointestinal illness, reproductive problems, and neurological disorders. Infants, young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems may be more likely to get sick from some contaminants.

 

More Information

 

Content can be found on the CDC website at:  https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/bottled/

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Bottled Water Everywhere:
Keeping it Safe

Consumers drink billions of gallons of bottled water each year.
Here's how the FDA helps keep it safe.

Seems like almost everyone is carrying a bottle of water these days.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates bottled water products, working to ensure that they’re safe to drink.

The FDA protects consumers of bottled water through the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), which makes manufacturers responsible for producing safe, wholesome, and truthfully labeled food products.

 

There are regulations that focus specifically on bottled water, including:

  • “Standard of identity” regulations that define different types of bottled water.

  • “Standard of quality” regulations that set maximum levels of contaminants—including chemical, physical, microbial, and radiological contaminants—allowed in bottled water.

  • “Current good manufacturing practice” (CGMP) regulations that require bottled water to be safe and produced under sanitary conditions.

 

Types of Bottled Water

The FDA describes bottled water as water that’s intended for human consumption and sealed in bottles or other containers with no added ingredients, except that it may contain safe and suitable antimicrobial agents. Fluoride may also be added within the limits set by the FDA.

The agency classifies some bottled water by its origin. Here are four of those classifications:

  • Artesian well water. This water is collected from a well that taps an aquifer—layers of porous rock, sand, and earth that contain water—which is under pressure from surrounding upper layers of rock or clay. When tapped, the pressure in the aquifer, commonly called artesian pressure, pushes the water above the level of the aquifer, sometimes to the surface. Other means may be used to help bring the water to the surface.

  • Mineral water. This water comes from an underground source and contains at least 250 parts per million total dissolved solids. Minerals and trace elements must come from the source of the underground water. They cannot be added later.

  • Spring water. Derived from an underground formation from which water flows naturally to the surface, this water must be collected only at the spring or through a borehole that taps the underground formation feeding the spring. If some external force is used to collect the water through a borehole, the water must have the same composition and quality as the water that naturally flows to the surface.

  • Well water. This is water from a hole bored or drilled into the ground, which taps into an aquifer.

 

Bottled water may be used as an ingredient in beverages, such as diluted juices or flavored bottled waters. However, beverages labeled as containing “sparkling water,” “seltzer water,” “soda water,” “tonic water,” or “club soda” aren’t included as bottled water under the FDA’s regulations. These beverages are instead considered to be soft drinks.

 

It may be Tap Water

Some bottled water also comes from municipal sources—in other words, public drinking water or tap water. Municipal water is usually treated before it is bottled. Examples of water treatments include:

  • Distillation. Water is turned into a vapor, leaving minerals behind. Vapors are then condensed into water again.

  • Reverse osmosis. Water is forced through membranes to remove minerals.

  • Absolute 1 micron filtration. Water flows through filters that remove particles larger than one micron—.00004 inches—in size. These particles include Cryptosporidium, a parasitic pathogen that can cause gastrointestinal illness.

  • Ozonation. Bottlers of all types of waters typically use ozone gas, an antimicrobial agent, instead of chlorine to disinfect the water. (Chlorine can add residual taste and odor to the water.)

 

Bottled water that has been treated by distillation, reverse osmosis, or another suitable process may meet standards that allow it to be labeled as “purified water.”

 

Ensuring Quality and Safety 

Federal quality standards for bottled water were first adopted in 1973. They were based on U.S. Public Health Service standards for drinking water set in 1962.

The 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act gave regulatory oversight of public drinking water to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The FDA subsequently took responsibility, under the FD&C Act, for ensuring that the quality standards for bottled water are compatible with EPA standards for public drinking water.

Each time EPA establishes a standard for a contaminant, the FDA either adopts it for bottled water or finds that the standard isn’t necessary for bottled water.

