The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a packaged food product comprehensively regulate bottled water. By law, the FDA regulations for bottled water must be at least as stringent as the Environmental Protection Agency standards for tap water. And, in some cases such as lead, coliform bacteria, and E. coli, bottled water regulations are substantially more stringent than EPA rules for tap water safety.
Bottled water has an impressive safety record – There have been no major outbreaks of illness or serious safety concerns associated with bottled water in the past decade, an FDA official stated in testimony before a July 9, 2009 Congressional hearing. Conversely, as noted in the Drinking Water Research Foundation's (DWRF) 2013 report, "Microbial Health Risks of Regulated Drinking Waters in the United States," EPA researchers reported an estimated 16.4 million cases of acute gastrointestinal illness per year are caused by tap water. Subsequent research has estimated that number of illnesses to be closer to 19.5 million cases per year In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that waterborne diseases, such as Cryptosporidiosis and Giardiasis, cost the U.S. healthcare system as much as $539 million a year in hospital expenses.