Tapped, 2009, USA

By Jennifer Hanson

This documentary examines the bottled water industry and the damage it is doing to small town water supplies, the environment and human healthy.  In the past few years, bottled water has become extraordinarily popular, and it has created a perception that tap water is “unsafe”.

I very rarely purchase bottled water.  I’ll buy it, maybe, twice a year, if I’m desperately thirsty and don’t happen to have my reusable water bottle with me.  The fact is, 40 per cent of it is filtered tap water, according to the documentary.  Most people have no reason to purchase bottled water, because there are excellent water filtration systems available.  I drink a lot of water, and have a Brita water filter.  I fill it up a few times a day, and the water is excellent. Even when I have to drink tap water, I don’t mind, because Winnipeg’s tap water is delicious.

The bottled water industry is almost completely unregulated.  This actually makes it less safe than tap water, which is strictly regulated.  The bottles water comes in contain a variety of different chemicals that leach into the water.  They are also made using rendered crude oil, so millions of gallons of a non-renewable resource is going into the production of bottles that often end up in a landfill or in the ocean.

Nobody could call this documentary unbiased.  Many representatives from the bottle water industry were edited in an almost mocking way.  But the information presented is so important.  As a society, we often purchase products without thinking of the consequences they have for the world around us.  Bottled water hurts water supplies, the environment and even our own bodies.  Here in Winnipeg we are so lucky to have access to clean and delicious water, so why should we spend money on bottled water?  A litre of bottled water costs more than a litre of gasoline!

When the “general public” gets into a legal battle with a major corporation, they need all of the help and publicity they can get.  The makers of this documentary have done a great service to the small towns currently fighting Nestle, Coca-Cola and Pepsi.  Hopefully this film will help inform the public of the harm bottled water does.  While we may assume that it is safer or healthier than tap water, that is simply not the case.

If you are looking for an unbiased look at the bottled water industry, I would suggest you skip this documentary.  But if you are interested in learning more about the effect bottle water has on the planet, I’d highly recommend you watch this film, which is available on Netflix.


  1. I’ll definitely be checking this one out!

  2. Working at a grocery store it boggles my mind how much people spend on bottled water. Both of my bosses buy and drink two bottles a shift, spending hundreds of dollars a year in the process. I myself am a reusable bottle guy when it comes to water. Also rarely purchase brand named water. I want to check this film out but am a little scared to see the statistics on this subject.

    PS – I agree. Winnipeg tap water is delicious, lol.

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