Sunday, September 16, 2007


My readers generally agreed that bottled-water manufacturers should make it clearer when their water comes from the same source as tap water instead of from some mountainside spring. The fact that they don't, however, won't stop most of my readers from drinking it.

"To argue that (the source) shouldn't be on the label seems to be an argument for deception," writes Joe Read of Anaheim, Calif.

"Consumers deserve to know the source of bottled water in order to make the appropriate purchasing decisions," agrees Patrick Bouvier Fitzgerald Burris of Charlotte, N.C.

They'll get no argument from Dave Hosseini of Sacramento, Calif., but he's still drinking water.

"I am happy to have an option other than soft drinks at gas stations and other quick stops," Hosseini writes.

"I've held no illusions about Aquafina's water source," writes Susan Hammond of Irvine, Calif., "as the product I receive is bottled in Carson, Calif. -- which is pretty much industrial, commercial, residential flatland. Aquafina may be tap water, but its further processing...causes it to far exceed the taste of water from my own tap."

"It is too late to change our addiction to those little, handy (and reassuring) bottles," writes Carroll Straus of Orange County, Calif. "All we can do is demand petroleum-free bottles...and use common sense."

Check out other opinions at SOUND OFF: BOTTLED OR TAP? or post your own here by clicking on "comments" or "post a comment" below.Jeffrey L. Seglin, author of The Right Thing: Conscience, Profit and Personal Responsibility in Today's Business (Smith Kerr, 2006), is an associate professor at Emerson College in Boston, where he teaches writing and ethics. He is also the administrator of The Right Thing, a Web log focused on ethical issues.

Do you have ethical questions that you need answered? Send them to or to "The Right Thing," The New York Times Syndicate, 500 Seventh Avenue, 8th floor, New York, NY 10018. Please remember to tell me who you are, where you're from, as well as where you read the column.

c.2007 The New York Times Syndicate (Distributed by The New York Times Syndicate)

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