Bottled water, in spite of its phenomenal popularity, may be neither safer nor more healthful than tap water. Some studies have found that tap water tends to have lower bacterial counts than bottled, and that some bottled waters are out of line with standards for tap water. In other cases, bottled water is just packaged tap water.
In addition, bottled water is costly and bulky. Plastic containers are not as heavy as glass, but they can affect the taste of the water inside.
There’s another, big reason to avoid bottled water: It’s a disaster for the environment. Millions of tons of plastic are used every year to make water bottles; disposing of these bottles contributes to air pollution. If you like to carry water with you, buy a reusable metal water bottle or a BPA-free hard plastic one.
The FDA regulates bottled-water safety using the same EPA standards applied to tap water. If you buy bottled water, you’re probably better off buying brands bottled by members of the International Bottled Water Association; NSF inspects their plants.