What am I Drinking? - pretend to be writing an article for the schools newspaper and compare bottled water to tap water including different brands of bottled water.

Essay by elusive_butterflyHigh School, 11th gradeA+, June 2008

download word file, 6 pages 3.0

In light of the Walkerton incident in May 2000, many people, including students at our school, are considering bottled water over the water in their taps. Bottled water sales have leaped substantially since this time because a majority of the population believes that it is a safer alternative to tap water.

To begin an analysis of the validity of such a statement, we must first learn the government regulations on drinking water and on bottled water. The Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality address the issue of microbiological, chemical and radiological contaminants. Microscopic organisms such as pathogenic bacteria and viruses are what pose a risk to health. When testing water for these contaminants, no traces must be found for the water to be declared safe to drink. The government puts stringent guidelines on this because the health effects can be deadly. The chemical parameters are also closely monitored as not to exceed maximum levels so that health is not affected.

Bottled water in Canada is regulated under division 12 of the Food and Drug Act.

Generally bottled water is taken from any source and treated by distillation, carbonation, ozonation or any other means to make it safer to drink. After treatment, the water must comply with the regulatory requirements for coliform and bacteria. The label must mention how the water has been treated.

Bottled water labelled "mineral" or "spring" however must come from an underground source and cannot contain added chemicals other than ozone or carbon dioxide to preserve freshness. Mineral water has a higher quantity of dissolved salts than spring water. According to the Health Regulations it must not contain any harmful substances or bacteria at the source.

Now that we know what Health Canada and the Food and Drug act expect of the quality of water, let's take...