In some cases, standards for bottled water and public drinking water differ. For example, because lead can leach from pipes as water travels from water utilities to home faucets, EPA has set its limit for lead in public drinking water at 15 parts per billion (ppb). For bottled water, for which lead pipes aren’t used, the lead limit is set at 5 ppb.

For bottled water production, bottlers must follow the CGMP regulations that are specific to processing and bottling drinking water, put in place and enforced by the FDA. Water must be sampled, analyzed, and found to be safe and sanitary. These regulations also require proper plant and equipment design, bottling procedures, and record keeping.

In addition, bottled water processors are generally required to register with the FDA as food facilities. Domestic and foreign facilities that are required to register as food facilities must comply with the requirements for risk-based preventive controls mandated by the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) as well as the modernized Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs) of this rule that cover all human food facilities (unless an exemption applies). Please see FDA’s Preventive Controls for Human Food webpage for additional details.

Furthermore, the FDA oversees inspections of bottling plants. The agency inspects bottled water plants under its general food safety program and has states perform some plant inspections under contract. (Some states also require bottled water firms to be licensed annually.)

 

This information is made available on the FDA website at:

https://www.fda.gov/consumers/articulos-para-el-consumidor-en-espanol/agua-embotellada-por-todas-partes-como-mantener-su-inocuidad
 

April 12, 2023

 

ASBWA Slate of Nominees
for 2023 - 2025

Pursuant to the ASBWA Bylaws, the ASBWA Board of Directors is pleased to place in nomination the following slate of nominees to fill expiring 2023-2025 and 2023 - 2027 term positions. The Officers & Directors slate shall be presented to and elected by the members during the 2023 ASBWA Annual Membership Meeting, which will take place on Thursday, MAY 11, 2023.

Additional nominees will be entertained from the floor during the election process.

 

2023-2025 (2 YEAR TERM)

PRESIDENT                            JAY TRUMBULL, TRUMBULL FAMILY CULLIGAN           

VICE PRESIDENT                  CRAIG BREWTON, AQUA ONE, INC.          

SECRETARY TREASURER     BRIAN ROSE, TEXAS WATER HOUSE

 

(1) DIRECTOR                       CLAY BELL, MELWOOD SPRINGS WATER CO.

(2) DIRECTOR                       JOEL BURGER, SEQUOYAH WATER LLC

(3) DIRECTOR                       MALONE GARRETT, NANTZE SPRINGS, INC.       

(4) DIRECTOR                       LINDA GRIFFIN, HIGHBRIIDGE SPRINGS

(5) DIRECTOR                       LYNETTE MACFEE, THE WATERWAYS COMPANY                           

(6) DIRECTOR                       PHILIP PARMER, PARMER PURE BY CULLIGAN2023 

 

2027 (4-YEAR TERM)

(7) DIRECTOR                       STEVE RAUPE, OZARKA WATER & COFFEE SERVICE

(8) DIRECTOR                       DAVE REDICK, STEELHEAD, INC.

(9) DIRECTOR                       ROBERT SMITH, GRAND SPRINGS DIST.

(10) DIRECTOR                     STEVE TAYLOR, MOUNTAIN VALLEY SPRING WATER

(11) DIRECTOR                     HOMER ZAPATA, CULLIGAN WATER OF SAN ANTONIO

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

The ASBWA Board of Directors

Bottled Water Reaches New Peaks in Revenue and Volume

Alexandria, VA – America’s favorite packaged drink – bottled water – reached new peaks in both volume consumed and sales in 2022 in the U.S., new data from the Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC) shows.  

Bottled water’s total volume sold in 2022 was 15.9 billion gallons, its highest volume ever, surpassing carbonated soft drinks for the seventh year in a row. In terms of retail dollars, 2022 sales approached $46 billion, up from $40.8 billion in 2021.

 

“Numerous qualities account for bottled water’s unceasing resonance with U.S. consumers, including its associations with healthfulness, convenience, safety, and value,” says John G. Rodwan, Jr., BMC’s editorial director.

