Position Statement

Bottled Water Regulation, Safety and Quality: Stringent Chromium Standards


Bottled water must meet specific and stringent Standards of Quality (SOQs) as dictated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates bottled water as a packaged food product. As required by law, all bottled water manufacturers monitor and test for total chromium, which includes the chromium 6 ion. Currently, the FDA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – which regulates tap water – have set a standard for total chromium of 100 parts-per-billion (ppb). The bottled water industry complies with all federal and state Standards of Quality and other applicable laws and regulations.


In addition, members of the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) have established a more stringent standard of 50 ppb. This standard is contained in the IBWA Model Code, which requires monitoring and testing for this and other constituencies in source water and finished bottled water products. Under the IBWA Model Code, all IBWA member bottlers are subject to annual, unannounced plant inspections by an independent third party to ensure compliance with this and other standards. Further, IBWA members employ a multi-barrier approach to ensure that consumers enjoy safe, high quality, bottled water products. The multi-barrier approach includes source protection, source monitoring, reverse osmosis, distillation, filtration, ozonation or ultraviolet (UV) light.


The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is the authoritative source of information about all types of bottled waters. Founded in 1958, IBWA member companies account for more than 80 percent of all bottled water sales in the U.S. IBWA’s membership includes U.S. and international bottlers, distributors and suppliers. IBWA is committed to working with state and federal governments, in concert with the IBWA Model Code, to set stringent bottled water standards for safe, high quality products. Consumers can contact IBWA at 1-800-WATER-11 or log onto IBWA’s web site ( for more information about bottled water and a list of members’ brands.