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Old 8th March 2007, 02:41 PM   #1
Baron Samedi
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Bottled water warning

I just read about bottled water from Armenia being labeled dangerous by the FDA. Here's a link to the story:

http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/story/200...r-arsenic.html

What I find amusing is this part here:

Quote:
The Jermuk brands, which were distributed across the United States and have been recalled, include:
  • Jermuk Original Sparkling Natural Mineral Water Fortified With Natural Gas From The Spring, imported by Zetlian Bakery Inc. of Pico Rivera, Calif.

Mmmm.... nothing says goodness like "fortified with natural gas".
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Old 8th March 2007, 08:29 PM   #2
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That'll put hair on your back..
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Old 8th March 2007, 09:14 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Baron Samedi View Post
Mmmm.... nothing says goodness like "fortified with natural gas".
Is that like Derrier Water?
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Old 8th March 2007, 09:20 PM   #4
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I still like the Sprite commercials that show the bear peeing in the natural spring.
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Old 8th March 2007, 10:14 PM   #5
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Beer has strength,

Wine has thought,

Water has...bacteria.
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Old 9th March 2007, 12:10 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Baron Samedi View Post
I just read about bottled water from Armenia being labeled dangerous by the FDA. Here's a link to the story:

http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/story/200...r-arsenic.html

What I find amusing is this part here:




Mmmm.... nothing says goodness like "fortified with natural gas".
"Natural gas" in this case is most likely a crummy translation. What the original (the text on the bottles sold in Armenia) probably meant was "Fortified with the naturally occuring carbon dioxide gas from the spring."

In German, "Natural gas" is "Erdgas" which means "gas from the earth." I'm probably going to bungle this, but "natural gas" would translate literally as "Natuerliches Gas." "Gas" being in German any kind of matter in the form of a gas. When referring to bottled water, "Gas" always means "carbon dioxide gas."

I know Germany is not Armenia. I'm just using German to illustrate the difficulties of translating not just the words, but the cultural content that surrounds the use of those words.

So, yeah, the text sounds funny but I wouldn't expect the water to be full of flammable natural gas.
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Old 9th March 2007, 12:18 AM   #7
Dustin Kesselberg
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Originally Posted by MortFurd View Post
"Natural gas" in this case is most likely a crummy translation. What the original (the text on the bottles sold in Armenia) probably meant was "Fortified with the naturally occuring carbon dioxide gas from the spring."

In German, "Natural gas" is "Erdgas" which means "gas from the earth." I'm probably going to bungle this, but "natural gas" would translate literally as "Natuerliches Gas." "Gas" being in German any kind of matter in the form of a gas. When referring to bottled water, "Gas" always means "carbon dioxide gas."

I know Germany is not Armenia. I'm just using German to illustrate the difficulties of translating not just the words, but the cultural content that surrounds the use of those words.

So, yeah, the text sounds funny but I wouldn't expect the water to be full of flammable natural gas.

Nope, They contain 500 to 600 micro grams of arsenic per liter.
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Old 9th March 2007, 12:43 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Dustin View Post
Nope, They contain 500 to 600 micro grams of arsenic per liter.
I was talking about the "natural gas" comment, which looks funny but doesn't really mean that there's a flammable gas in your water.

Arsenic is a poisonous metalloid element, and you don't want any of that in your water. I didn't say or imply that there's no arsenic in the Armenian bottled water.

No natural gas. Arsenic content as described in the report.
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Old 9th March 2007, 01:03 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by kittynh View Post
I still like the Sprite commercials that show the bear peeing in the natural spring.
How very true that is. Natural water - nature's sceptic tank.
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Old 9th March 2007, 01:06 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Slimething View Post
Is that like Derrier Water?


Brilliant!
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Old 9th March 2007, 02:11 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Corpse Cruncher View Post
How very true that is. Natural water - nature's sceptic tank.
Originally Posted by W.C Fields
Never drink water. Fish f*** in it.
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Old 9th March 2007, 03:12 AM   #12
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Tap water. 99+% natural. Safer than any other drink.
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Old 9th March 2007, 07:13 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by MortFurd View Post
Originally Posted by W.C Fields
Never drink water. Fish f*** in it.

Mmmmmm.... creamy.
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Old 9th March 2007, 07:27 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by MortFurd View Post
"Natural gas" in this case is most likely a crummy translation. What the original (the text on the bottles sold in Armenia) probably meant was "Fortified with the naturally occuring carbon dioxide gas from the spring."