“Consumers’ thirst for beverages that offer benefits beyond refreshment alone also contributed to the fundamental hydrating beverage’s rise in the beverage standings. Bottled water’s zero-calorie status and its lack of artificial ingredients appeal to many consumers. Even where tap water may be safe and readily available, people may prefer bottled water, which they often believe tastes better,” says Rodwan.

 

For more than a decade, consumers have been increasingly choosing bottled water instead of less-healthy packaged drinks. Bottled water’s volume surpassed soft drinks for the first time in 2016 and has done so every year since.

 

Americans consumed, on average, 46.5 gallons of bottled water in 2022, compared to 36 gallons of soda. Consumer demand for bottled water has significantly contributed to the industry’s growth (30% since 2012), as people continue to switch from other less-healthy packaged drinks to bottled water. So much so, that nine out of 10 Americans (91%) want bottled water to be available wherever other drinks are sold, according to a survey conducted on behalf of the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) by The Harris Poll. 

 

“People are choosing to drink bottled water because it is a healthy beverage choice, having zero calories and no caffeine or additives, and it has the added benefit of packaging that is 100% recyclable. Not only are bottled water containers 100% recyclable (including the cap) but they also use much less plastic than soda and other packaged beverages,” says Jill Culora, IBWA’s vice president of communications. 

 

Soda containers, on average, use 252% more PET plastic than bottled water containers (22.2 grams vs. 8.8 grams for 16.9-ounce containers). Soft drinks and other sugary beverages need thicker plastic containers due to their carbonation and/or bottling processes. 

 

Even with continuing growth and increased consumption, bottled water still has the smallest impact on the environment—thanks to the fact that it has the smallest water and energy use footprint of any packaged beverage. On average, only 1.39 liters of water (including the 1 liter of water consumed) and 0.21 mega joules of energy are used to produce 1 liter of finished bottled water.  

 

Most bottled water is packaged in 100% recyclable PET #1 plastic and HDPE #2 plastic, which are the plastics most recognized by consumers as being recyclable and the most recycled plastics in the world. Consumers can be confident about recycling bottled water containers because they are among the few consumer packaging types that are universally recyclable across the United States. Not all cities and towns recycle glass bottles and laminated paper cartons, which are most commonly comprised of multiple layers of paper, plastic, and aluminum or wax. 

 

Bottled water’s recyclability distinguishes it from other common plastic products that are truly “single use,” such as non-recyclable plastic items (e.g., straws, cutlery, and plates); certain food and goods packaging (e.g., film, heat-sealed and multi-layered laminate bags) and containers (e.g., non-PET, HDPE, and PC bottles and tubs). In addition, PET plastic bottled water containers are the most recognized by consumers as being recyclable, which is likely the reason why they are the most recycled containers in U.S. curbside recycling programs. PET plastic bottled water containers are a valuable resource because they can be recycled and used over and over again

 

Recycling facilities know that there is a huge industry demand for post-consumer PET and HDPE plastics. Many bottled water companies use recycled PET and HDPE plastic to create new bottles, which helps to reduce their environmental impact further because they aren’t using virgin plastic. 

Bottled water drinkers recycle more often than drinkers of other beverages. Of all the PET containers recycled through curbside collections systems, bottled water containers make up approximately 49%. Empty bottled water containers should always be returned or placed in a recycling bin, but when they are not, they make up 3.3% of all drink packaging that ends up in landfills, and only 0.02% of all landfill waste. 

           

Studies have shown that bottled water containers are also not a major source of ocean pollution and microplastics. The vast majority of ocean plastic comes from sources other than the United States. In fact, if the United States were to completely eliminate ALL plastic use, the effort would only result in a 0.25% reduction of ocean plastics, data from Oxford University’s Our World in Data website shows. A striking statistic is that bottled water accounts for less than 1.58% of all plastics used in the United States, which means we are talking about 1.58% of 0.25%. 

 

“Consumer preference for healthy hydration and bottled water is really good news for public health,” says Culora. “This is particularly important as the nation continues to experience high rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.”  

