by Cord Prettyman
Master Personal Trainer


Bigfork, Montana 59911


By Appointment Only


Well, not everybody likes my column. What follows is an email I received regarding a column I wrote recently on Hydration that ran in the Courier newspaper.

“I read your article and while I can accept most of your comments, I have a huge problem with the last paragraph wherein you support “any of the bottled or functional waters” (except charcoal water) to quench your thirst.”

“Well then tap water is far less expensive and just as healthy even with the fluoride, chlorine and wealth of other disgusting additives.  We are learning about leaching of plastic into bottled water so why not bring that point out?”

The email continued, “You were pretty general and cavalier about what people, especially children, put in their bodies. Too bad you had a perfect opportunity to help people make better choices but you stopped short.”

Hmmm. What follows is an updated version of a column I wrote on bottled water in 2007 that my critic must have missed.

According to the research and consulting firm Beverage Marketing Corporation, for the first time ever, Americans drank more bottled water than soda in 2016. Given the deleterious effects of soda, that’s a good thing but, perhaps, consuming 12.8 billion gallons of a product that comes out of your kitchen faucet for a fraction of the cost, may not be all that intelligent.

Despite the fact that Americans have one of the cleanest public water supplies in the world with 94-percent of drinking water meeting federal standards, consumers have come to perceive tap water as inferior.

The bottled water industry doesn’t explicitly claim that their water is healthier or safer than municipal water. Their ads, however, with beautiful people next to glaciers, crystal blue streams and mountain springs certainly suggest it.

So, who’s selling the superior product – bottled water corporations or municipal governments?

The National Resources Defense Council – an environmental action organization – did a study of more than 1,000 bottles of 103 brands of bottled water. One-third of the bottled water contained some level of contamination, including synthetic organic chemicals, bacteria and arsenic.

Although the federal government and most states have bottled water safety standards, the NRDC claims bottle water regulations are inadequate to assure consumers of either purity or safety. The FDA is responsible for bottled water safety but their rules completely exempt water that is packaged and sold within the same state, which accounts for about 60 to 70-percent of all bottled water.

Even when bottled water is covered by FDA rules, they are subject to less rigorous testing and purity standards than those that apply to city tap water. For example, bottled water is required to be tested less frequently than municipal water and rules allow for some contamination by E-coli or fecal coli form, which tap water is not.

Supporting the case for tap water is the fact that 1.5 million barrels of oil are used each year to provide bottled water creating 2.7 million tons of plastic waste. And finally, 40-percent of all bottled water is derived from municipal tap water.

Cord Prettyman is a certified Master Personal Trainer and owner of Absolute Workout Fitness and Post-Re-hab Studio in Woodland Park.  He can be reached at 687-7437, by email at cordprettyman@msn.comor through his website at