In German, "Natural gas" is "Erdgas" which means "gas from the earth." I'm probably going to bungle this, but "natural gas" would translate literally as "Natuerliches Gas." "Gas" being in German any kind of matter in the form of a gas. When referring to bottled water, "Gas" always means "carbon dioxide gas."

I know Germany is not Armenia. I'm just using German to illustrate the difficulties of translating not just the words, but the cultural content that surrounds the use of those words.

So, yeah, the text sounds funny but I wouldn't expect the water to be full of flammable natural gas.
In fact, the natural gas comment is likely only there because of differences in labelling regulations. Almost all (if not actuall all) sparkling water is not actually taken straight from a spring and bottled. It is taken from a spring, cleaned and filtered and then has the sparkle reintroduced. When it is advertised as "naturally sparkling" what they actually mean is that the water in the spring has CO2 in it and the same CO2 that was taken out of it in processing is put back in, rather than using evil artificial CO2. The same is true for water that naturally contains minerals. This means that there is always a standard amount of things in it and so the labels are accurate when they state there is a certain amount of whatever in it. I would guess that Armenian labels state this explicitly, and so the translation also does. It only seems amusing because people don't realise this is exactly what happens with their normal bottled water as well.
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Old 9th March 2007, 07:49 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Cuddles View Post
In fact, the natural gas comment is likely only there because of differences in labelling regulations. Almost all (if not actuall all) sparkling water is not actually taken straight from a spring and bottled. It is taken from a spring, cleaned and filtered and then has the sparkle reintroduced. When it is advertised as "naturally sparkling" what they actually mean is that the water in the spring has CO2 in it and the same CO2 that was taken out of it in processing is put back in, rather than using evil artificial CO2. The same is true for water that naturally contains minerals. This means that there is always a standard amount of things in it and so the labels are accurate when they state there is a certain amount of whatever in it. I would guess that Armenian labels state this explicitly, and so the translation also does. It only seems amusing because people don't realise this is exactly what happens with their normal bottled water as well.
I'm confused (which isn't rare). They filter the water, remove the stuff, and then put all the stuff back in? What am I missing here, since this sounds very silly to me.
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Old 9th March 2007, 07:55 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Baron Samedi View Post
I'm confused (which isn't rare). They filter the water, remove the stuff, and then put all the stuff back in? What am I missing here, since this sounds very silly to me.
Food has to be standard. If a label says "0.1g calcium", the bottle has to contain 0.1g of calcium, within certain error limits. Water coming straight out of a spring has no such regulation and so different bottles could contain thousands of times more or less than is claimed, which is illegal in most places and could be very dangerous. This isn't a problem for some mineral water, where the minerals are simply added in production. For water that is advertised as containg naturally occuring minerals however, the water must genuinely contain them naturally, so taking them out and then putting them back in standard amounts is the only solution, or at least the only one that I know of. I can't guarantee this is true for all mineral water, but it certainly true for a lot of it, and it seems a reasonable explanation for the wording on the Armenian label.

It is indeed very silly, but with the hang-up people have with the word "natural" these days it is presumably still profitable.
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Old 9th March 2007, 08:06 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by MortFurd View Post
I'm just using German to illustrate the difficulties of translating not just the words, but the cultural content that surrounds the use of those words.
Do you mean it's sort of like with Russian, where scientists have to talk about vortexes in polite society because "black hole" has an entirely different cultural meaning?
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Old 9th March 2007, 08:07 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Cuddles View Post
Food has to be standard. If a label says "0.1g calcium", the bottle has to contain 0.1g of calcium, within certain error limits. Water coming straight out of a spring has no such regulation and so different bottles could contain thousands of times more or less than is claimed, which is illegal in most places and could be very dangerous. This isn't a problem for some mineral water, where the minerals are simply added in production. For water that is advertised as containg naturally occuring minerals however, the water must genuinely contain them naturally, so taking them out and then putting them back in standard amounts is the only solution, or at least the only one that I know of. I can't guarantee this is true for all mineral water, but it certainly true for a lot of it, and it seems a reasonable explanation for the wording on the Armenian label.