 

“Helping people make healthier choices is at the core of the bottled water business,” says Culora. “Consumers have made it clear that there’s a demand for safe, healthy, and convenient bottled water, as they are responsible for propelling bottled water to the title of America’s most popular packaged beverage, by volume.” 

 

Whether you are at home, in the office, or on the go, IBWA encourages all consumers to make healthy hydration a part of their lifestyle and select bottled water as their beverage of choice and always recycle their empty containers—with the caps on. 

For more information about bottled water, visit IBWA’s website: www.bottledwater.org

Affiliated States Bottled Water Association Announces New Board

AUSTIN, TEXAS (March 20, 2023) – AFFILIATED STATES BOTTLED WATER ASSOCIATION (ASBWA) is pleased to announce the appointment of the Association’s Interim Board of Directors. Leading the board is President Jay Trumbull, president of Trumbull Family Culligan, Panama City, FL; Vice President Craig Brewton, president of Aqua One, Amarillo, Texas; and Secretary/Treasurer Brian Rose, president of Texas Water House, Carrollton, TX. The Interim Board of Directors will lead the new organization until the first General Membership meeting takes place during the 2023 Convention & Product Fair. The 2023 ASBWA Convention will take place May 10-12, 2023, at the Grand Hyatt (San Antonio Riverwalk), San Antonio, TX. Register today at www.asbwa.org.

ASBWA Board Members include:

  • Joel Burger, Sequoyah Water LLC, Blue Ridge, GA

  • Clay Bell, Melwood Springs Water Co., Blue Ridge, GA

  • Malone Garrett, Nantze Springs, Inc., Dothan, AL

  • Linda Griffin, Highbridge Springs, Wilmore, KY

  • Lynette MacFee, The Waterways Company, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

  • Philip Parmer, Parmer Pure by Culligan, La Grange, GA

  • Steve Raupe, Ozarka Water and Coffee Service, Oklahoma City, OK

  • Dave Redick, Steelhead, Inc., San Antonio, TX

  • Robert Smith, Grand Springs Dist., Alton, VA

  • Steve Taylor, Mountain Valley Spring Water, Hot Springs, AR

  • Homer Zapata, Culligan Water of San Antonio, San Antonio, TX

 

“These leaders bring a wealth of industry and leadership experience to our new organization,” said Jay Trumbull, president. “Our goal is to provide small, medium, and large bottlers, distributors, suppliers, allied partners in water treatment and filtration, and professional members with an association that provides members valuable information to help you grow your business and provide ideas we can all share to run our businesses more effectively and efficiently.”

In 2023, the ASBWA has combined the former Mid-America Bottled Water Association (MABWA), Southeast Bottled Water Association (SEBWA), and the South Atlantic Bottled Water Association (SABWA). This allows us to have greater resources and the ability to serve a greater segment of the industry in exciting and new ways.

“We extend our sincere gratitude to all the past board members of the SEBWA, MABWA, and SABWA for your dedicated service to those organizations,” said. Trumbull.

For more information contact ASBWA at 512.894.4106 or 512.406.1167, or you can email Susan Gibson at susan@jsjproductionsinc.com, or go to https://www.asbwa.org.

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Bottled Water Reaches New Peaks in Revenue and Volume

Alexandria, VA – America’s favorite packaged drink – bottled water – reached new peaks in both volume consumed and sales in 2022 in the U.S., new data from the Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC) shows.  

Bottled water’s total volume sold in 2022 was 15.9 billion gallons, its highest volume ever, surpassing carbonated soft drinks for the seventh year in a row. In terms of retail dollars, 2022 sales approached $46 billion, up from $40.8 billion in 2021.

 

“Numerous qualities account for bottled water’s unceasing resonance with U.S. consumers, including its associations with healthfulness, convenience, safety, and value,” says John G. Rodwan, Jr., BMC’s editorial director.

