I noticed that the jugs of water we use at the compounding pharmacy have an expiration date. This got me thinking, does water expire? The first thing I checked was whether or not the government requires expiration dates on bottle water.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says “there is no limit to the shelf life of bottled water,” and the FDA also doesn’t require bottled water manufactures to include an expiration date.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that for emergencies bottled water, if properly stored in a cool dry place, away from toxic chemicals, pesticides and gasolines (since some plastics can be permeable), is the safest type of water to have on hand.
If the bottles, or jugs, are stored improperly there is a chance that chemicals from certain plastics could leach into the water causing a bad taste or even possible harm to the drinker. If the bottle gets hot enough for a long period of time it could leach a potential carcinogen that has been tied to lung and heart problems.
Although they say this, they also mention that most likely this wouldn’t occur in the first two years after manufacture and all sources say “could leach” and I saw no cases mentioned anywhere. My verdict is that the water will be safe to drink and if it tastes funny, either don’t drink it, or in an emergency. boil it first.
So why is the expiration date there, I found two reasons I’ll buy. 1) The manufacturer of the bottled water have this technology in place to stamp all the bottles, water or not, in the facility and they are not going to have a whole new set-up just because it’s plain old water 2) The manufacturer knows that many people seeing and expired date will throw out the product and buy more.