The pitch: Quench your thirst with water from a pristine spring, exotic island or other place that looks nice on the label.
The truth: Where to start? First of all, you’re probably paying more than a dollar per gallon for the stuff. Many brands’ dirty little secret is that they use plain old tap water and treat it with minerals or chemicals. The Natural Resources Defense Council even found that some brands contain contaminants. In 2005, 2 million tons of plastic from the bottles themselves wound up in landfills — even though the bottles are recyclable.
The exception: If you’re on vacation in a country where the tap water can’t be trusted.
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