Legislation would establish federal standard for bottled water

Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) introduced legislation on Thursday that would replace a patchwork of state regulations for bottled water standards with a universal federal standard and require regular testing.

The Bottled Water Quality Information Act would establish a national, uniform bottled water standard and require companies to conduct regular water quality tests. Companies would then keep water quality test results and a brief summary of a product’s processing or treatment methods on file for public inspection upon request.

“Companies throughout the United States face increasing uncertainty due to a patchwork of laws that vary from state to state,” Ellmers said. “In order to help alleviate these problems, I introduced new legislation (on Thursday) known as the Bottled Water Quality Information Act.”

Consumer product companies would be able to provide bottled water to victims of natural disasters if the legislation were signed into law. Differing bottling standards from state to state currently contribute to unnecessary delays in providing relief.

“This legislation will ensure that we have one, national, uniform standard for bottled water quality reports,” Ellmers said. “It will also allow the public to obtain the information they need regarding the safety and quality of the bottled water they consume. This is an important step to providing these businesses with a less burdensome process, while also making consumers’ lives easier.”

Robert Smith, the owner of a small North Carolina-based bottled water company called Pure Water, said the legislation would make it easier for companies like his to compete in the marketplace.

“Having a federal standard that provides consumers with uniform and consistent information on bottled water safety and quality is important for expanding my access to other markets,” Smith said. “And, it also helps to continue our industry’s tradition of providing consumers with information about the bottled water products they buy.”