Retail prices for bottled water vary widely depending on location and whether you buy it in bulk or one bottle at a time. At convenience stores, consumers typically pay about a dollar a liter. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that tap water costs about $0.002 a gallon – that’s two-tenths of a penny – so the cost of bottled water stacks up to be 1,900 times more than tap water.
At that price, bottled water consumers should at least get a guarantee of purity, but that’s not the case. Scientific testing by EWG and others has found a slew of contaminants in bottled waters, including disinfection byproducts, industrial chemicals and bacteria.
According to the EPA, “bottled water is not necessarily safer than tap water,” so EWG recommends that consumers save their money and drink filtered tap water instead.