International Bottled Water Association | MEDIA RELEASE | August 6, 2014
During emergencies or natural disasters, bottled water is always there when you need it
Alexandria, VA – The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) reminds consumers and government officials that during challenging times, such as a natural disaster, emergency, or other event that causes tap water to be unsafe or unavailable, the bottled water industry remains committed to ensuring that safe, quality bottled water is provided to emergency support organizations, city and state governments, relief centers, retailers, and other points of distribution.
The bottled water industry has always been at the forefront of relief efforts during emergencies or natural disasters. This was seen most recently when IBWA members immediately stepped forward to provide the citizens of Toledo, Ohio, with safe, clean, bottled water when the public water system was contaminated by a toxin from an algae bloom in Lake Erie. Throughout the years, bottled water companies have responded to the need for clean water after incidents such as the 2013 chemical spill in Charleston, West Virginia; Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina; and numerous floods, wild fires, and earthquakes.
“These events serve as stark reminders for people to take a moment to re-assess their risks and update emergency plans,” said IBWA president and CEO, Joe Doss. “While catastrophic situations are thankfully rare, boil alerts and other types of public water system disruptions are frequent occurrences across the country. In addition, continued volatility in weather across the nation only reinforces the importance of always being prepared for unexpected and dangerous weather.”
IBWA understands that consumers must have access to safe, clean drinking water during emergency situations. Smart planning and preparing for one’s water needs can make a big difference in the ability to get through and recover from an emergency situation or natural disaster. When preparing for a natural disaster or other emergency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) specifically recommends that store-bought bottled water be part of your supplies; at least one gallon per-person, per-day for three days. Storing bottled water is a safe, convenient, way to ensure that you have an adequate supply of water on hand.
IBWA recently released a new video that highlights the important role bottled water plays during these types of emergency situations.
The bottled water industry also supports a strong public water system, which is important for providing citizens with clean and safe drinking water. In fact, many bottled water companies use public water sources for their products. Once that water enters the bottled water plant several processes are employed to ensure that it meets the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s purified water standard. These treatments may include one or more of the following: reverse osmosis, distillation, micro-filtration, carbon filtration, ozonation, and ultraviolet (UV) light. The finished water product is then placed in a bottle under sanitary conditions and sold to the consumer.
More information about bottled water can be found at www.bottledwater.org.
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NOTE: Photos/head shots available upon request
The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is the authoritative source of information about all types of bottled waters, including spring, mineral, purified, artesian, and sparkling. Founded in 1958, IBWA’s membership includes U.S. and international bottlers, distributors and suppliers. IBWA is committed to working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates bottled water as a packaged food product, to set comprehensive and stringent standards for safe, high-quality bottled water products.
In addition to FDA regulations, IBWA member bottlers must adhere to the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice, which mandates additional standards and practices that in some cases are more stringent than federal and state regulations. A key feature of the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice is a mandatory annual plant inspection by an independent, third-party organization.
IBWA is proud to be a partner with Keep America Beautiful and a supporter of Drink Up, an initiative of former First Lady Michelle Obama and the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), which encourages Americans to drink more water more often – whether from the tap, a filter, or in a bottle. Choosing water is always the healthy choice.