“Consumers’ thirst for beverages that offer benefits beyond refreshment alone also contributed to the fundamental hydrating beverage’s rise in the beverage standings. Bottled water’s zero-calorie status and its lack of artificial ingredients appeal to many consumers. Even where tap water may be safe and readily available, people may prefer bottled water, which they often believe tastes better,” says Rodwan.

 

For more than a decade, consumers have been increasingly choosing bottled water instead of less-healthy packaged drinks. Bottled water’s volume surpassed soft drinks for the first time in 2016 and has done so every year since.

 

Americans consumed, on average, 46.5 gallons of bottled water in 2022, compared to 36 gallons of soda. Consumer demand for bottled water has significantly contributed to the industry’s growth (30% since 2012), as people continue to switch from other less-healthy packaged drinks to bottled water. So much so, that nine out of 10 Americans (91%) want bottled water to be available wherever other drinks are sold, according to a survey conducted on behalf of the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) by The Harris Poll. 

 

“People are choosing to drink bottled water because it is a healthy beverage choice, having zero calories and no caffeine or additives, and it has the added benefit of packaging that is 100% recyclable. Not only are bottled water containers 100% recyclable (including the cap) but they also use much less plastic than soda and other packaged beverages,” says Jill Culora, IBWA’s vice president of communications. 

 

Soda containers, on average, use 252% more PET plastic than bottled water containers (22.2 grams vs. 8.8 grams for 16.9-ounce containers). Soft drinks and other sugary beverages need thicker plastic containers due to their carbonation and/or bottling processes. 

 

Even with continuing growth and increased consumption, bottled water still has the smallest impact on the environment—thanks to the fact that it has the smallest water and energy use footprint of any packaged beverage. On average, only 1.39 liters of water (including the 1 liter of water consumed) and 0.21 mega joules of energy are used to produce 1 liter of finished bottled water.  

 

Most bottled water is packaged in 100% recyclable PET #1 plastic and HDPE #2 plastic, which are the plastics most recognized by consumers as being recyclable and the most recycled plastics in the world. Consumers can be confident about recycling bottled water containers because they are among the few consumer packaging types that are universally recyclable across the United States. Not all cities and towns recycle glass bottles and laminated paper cartons, which are most commonly comprised of multiple layers of paper, plastic, and aluminum or wax. 

 

Bottled water’s recyclability distinguishes it from other common plastic products that are truly “single use,” such as non-recyclable plastic items (e.g., straws, cutlery, and plates); certain food and goods packaging (e.g., film, heat-sealed and multi-layered laminate bags) and containers (e.g., non-PET, HDPE, and PC bottles and tubs). In addition, PET plastic bottled water containers are the most recognized by consumers as being recyclable, which is likely the reason why they are the most recycled containers in U.S. curbside recycling programs. PET plastic bottled water containers are a valuable resource because they can be recycled and used over and over again

 

Recycling facilities know that there is a huge industry demand for post-consumer PET and HDPE plastics. Many bottled water companies use recycled PET and HDPE plastic to create new bottles, which helps to reduce their environmental impact further because they aren’t using virgin plastic. 

Bottled water drinkers recycle more often than drinkers of other beverages. Of all the PET containers recycled through curbside collections systems, bottled water containers make up approximately 49%. Empty bottled water containers should always be returned or placed in a recycling bin, but when they are not, they make up 3.3% of all drink packaging that ends up in landfills, and only 0.02% of all landfill waste. 

           

Studies have shown that bottled water containers are also not a major source of ocean pollution and microplastics. The vast majority of ocean plastic comes from sources other than the United States. In fact, if the United States were to completely eliminate ALL plastic use, the effort would only result in a 0.25% reduction of ocean plastics, data from Oxford University’s Our World in Data website shows. A striking statistic is that bottled water accounts for less than 1.58% of all plastics used in the United States, which means we are talking about 1.58% of 0.25%. 

 

“Consumer preference for healthy hydration and bottled water is really good news for public health,” says Culora. “This is particularly important as the nation continues to experience high rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.”  

