Bottled Water Must Meet Stringent Regulation, Safety and Production Standards
According to a recent national survey conducted for the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) by Wirthlin Worldwide, only 42 percent of Americans store water for drinking and personal hygiene as a precaution for possible emergencies such as hurricanes, floods, fires, storms or natural or man-made incidents that can affect supplies of clean drinking water. Both the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the American Red Cross recommend that households store a minimum three-day supply of drinking water for emergencies, at least one gallon per person per day.
"The survey findings show that most Americans have a bit further to go for emergency preparation," said Stephen R. Kay, IBWA Vice President of Communications. "While it is important that consumers store water from any source, they will find that properly stored bottled water is an excellent resource for emergency preparedness."
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which comprehensively regulates bottled water, has not established a shelf life for bottled water. IBWA advises consumers to store bottled water in properly sealed containers at room temperature (or cooler), out of direct sunlight and away from solvents and chemicals such as gasoline, paint thinner, household cleaners and dry cleaning chemicals.
Bottled water is an excellent choice for emergency preparedness as it is highly regulated by stringent federal and state regulations and industry standards that help ensure its consistent safety and quality. FDA regulates bottled water as a packaged food product and, by law, FDA's bottled water regulations must be at least as stringent as the U.S. Environmental Agency's (EPA) standards for public water. Bottled water also must meet state regulations; and all IBWA members must adhere to the IBWA Model Code with standards that are, in some cases, more stringent than FDA, state or EPA public drinking water standards. The IBWA Model Code requires all bottler members to undergo an annual, unannounced plant inspection by an internationally recognized third-party inspection organization.