Medical Breakthroughs: Reusing Your Water Bottles

Ask most any bottled water drinker and they'll tell you they reuse their bottles, filling them time and again with tap water. It's a practice that's practical and handy, and could make you sick.

Reusing bottles over and over may save money, but what's really swirling around inside? In a recent stud in Livonia. Four water bottles by different people were tested to see how clean their bottle really was.

The results were astounding. Three of the four bottles had bacteria to be concerned about. By comparison a brand new bottle of water should have a bacteria count of less than one. In Michigan public swimming pools should have bacteria counts of less than 200. In the test on the water bottles one o the bottles had 500 bacteria, another 4600.

While the bacteria count is not enough to kill you it could certainly make you sick with a stomach ache, vomiting or diarrhea. Another concern, one of the bottles contained high levels of a bacteria group called Coliforms. Any Coliform is considered unsafe because it raises the risk more dangerous bacteria like fecal coliform or even E. Coli may be in the water.

Experts say you should really only refill your water bottle once or twice in a day then toss it out. If you insist on reusing your bottle make sure you wash it thoroughly with hot soapy water after every use and let it dry completely before you refill it.