Man talking(l+r), Waterloo sparkling water boxes(c)

The Image Party/Shutterstock @live__oasis/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘Not a ‘drinking water’ is crazy’: Is Waterloo Sparkling Water hiding something from customers?

“It’s all I drink…stopping immediately.”

 

Rachel Kiley

Trending

A TikToker is raising red flags after trying to find out what’s in a brand’s bottled water and being shut down by the company. While he formerly looked into Costco’s Kirkland bottled water, he’s now turned his attention to Waterloo sparkling water.

Cormac (@live__oasis) recently shared a series of emails he exchanged with Waterloo asking for more information about their flavored sparkling water. At first, the company appeared happy to comply, explaining its process for removing impurities from the water and sharing other notes.

“Our products also meet all federal and local guidelines with regard to water quality, including heavy metals,” the company wrote. “Waterloo is free from fluoride, sodium, chlorine, and a large list of other compounds. The filtration process we use is very effective at removing these impurities.”

However, Cormac specifically wanted a copy of the company’s bottled water report—an official document prepared annually that includes information such as the source of the water, the maximum contaminant level, and information about product recalls. But when he followed up, asking for the actual PDF not once, but twice, he was turned away.

“While we appreciate your curiosity and persistence, Waterloo does not publish nor share water reports from the locations our products are manufactured,” reads the alleged follow-up email.

And when Cormac pointed out California law requires any companies that sell bottled water within the state to provide this report to customers upon request, he was unsatisfied with the response.

“Their argument to me was because they’re a ‘flavored water,’ they’re not a ‘drinking water,’ and therefore they don’t need to share what’s in their water,” he explained.

Their corresponding email suggested that Waterloo Sparkling Water products “are classified as carbonated soft drinks,” as they do not meet the requirements to be considered bottled water.

According to the California Department of Public Health, water that contains sweeteners, acidifying agents, vitamins, chemical additives, or more than 500 parts per million of total dissolved solids isn’t considered bottled water. They specifically cite soda water, seltzer water, and tonic water as being considered soft drinks, which do not fall under the purview of the state’s requirements for disclosure.

However, both sparkling bottled water and flavored water are listed as bottled water categories, so long as they don’t include any of the ingredients above. This leaves the question of where Waterloo products fall murky without further information.

@live__oasis Waterloo doesnt want you to know whats in their water. All we know is it comes from tap water and uses reverse osmosis. #waterloo #oasis #health ♬ original sound – estwne

The TikToker wasn’t the only one put off by Waterloo’s apparent disinterest in transparency with their customers. His video, which has been viewed over 700,000 times as of Thursday afternoon, received a number of concerned comments and declarations from people who say they won’t be drinking Waterloo Sparkling Water anymore as a result.

“It’s all I drink…stopping immediately,” wrote one user.

“Not a ‘drinking water’ is crazy,” another pointed out.

“That’s scary lowk,” a third chimed in. “Like idk i really value companies that simply let us know what we’re consuming and the quality of it.”

Cormac told the Daily Dot that he has not heard from Waterloo further following the company’s claim that its products are not considered drinking water.

“Our mission is to share the data and provide transparency around products people consume,” he said via email. “We hope this inspires brands to do the same.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Waterloo via the contact form on its website.

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