The San Francisco Chronicle reported yesterday that independent tests of bottled water found that Sam's Choice Purified Water wasn't all that pure. And that: Walmart's... store brands, bore the chemical signature of standard municipal water treatment....
In other words, this bottled water was chemically indistinguishable from tap water. The only striking difference: the price tag.
Worse, the water tested from stores in Mountain View and Oakland, California as well as Fayetteville, North Carolina were not a safe to drink as the tap water in those commuities.
The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization with offices in Oakland, tested 10 brands of bottled water and found that Wal-Mart's Sam's Choice contained chemical levels that exceeded legal limits in California and the voluntary standards adopted by the industry. The tests discovered an average of eight contaminants in each brand. Four brands besides Wal-Mart's also were contaminated with bacteria. The environmental group filed a notice of intent to sue Wal-Mart Tuesday, alleging that the mega-chain failed to warn the public of illegal concentrations of trihalomethanes, which are cancer-causing chemicals. "The investigation has uncovered that consumers cannot be assured of the quality of their bottled water," said Olga Naidenko, a toxicologist at the Environmental Working Group and lead author of the bottled-water study.
I've always known that the whole fear-driven culture of drinking bottled water was a scam. The drinking water that comes from your tap is made safe and monitored by public officials responsible to local government and subject to local sanction or prosecution if it they fail to do their jobs. No one truly knows anything about what comes in a plastic bottle other than what they read on the pretty lable. Purified Water indeed. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.


  1. Integrity is NOT integral to the WalMart philosophy.Integrity is not their intent. I am not content with their intent.

  2. UncleBob says:

    This makes me sad. I’m not surprised though.

    I have no defense for Walmart on this one. šŸ™

  3. […] This is a perfect example of why Free Markets must be restrained by regulation. If the people, in the form of their elected representative government, didn’t have the power to ensure that words mean what they’re supposed to mean, then we all end up dying from drinking purified water. […]

  4. Jake says:

    LOL!! this makes me laugh. WHO FREAKIN CARES!

  5. Jeff Hess says:

    Shalom Jake,

    First, thank you for caring enough to stop in, for caring enough to read and, most importantly, for caring enough to give us your time in the form of writing a comment. Building a community is all about caring enough to engage in the conversation.

    Gee, I guess that answers your question doesn’t it? Thank you for freakin’ caring.



  6. Barbara says:

    I drink bottled water, usually distilled but purified too. I read this study or one like it awhile back and made a mental not to buy Sam’s Choice…….so
    what they have done because they know there’s lots of dummies out there like me is Enlarge the word PURIFIED and made their sam’s choice smaller.
    As I just bought some…………and will now throw it away. I live in Las Vegas where our water is high on the list as being safe but I just don’t like the taste of it………….thus the bottled water.

  7. Jeff Hess says:

    Shalom Barbara,

    First, thank you for stopping in, for reading and, most importantly, for taking the time to share your information with us. We build our community with our conversations.

    Thank you for the update. If you haven’t thrown the bottles away yet, please snap a picture of one of the bottles and send it to us. I’d love to post it.

    I don’t buy bottled water myself, but I agree that the chlorine can sometimes make the taste less than pleasant. Here’s two ideas:

    The cheapest solution is to get two large pitchers/jars. Fill one with tap water and cover the top with a piece of pager so that the chlorine can out-gas but dust won’t accumulate.

    After 24 hours pour the water back and forth between the two containers to re-aerate it and then put the container in the refrigerator to chill and fill the second container and allow it to out-gas.

    After you drink the water in the first container, repeat the process of re-aeration with the water in the second container.

    If that’s too much hassle and you don’t mind a small expense, get a Bria water pitcher.



  8. I use a water filter . . . cheap and effective.

  9. Jeff Hess says:

    Shalom Someone,

    On your tap?



  10. Yes. I can taste the difference.

  11. Jeff Hess says:

    Shalom Someone,

    I’ve considered the tap option for a number of years, specially now that you can bypass the filter when you’re not running water for drinking.

    How often do you have to change your cartridges?



  12. When the indicator changes color. Every couple of months.

  13. Donna Canney says:

    I am an Aquafina fan because of the taste and how it acts in my electric kettle. When I heat only Aquafina in it, there is zero residue over at least 2 years. We tried another kind (I think it was Sams Choice) and it immediately produced a large amount of a white flocculent precipitate that completely ruined the electrode. This happened about a year ago with a new kettle. I wonder if the contaminants caused this. Do you think the water might be any different now, since it has been criticized publicly?

  14. Jackie says:

    I will trust Walmart any day before any study out of San Francisco or the government. Certain people have been trying to destroy Walmart for years.I have been drinking Sam’s choice for years, still going strong. Many people younger that I in this town have died of cancer from drinking our brown ugly tasting water. Our household is very sad that we cannot buy Sam’s choice now.
    San Francisco is a Nancy Pelosi tragedy.

  15. Jeff Hess says:

    Shalom Jackie,

    First, thank you for stopping in, for reading and, most importantly, for taking the time share your view. We build our community with our conversations.

    Given Walmart’s history with consumer protection, I’d rethink my position if I were you.



  16. Water lover says:

    On the side of the label Sam’s choice clearly mentions it’sĀ purifiedĀ with reverse osmosis orĀ distillationĀ making it about as pure as you can get.Ā 

    It;s also worthy of note the guide lines for contaminants on bottled water are far moreĀ stringentĀ then that for public water sources. Bottled water has a zero tolerance level for e-coli in the water supply, public water has a % allowed and a # of tests for e-coli they can fail per year without consequence.

    I’m much happier drinking purified water then wondering if I’m slurping fecal bacteria with every swalllow.

  17. Kimberlee R Frye says:

    August 5, 2016.
    Topic: Sam’s Choice Bottled Water

    My nephew’s lips turned red, throat and mouth were burning, and his face was blotchy after taking one sip from an unopened bottle. Water was purchased at the Shallotte, NC Walmart. He was taken to the ER when the symptoms didn’t subside. ER checked him over and said they were unable to test water.

    I tried a sip as well as my mother with the same results. I want this water tested.

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