This segment was originally broadcast on Oct. 16, 2005.
The following is a weekly 60 Minutes commentary by
A lot of people aren't drinking the water that comes out of their faucets these days. Bottled water has become a $9 billion business.
One of the most popular brands, Poland Spring water, isn't Polish; it's from Poland Spring, Maine. A pint costs $1.35 in the CBS cafeteria. Now just think about that. There are eight pints in a gallon, so if your car ran on water instead of gas and you had to fill a 15-gallon tank with this, it would cost $162 to fill your tank with water.
Evian says it's the official bottled water of the U.S. Open.
Beech Nut added fluoride to its water, if you have a craving for fluoride. It carries a warning. "This is not an oral electrolyte solution. Do not use to manage diarrhea."
Thanks for the warning, Beech Nut; I'll be careful not to do that.
Volvic comes from France, a long way to bring a bottle of water.
Saratoga Spring Water. Ultra Pure Hawaii Water. It says its source is a virgin rainforest. When does a rainforest lose its virginity, anyway? It comes in a fancy bottle. I'll bet that bottle costs more than the water.
Dasani is owned by Coca Cola. It says the water is treated by reverse osmosis. I thought I tasted something funny.
Rooney took some of the bottles to a testing laboratory called Yorktown Environmental Services to see what was in them.
"From all the waters I've seen that are bottled waters, and I probably haven't tested all of them, but they are very much dead water…. They have nothing in them. I drink tap water," says lab owner and water expert Al Padovani.
He says the water that you get out of a municipal supply or a well supply has more chemicals that the body needs.
My office is on the same floor with the staff of the The Early Show, about 60 people. Almost all the women working there have a bottle on their desks. It's like a security blanket. It's always there. They carry it with them whereever they go. I think more women than men drink bottled water, too.
Out by the elevator here there's a water fountain. The water is cooled, very good, and the filter is changed regularly. I have never seen anyone drink this free water.
So, maybe I'll try to get in on this bottled-water boom.
We've designed a Rooney water bottle. And I'm going to fill it from the fountain here and see if I can sell it to the women on this floor for $1.25.
By Andy Rooney