 

“Helping people make healthier choices is at the core of the bottled water business,” says Culora. “Consumers have made it clear that there’s a demand for safe, healthy, and convenient bottled water, as they are responsible for propelling bottled water to the title of America’s most popular packaged beverage, by volume.” 

 

Whether you are at home, in the office, or on the go, IBWA encourages all consumers to make healthy hydration a part of their lifestyle and select bottled water as their beverage of choice and always recycle their empty containers—with the caps on. 

For more information about bottled water, visit IBWA’s website: www.bottledwater.org

PFAS and Bottled Water

Alexandria, VA – Recent media attention about PFAS in tap water has resulted in a few articles being published with incorrect information about the quality and safety of bottled water. Provided below are the facts about PFAS and bottled water. Please keep these facts handy, now and for the future, should you need them. And please contact IBWA if you have any questions concerning this issue.

 

What Are PFAS?

PFAS—per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances—are a group of man-made chemicals that includes PFOA, PFOS, GenX, and many others. PFAS have been manufactured and used in a variety of industries around the globe, including in the United States, since the 1940s (but NOT bottled water companies). PFOA and PFOS have been the most extensively produced and studied of these chemicals. Both are very persistent in the environment and in the human body; in fact, they don’t break down and can accumulate over time. Evidence shows that exposure to PFAS may lead to adverse human health effects.

 

Drinking water regulations for PFAS

Currently, neither the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which regulates tap water, or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates bottled water, has enforceable regulations for PFAS in drinking water.

 

The EPA has a “proposed” regulation for six PFAS substances in tap water. By law, once the EPA PFAS regulation becomes final, FDA will have 180 days to either issue a corresponding regulation for bottled water or publish a rationale for why the EPA’s regulation is not applicable to bottled water. If FDA does neither within the prescribed time frame, then the EPA PFAS regulation will automatically become applicable to bottled water by operation of law. This ensures parity in the regulation of bottled water and tap water.

 

Bottled water industry testing and standards

While not required by FDA, the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) requires its members to test for 18 PFAS substances in all the products they sell. In addition, IBWA member companies must meet the following standards of quality (SOQs) for PFAS in their bottled water products:

  • 5 parts per trillion (ppt) for detection of a single PFAS compound

  • 10 ppt for detection of two or more PFAS compounds

 

IBWA’s PFAS actions underscore the commitment of IBWA members to always provide consumers with the safest and highest quality bottled water products. Testing for PFAS provides consumers, local and state governments, and disaster and emergency relief personnel further assurance that bottled water is a safe and convenient product for everyday use and in times of need when tap water is compromised.

 

In November 2019, IBWA asked FDA to establish a SOQ for PFAS in bottled water. FDA responded to IBWA’s request stating that “establishing an SOQ for PFAS in bottled water at this time would not significantly enhance FDA’s mission of public health protection.” This was based upon FDA’s testing and analysis of 30 different bottled water products, with none of them showing any detectable levels of PFAS.

 

More recently in June of this year, FDA released testing results for PFAS in fresh and processed foods and bottled water. The bottled water results were all negative.

 

Bottled water that is sourced from public water systems.

“Purified” bottled water that is made by using water from a public water system is not “just tap water in a bottle.” Once the tap water enters the bottled water plant, several processes are employed to ensure that it meets FDA’s “purified water” standard, which is based on the U.S. Pharmacopeia, 23rd Revision. These treatments can include reverse osmosis, distillation, or de-ionization. The finished water product, which is far different from the water from a public water system, is then placed in a bottle under sanitary conditions and sold to the consumer. 

 

Consumer access to information about PFAS in drinking water

Consumers who are concerned about PFAS in their drinking water should call their water provider (e.g., public water system or bottled water company). If consumers are not able to obtain the PFAS information they want from a bottled water bottler, they have the option to switch to another brand. The same can’t be said about their public water system.

