Aquafina bottled water's image seems designed to evoke purity. The label features an orange sun peeking out from behind a mountain range, the product description reads "purified drinking water" and the back states that it is "bottled at the source."
So it came as a surprise to some customers when they found out that the source in question is no pristine mountain stream but a public water source. In other words, Aquafina is purified tap water, as its manufacturer, PepsiCo Inc., announced in 2007.
The FDA's rule regarding purified water is quite clear, according to Seibel. She pointed to a response the FDA published in 1995, when the issue of potentially misleading graphics on bottled water was raised during the rule's comment period. The FDA pointed to a section of the law that "explicitly exempts" purified water from the source disclosure requirement. The agency was not concerned with potentially misleading graphics on bottles of purified water because it concluded that consumers bought the water because it was purified, not because it came from a particular source, and Aquafina met the FDA's definition of purity.