Australia town bans bottled water

Bottled water manufacturers are not required to disclose as much information as municipal water utilities because of gaps in federal oversight authority, according to reports released yesterday by government auditors.

Bottom line: The Food and Drug Administration oversees bottled water, and U.S. EPA is in charge of tap water. FDA lacks the regulatory authority of EPA, John Stephenson of the Government Accountability Office told a House panel.

The Safe Drinking Water Act empowers EPA to require water testing by certified laboratories and that violations be reported within a specified time frame. Public water systems must also provide reports to customers about their water, noting its source, evidence of contaminants and compliance with regulations, New York Times reports.

According to Reuters the residents of Budanoon, a small town in Australia, have taken a more radical approach by voting to ban the stuff altogether.

After the near-unanimous vote at a town meeting this week, the residents let out a triumphant cheer. On the same say, the premier of the state of New South Wales banned the state government from buying bottled water.

For Australia, it's "time for people to realize they're being conned by the bottled water industry," said Jon Dee, one of the people behind the campaign in Bundanoon, a town of about 2,500 residents near Syndey.