Does Evian Give You the Runs? Verdict Inconclusive

May 23, 2007

100_0565-13.jpgI’ve had lots of bottled waters but have to admit that I’d never tried the much-vaunted French H2O, Evian, until this weekend. Walgreen’s has it on sale this week for $1 for a large 1-liter bottle, which makes this usually pricey item affordable to me, and thus worth a try. I have to say, it’s pretty good, not as soft as I might have expected, but nicely neutral with no hint of plastic that I can detect; the product comes in what seems to be a pretty good grade of hard PET plastic. By chance, I was store hopping on my bike on Sunday and crossed paths with my next door neighbors. I mentioned to them that I had just bought this Evian for the first time and the good lady informed me that she had tried it once and got such a severe case of the runs that she was laid up for a day. “That’s ’cause it’s mineral water,” she explained. Sounded kinda unpersuasive to me. Although Evian does have a lot of dissolved minerals, I don’t think they’d cause diarrhea. As it turns out, though, I’ve been a little excessively “regular” ever since I started drinking this stuff a few days ago, but that’s probably because I concurrently developed a craving for raisins that I have satisfied to excess by downing handfuls of the sweet shriveled grapes. I think it can be reasonably assumed that my regularity-in-overdrive can be attributed to this, not the water.

Anyway, there is another question that comes up in regard to Evian that I can’t seem to find a good, conclusive answer for (at least in searching the discussion boards via google)—and that is: Why is there a tiny “do not refill” command on the label?

The various posited internet speculations include things such as:

** “Evian knows that if consumers are so stupid to buy bottled water in the first place they will blindly follow any command on the bottle and continue to spend more money on new bottles instead of refilling them.”

** “The plastic in the bottles begins breaking down immediately, putting excess chemicals into the water.”

** “Unscrupulous entrepreneurs and bartenders have refilled empty Evian bottles with tap water and sold them as new.”

All, some or none of these may be true, or not.

Since the 1-800-633-3363 Evian consumer number is printed right next to the warning, I decided to go ahead and give them a call and ask.

A rep by the name of Sofien politely explained: “Evian is bottled under strict sanitary conditions,” which are not replicated when consumers refill and reseal the bottles.

So Evian considers it a customer safety issue. I find it hard to argue with that reasoning. Whether it’s entirely true or not is up to you.

-EG

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