The evolving, tragicomic slide show, The Story of Bottled Water, explores the phenomenal growth of the industry, the recent challenges to its adverse environmental impacts, and some of the extremes reached in the creative marketing of packaged water. To this day, the story continues.
My interest in bottled water developed in 1980 after I obtained 101 finished drinking waters from Missouri public water supplies and analyzed them for total organic carbon (using the newly introduced low-level TOC analyzer) and total bacterial cell counts (using epfluorescent microscopy). I compared the results with waters then being sold in glass, often colored glass, bottles. Thereafter, friends and associates began bringing me bottles of water from an increasing array of venues. Tracking the development and marketing of these products then became a hobby.
Full disclosure. I drink tap water.
The Story of Bottled Water has been updated. The original file has been removed and a modified Story is now appended.
We are grateful to those who take the time to make comments, offer corrections and share insights.