Labels on expensive bottled water may lead us to think the water inside comes from pristine springs or has amazing healing powers. But bottled water companies don't have to tell us what is in those bottles.
EWG decided to look at what they do tell us. And the story can be summed up in a few words: not much.
Here in California, bottled water labels must show both the source of the water and two ways for you to request a water quality report from the company.
EWG's just-released 2011 Bottled Water Scorecard grades more than 170 bottled waters -- with more than 90 purchased right here -- on the information they do or do not disclose on their labels and websites.
When we looked for answers to obvious questions -- Where does the water come from? Is it purified? How? Have tests found any contaminants? -- nine out of the ten best-selling brands didn't answer at least one of those questions. And only 24 percent of the bottles purchased in California complied with state law. That's less than bottles purchased in other states.
President, Environmental Working Group