Cities Tout Municipal Tap Water as Better Than Bottled

Read the full story in Governing.

Six years ago, the Fiji Water company made headlines for a cheeky advertising campaign that quipped, “The label says Fiji because it’s not bottled in Cleveland.” Naturally, the ads suggested, bottled spring water imported from the South Pacific must be better than tap water from northeast Ohio. Right?

Well, no. In response to the ads, Cleveland tested its city water against the Fiji brand. What it found was that the bottled water contained 6.3 micrograms of arsenic per liter; the city’s tap water was arsenic free. Fiji apologized for its faux pas — or is that eau pas? — but the story is still gleefully repeated by water utility directors, who will tell you that tap water is almost always better than bottled.

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