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FAQ on Bottled Water

Why did Belmont discontinue the sale of bottled water?
Approximately 1.5 million barrels of oil-enough to run 100,000 cars for a whole year-are used to meet the U.S demand for plastic water bottles, and transporting these bottles burns even more oil. In addition, drinking water in Davidson County not only exceeds all federal and state standards standards for safety, it's also free! This campus-wide initiative furthers the university's efforts toward environmental sustainability and reduces beverage costs to students, faculty, staff and guests.

How do these bottles impact the environment?
The impact of bottled water on the planet is astounding:

  • Bottles used to package water take over 1,000 years to bio-degrade and if incinerated, they produce toxic fumes.
  • It is estimated that over 80% of all single-use water bottles used in the U.S. simply become "litter." Only 1 out of 5 bottles are sent to the recycle bin.
  • U.S. landfills are overflowing with 2 million tons of discarded water bottles alone.
  • It is estimated that actually 3 liters of water is used to package 1 liter of bottled water.

Aren't there health concerns about discontinuing bottled water?
Actually, purifiers are placed on water fountains that do not already have filters to ensure Belmont's drinking water is as safe and refreshing as possible. In addition, research indicates that bottled water may not be cleaner or safer than EPA-regulated tap water, especially given ongoing concerns about plastic leakage.

How do students, faculty and staff obtain drinking water while on campus?
BPA free, reusable water containers are available at a minimal cost. 

What alternatives are available to bottled water on campus?
In addition to water fountains throughout campus, water dispensers will be placed in the Curb Café and What's Bruin to allow for easy refills of reusable water containers. Hydration stations are also in place in McWhorter Hall and the Ayers (formerly Wedgewood) Academic Center. Also, Belmont Dining will continue to offer for sale a variety of sodas and sports drinks, including energy and vitamin waters. The university and Sodexo, the company behind Belmont Dining, will continue to investigate additional ways to make Belmont a more sustainable campus. Click here for more information.

How can "going green" with tap water save me money?
According to an article in the New York Times, "Ounce for ounce, bottled water costs more than gasoline... depending on the brand, it costs 250 to 10,000 times more than tap water. Globally, bottled water is now a $46 billion industry." According to one Web site, about 90 percent of manufacturer's costs is from making the bottle, label and cap.