It is indeed very silly, but with the hang-up people have with the word "natural" these days it is presumably still profitable.
Right. I forgot about that labeling on the side, "Content per serving: Sodium 0g; Glucose 2g; Carbon 2g; Arsenic 500 µg" etc. Thank you kindly for this!
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Old 9th March 2007, 08:14 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by MortFurd View Post

So, yeah, the text sounds funny but I wouldn't expect the water to be full of flammable natural gas.
Wasn't there a notable explosion in england because of this very issue I remember seeing something about it on an engineering disaster show
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Old 9th March 2007, 08:22 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Beady View Post
Do you mean it's sort of like with Russian, where scientists have to talk about vortexes in polite society because "black hole" has an entirely different cultural meaning?
I don't know what "black hole" would be in Russian, though I could make a guess that it's something like a cornhole. That would be the kind of thing I'm talking about. A literal translation that doesn't mean anything like what it looks like it would.

Another good example would be "Kohlensauere." This is a common (in Germany) way to refer to the carbonation in bottled water. The usual translation for that is "Carbonic Acid," and I don't expect you'd get many takers when trying to push that in the US: "St. Medardus Quelle - All natural spring water with natural carbonic acid." (St. Medardus Quelle - Natuerliche Mineralwasser mit natuerlichem Kohlensaeure." All it really means is naturally carbonated spring water, but it doesn't sound too yummy to American ears.
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Old 9th March 2007, 08:33 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Cuddles View Post
Food has to be standard. If a label says "0.1g calcium", the bottle has to contain 0.1g of calcium, within certain error limits. Water coming straight out of a spring has no such regulation and so different bottles could contain thousands of times more or less than is claimed, which is illegal in most places and could be very dangerous. This isn't a problem for some mineral water, where the minerals are simply added in production. For water that is advertised as containg naturally occuring minerals however, the water must genuinely contain them naturally, so taking them out and then putting them back in standard amounts is the only solution, or at least the only one that I know of. I can't guarantee this is true for all mineral water, but it certainly true for a lot of it, and it seems a reasonable explanation for the wording on the Armenian label.

It is indeed very silly, but with the hang-up people have with the word "natural" these days it is presumably still profitable.
One of the things that tickles me about mineral water is that (at least here in Germany,) bottled water doesn't have to meet the same standards as tap water. Most folks still prefer mineral water here, though.

One of my favorite incidents with the mineral water/tap water thing occurred here in a small village. The local water supply was from a well that was drilled in the village. The water was piped to all the houses, so it falls under the tap water laws. The water wasn't clean enough to meet those regulations, so the federal government told the folks they couldn't use their tap water for drinking or cooking. The tap water did meet the less strict bottled water requirements, though, so the folks just got themselves some bottles, labeled them "Natural mineral water" and filled them from the tap. When anybody came to check, they'd find the village folks all drinking and cooking with bottled water - all copacetic.

This story was on a TV program about ten years ago, and the program was about highlighting stupid bureaucratic non-sense. I expect the situation has been changed, but it was funny.
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Old 9th March 2007, 08:44 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Wasn't there a notable explosion in england because of this very issue I remember seeing something about it on an engineering disaster show
I've never heard of that incident. Even so, I doubt the bottlers would have been advertising that they had natural gas (flammable stuff) in the water. Since the bottling plant exploded, it seems more like the gas snuck when the bottlers weren't expecting it.


I did some searching, and couldn't find anything about a bottling plant explosion in England. I got about gazillion hits on "water bottling England explosion." Too much crap do sort through.
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Old 10th March 2007, 08:21 AM   #23
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#14 Cuddles

I am always rather puzzled by bottled water. In England I never buy it as tap water has nothing wrong with it and tastes fine to me. I do not travel as much as I used to, but when I was in Egypt a while back I did, as advised, use only bottled water. Do you know where this would have been bottled? How would I know if it was properly purified I wonder? Are there a few simple links which would provide information on this? I'd appreciate any comments.
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Old 11th March 2007, 09:13 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Dustin View Post
There's a famous saying..

Beer has strength,

Wine has thought,

Water has...bacteria.
I prefer W.C. Fields take on it...

"Never drink water. Fish fornicate in it."