 

In addition, consumers can check their local government website for PFAS information. For example, the state of Massachusetts has a PFAS information page (https://www.mass.gov/info-details/per-and-polyfluoroalkyl-substances-pfas) and towards the bottom of that page, under “additional information,” there is link to a list of bottled water brands that comply with MA PFAS drinking water standards. (https://www.mass.gov/doc/list-of-bottlers-march-31-2023)

 

Language from the MDPH website says:

“The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) Food Protection Program publishes a list of companies licensed to sell or distribute bottled water or carbonated non-alcoholic beverages in Massachusetts. The list includes bottling company weblinks to enable searches for products sold in Massachusetts. Licenses are renewed annually, and the MDPH list will be updated quarterly.

            The MDPH list includes only bottlers licensed by MDPH after they provided test results which show that their bottled water or beverages comply with drinking water standards for PFAS, and other contaminants established by:

  • The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection,

  • The US Environmental Protection Agency, and

  • The US Food and Drug Administration.”

 

Bottled water regulation and safety

Bottled water is comprehensively regulated by FDA and is among the safest food products on the market. Bottled water must comply with the general FDA good manufacturing practices (GMPs) for foods (21 CFR Part 117), specific bottled water GMPs (21 CFR Part 129), bottled water standards of identity (21 CFR 165.110 (a)) and bottled water standards of quality (21 CFR 165.110 (b)). By law, the SOQs for bottled water must be as protective of the public health as EPA’s regulations for tap water.

 

All bottled water products – whether from groundwater or public water sources – are produced utilizing a multi-barrier approach. From source to finished product, a multi-barrier approach helps prevent possible harmful contamination to the finished product as well as storage, production, and transportation equipment. Many of the steps in a multi-barrier system are effective in safeguarding bottled water from microbiological and other contamination. Measures in a multi-barrier approach may include one or more of the following: source protection, source monitoring, reverse osmosis, distillation, micro-filtration, carbon filtration, ozonation, and ultraviolet (UV) light.

 

For more information about bottled water, visit IBWA’s website: www.bottledwater.org

POU/POE viable for SDWA compliance, study finds

Contaminants, research, pou/poe, WQRF, SDWA, Community Water Systems

Study assessed public health, environmental and economic trade-offs.

LISLE, Ill., A research study funded by the Water Quality Research Foundation has been published in AWWA Water Science, a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal of research on the science, engineering and social aspects of water. The University of Massachusetts Amherst study demonstrates how Community Water Systems can examine three different factors together to determine whether it’s better to upgrade their centralized treatment plant or provide point-of-use or point-of-entry treatments to customers.

The researchers, Drs. Kaycie Lane, Emily Kumpel, John Tobiason and David Reckhow, examined environmental, economic, and public health impacts that these smaller water systems could review in determining how best to comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SWDA).  These small drinking water systems often suffer from repeated SDWA violations that necessitate upgrades to the existing centralized systems to achieve compliance.

Although POU/POE devices are usually quicker and easier to install than making centralized upgrades, increased regulatory burdens can significantly increase the cost and delay the timeline when these solutions are used for SDWA compliance. Even so, the study mathematically shows that over a 30-year period, POU/POE options can be cheaper, more environmentally sensitive, and quicker – providing greater health risk reductions to the community – than upgrading existing infrastructure. Newly built systems were not included in the study.

For example, the study featured the case of 50 New Hampshire residents whose water contained 1.6 times the legal limit of arsenic (as highlighted in a WQRF “One Minute for Water Research” video). The research determined that reverse osmosis systems could save the CWS $3,312 per resident, activated carbon filter could save $4,063 per resident, and in-home treatment could be implemented a full year sooner that treatment plant upgrades, saving residents from more arsenic exposure. The analysis determined that RO treatment was the most environmentally sustainable option, while central plant improvements were the least. An executive summary of the sustainability study is publicly available on the WQRF website, and WQA members have access to the full study.

For more information, go to wqrf.org

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