How Long Does Bottled Water Last?

According to the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the adequate daily fluid intake is approximately 3.7 liters of fluids a day for men and 2.7 liters of fluids a day for women. No wonder why Americans consumed 15 billion gallons of bottled water in 2020 [Source: IBWA]. Based on our consumption of water, it is really no wonder the CDC recommends have a supply at home for emergencies. For those curious, the recommendation is at least 1 gallon of water per person per day for at least 2 weeks for drinking and sanitation purposes. For those of us who have stacked a few cases of bottled water there is an important question. How long is the shelf life?

You’ve probably noticed that your favorite bottled water has an expiration date indicated on its label. Does it mean water expires?

Water Bottles and Chemicals

Water does not expire. As a natural substance, water is safe and stable for life. However, if you thought the expiration date on your favorite bottled water must be there for a reason, you are absolutely correct. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not require bottled water to indicate an expiration date; however, most bottled water companies do so to safeguard the best interest of their consumers. 

While water, in and of itself, does not expire, the same cannot be said about water bottles. Some plastic water bottles chemically degrade over time, especially under high temperatures. Chemicals, like BPA, start seeping into the water when the bottled water is, for instance, left in a hot car, exposed to high temperatures during distribution, or stored in a hot area.

Studies have long linked BPA to many health risks, such as certain types of cancer, diabetes, infertility and other reproductive issues, delayed fetal development, and many more. 

So should you drink bottled water after its expiration date?

It is always a good idea to err on the side of caution. However, if you kept bottled water in an ideal storing condition, meaning to say, in a cool place or a temperature-controlled area and protected from the sun and away from chemicals, it is probably harmless to drink bottled water past its expiration date.

Bottled Water Expiration Dates

Water Storage Best Practices

Bottled water is a convenient, on-the-go solution to stay hydrated. It is handy during trips, outdoor activities, and emergencies. But storing bottled water can be tricky. Below are a few tips to help ensure you get the best out of your bottled water:

  1. Store water in a cool location away from direct sunlight. High temperatures can affect the potability of water and have adverse harmful effects.
  2. Keep bottled water away from strong and harmful chemicals at home, including pesticides, household cleaning supplies, paint, and many more. Strong chemicals may elicit a reaction from plastic water bottles and potentially create health risks.
  3. Refrigerate opened bottles of water to keep them fresh.
  4. Multiple-use water bottles must be thoroughly cleaned.

Conclusion

Although water does not expire, it is in your best interest to check the expiration date of bottled water before you open a bottle. Do not drink past the said date to avoid ingesting chemicals that may have seeped into the water. If possible, only drink bottled water in PET, rPET, Aluminum or Glass containers.  

At CustomWater, we provide certified clean and safe bottled water in PET, rPET and Aluminum drinking containers. Consumer and environmental safety are our main priorities as we bottle great-tasting water. Please, give us a call and we can discuss your project needs and answer any additional questions you may have.