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Old 12th March 2007, 08:53 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by SusanB-M1 View Post
#14 Cuddles

I am always rather puzzled by bottled water. In England I never buy it as tap water has nothing wrong with it and tastes fine to me. I do not travel as much as I used to, but when I was in Egypt a while back I did, as advised, use only bottled water. Do you know where this would have been bottled? How would I know if it was properly purified I wonder? Are there a few simple links which would provide information on this? I'd appreciate any comments.
I would guess that you would have to contact specific manufacturers or their regulatory bodies to find that out. The British regulations are here, but that does not say anything about other countries, or whether regulations have actually been followed. I think that most mineral water is international, so it will tend to be safe. For example, Evian comes from the French alps. Whether you buy it in Egypt or Britain you get water from France, so it is likely to be safer than either potentially unsafe local water, or local bottled water with unknown safety procedures.

One important thing to note is that "Natural Mineral Water" and "Spring Water" are very specific phrases that refer to water that genuinely is straight from the spring without any processing allowed. Waters labelled with these (hopefully) do not go through the processing I've described. However, many advertise themselves as "Water naturally rich in minerals" or similar, which sounds the same but does not carry the same regulations. Interestingly I found this article in New Scientist from 1997 about the problems with mineral water. The current regulations are part of a law from 1999, so it is possible that the situation with taking stuff out and putting it straight back in is not as common now and so things are not as silly as I thought they were.
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Old 12th March 2007, 09:15 AM   #26
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Well this is deffinately disconserting! As the water here is only barely drinkable, much of the water that is consumed is bottled, and I'm rather surprised this wasn't caught earlier. Arsenic is rediculously easy to detect, you'd figure it'd be near the top of the list of things to test for in drinking water. Around here, arsenic was used at one time very heavily as an insecticide, so a lot of soil and water is contaminated, and has to be checked, but I guess it's not as major of a concern on the other side of the ocean?

And the natural gas thing is funny!
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Old 12th March 2007, 12:45 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Crazycowbob View Post
Well this is deffinately disconserting! As the water here is only barely drinkable, much of the water that is consumed is bottled, and I'm rather surprised this wasn't caught earlier. Arsenic is rediculously easy to detect, you'd figure it'd be near the top of the list of things to test for in drinking water. Around here, arsenic was used at one time very heavily as an insecticide, so a lot of soil and water is contaminated, and has to be checked, but I guess it's not as major of a concern on the other side of the ocean?

And the natural gas thing is funny!

"Drink Jermuk, fortified with natural gas for heavenly Blue Angels!"
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Old 12th March 2007, 03:09 PM   #28
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I am fortified with natural gas. It comes from eating a lot of fiber. Does that make me classy?
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Old 12th March 2007, 04:50 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Dogdoctor View Post
I am fortified with natural gas. It comes from eating a lot of fiber. Does that make me classy?

Yes, but only because you can blame it on the dog
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Old 13th March 2007, 11:04 AM   #30
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#25 Cuddles

Thank you for your reply and the links which I have had a look at. It is reassuring to know that buying, say, Evian water anywhere means that it comes from France. I suppose it's a whole separate question about how much global warming is caused by such vast quantities of plastic bottles containing water being shipped around the world. One can only hope that the health benefits to the people drinking the water make it worth while.
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Old 13th March 2007, 12:41 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by SusanB-M1 View Post
#25 Cuddles

Thank you for your reply and the links which I have had a look at. It is reassuring to know that buying, say, Evian water anywhere means that it comes from France. I suppose it's a whole separate question about how much global warming is caused by such vast quantities of plastic bottles containing water being shipped around the world. One can only hope that the health benefits to the people drinking the water make it worth while.
Forget the global warming, how much extra lung cancer is out there from the added transportation exhaust? Mmmmmm... truck fumes are yummy. Or chemical residue from manufacturing the plastic bottles? Or from the chemicals needed to sterilize the water? Or from all the added pretty ink for the labeling which now leeches into my local groundwater supply and causing me to buy more water from France?
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Old 14th March 2007, 11:17 AM   #32
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Too true, unfortunately. Recycling collection here includes plastic bottles of that type, but as I think I mentioned I am quite happy with the tap water.
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Old 14th March 2007, 11:44 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by SusanB-M1 View Post
Too true, unfortunately. Recycling collection here includes plastic bottles of that type, but as I think I mentioned I am quite happy with the tap water.
Recycling still takes energy, transportation costs, gas, fuel, chemicals to bleach and treat the plastic, etc., on top of the material and waste to originally create the plastic, vs. just opening a tap. It's a pet peeve of mine when people tell me that their bottled water is more healthy than the tap water. Healthier for who, the people dealing with all these extra chemicals from the plastic bottles? And besides, most bottled water is sourced from "<insert city name here> municipal water supply", so the water itself isn't that different.

Besides, I'm just a cheap bugger. If I'm going to spend any sort of money on a pint of beverage, it better have alcohol in it.
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Old 15th March 2007, 01:42 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Baron Samedi View Post
Recycling still takes energy, transportation costs, gas, fuel, chemicals to bleach and treat the plastic, etc., on top of the material and waste to originally create the plastic, vs. just opening a tap. It's a pet peeve of mine when people tell me that their bottled water is more healthy than the tap water. Healthier for who, the people dealing with all these extra chemicals from the plastic bottles? And besides, most bottled water is sourced from "<insert city name here> municipal water supply", so the water itself isn't that different.
Yes, I've given up asking people why they think their bottled water is healthier.
Also I wonder about the water itself. If it goes into the bottle straight from some spring or other, then surely there must be bacteria etc in it. So why does it not go off in the bottle. I suppose the answer is because it is vacuum sealed or something.
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Old 16th March 2007, 06:53 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by SusanB-M1 View Post
Yes, I've given up asking people why they think their bottled water is healthier.
Also I wonder about the water itself. If it goes into the bottle straight from some spring or other, then surely there must be bacteria etc in it. So why does it not go off in the bottle. I suppose the answer is because it is vacuum sealed or something.
That's explained a bit in one of the links I posted, or somewhere that they link to. Bascially, most bottled water is processed to death, so it is sterile. Of course, exactly the same methods are used to sterilise it as are used with tap water, so there really is no difference between the two. "Natural Mineral Water" and "Spring Water" are legally not allowed to be processed at all. Instead they make sure the water doesn't contain dangerous amounts of anything and then put it straight in a sealed bottle so nothing else can get in.

Water can't really "go off" though. Things go off because they are eaten by mould and bacteria and the like, but water doesn't provide any food for them. There will be small amounts of organic stuff in it, but presumably not enough for bacteria to breed to dangerous levels.
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Old 18th March 2007, 08:25 AM   #36
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Cuddles
Thank you. When the subject comes up in conversation, I shall in future be much more assertive about the pros and cons!
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Old 19th March 2007, 08:03 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by SusanB-M1 View Post
Cuddles
Thank you. When the subject comes up in conversation, I shall in future be much more assertive about the pros and cons!
Just don't forget location when arguing pros and cons, since they may not apply the same in civilized areas as they would in third world countries, Mexico, and Lubbock...
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Old 19th March 2007, 08:16 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by MortFurd View Post
I've never heard of that incident. Even so, I doubt the bottlers would have been advertising that they had natural gas (flammable stuff) in the water. Since the bottling plant exploded, it seems more like the gas snuck when the bottlers weren't expecting it.


I did some searching, and couldn't find anything about a bottling plant explosion in England. I got about gazillion hits on "water bottling England explosion." Too much crap do sort through.
Migrating landfill gas that seeped out somewhere and went boom would be my guess.
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Old 19th March 2007, 12:11 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by SusanB-M1 View Post
Yes, I've given up asking people why they think their bottled water is healthier.
Also I wonder about the water itself. If it goes into the bottle straight from some spring or other, then surely there must be bacteria etc in it. So why does it not go off in the bottle. I suppose the answer is because it is vacuum sealed or something.
Reminds me on an excursion I made with some _very natural living and very christian_ people to the "Ötscher Graben" (A beutyful narrow valley in austria).
It was summer. It was _really_ hot and dry. And it is a long way, about 15 miles, mostly upwards. Some of the participants had 1 litre bottles of bottled water with them (ways not enough, and others were drinking beer (!) at a resting station about half the way up) - and the bottles wer empty after 1/3 of the walk. I had a half litre bottle of normal water with me and refilled it at springs we found (there are little springs every few meters there, it's part of the chalk-alps) and had enough water for the whole time. Some of the participants suffered from thirst after half of the distance, but refused to take some of the spring water, which is filtered and mineralized through hundreds of meters of chalk rocks.
This water is cleaner than every water you can buy in bottles, but they refused, and one of them was very close to a breakdown whe we arrived at our goal.

Stupidity rules.
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Old 19th March 2007, 01:01 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Wasn't there a notable explosion in england because of this very issue I remember seeing something about it on an engineering disaster show
The only natural gas explosion in England (that I know of) was the Ronan Point explosion.
But that was nothing to do with bottled water - it was a gas leakage in a block of flats.
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