If You Have This Bottled Water at Home, Stop Drinking It Now, FDA Says

John Quinn
·5 min read

You know hydration is key to your overall well-being. But if you're getting your H20 intake via a certain brand of bottled water, it could actually be posing a danger to your health rather than keeping you in tip-top shape. According to a new report this week from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a brand of bottled water has been potentially linked to several cases of non-viral hepatitis in children, and the agency is now urging everyone to stay away. To make sure your water is safe to drink, read on, and for more "good for you" items in your home you need to avoid, check out If You Take This Medication, U.S. Officials Have a New Warning for You.

The FDA says at least five children and infants came down with non-viral hepatitis, with a potential link to Real Water.

On Mar. 16, the FDA reported on five cases of acute non-viral hepatitis, which resulted in acute liver failure in a handful of infants and young children in Nevada. While the cause is unknown and the patients have recovered since getting sick in Nov. 2020, the only common link between them seemed to be that they all consumed Real Water bottled alkaline water. Additional people from the children’s four households also fell ill, but with less severe symptoms, including "fever, vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite and fatigue," according to the FDA's report.

Now, the FDA is urging people not to drink or cook with Real Water.

Frank Yiannas, deputy commissioner for Food Policy and Response at the FDA, released a statement telling Americans to avoid drinking bottled water from Real Water. “We are advising consumers, restaurants and retailers to not consume, cook with, sell or serve 'Real Water' alkaline water until more information is known about the cause of the illnesses," he said.

The products in question include: 5-gallon containers (sold through home delivery and subscription services), bottles (sold online and in stores), and Real Water concentrate (sold online). And for another danger that could be lurking in your home, know that If You're Cooking Your Food in This, Stop Now, FDA Says.

The water was sold via home delivery in at least five states.

According to the FDA, 5-gallon containers of Real Water were delivered to homes in Hawaii, California, Utah, and Arizona, in addition to Nevada, where the outbreak was. So if you get your water delivered via any of the following services, the agency says to not use it:

  • Tucson, Arizona through Aqua Pure

  • Ventura and Santa Barbara, California through Real Water Gold Coast

  • Orange County, California through Paradise Bottling Company

  • Honolulu, Hawaii through Aloha Water

  • St. George, Utah through Real Water Southern Utah

Investigations are currently ongoing with the FDA and CDC.

Yiannas' statement said that the FDA is currently conducting an investigation into any link between Real Water and these medical incidents. “The FDA is committed to protecting the health of Americans and is especially concerned when there is a food safety issue impacting our youngest, and some of the most vulnerable in the population—infants and young children," he said. "Upon learning about reports of acute non-viral hepatitis in Nevada, impacting five young children, the FDA quickly activated a team to further investigate. We are working closely with the CDC, state and local partners to complete our investigation and monitor for any additional illnesses.”

He added: "Although the investigation is ongoing, epidemiologic information currently indicates that this alkaline water product may be the cause of the illnesses.” And for more health news delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Consumers are urged to watch for symptoms.

All types of hepatitis produce similar symptoms, including fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay or gray-colored bowel movements, joint pain, yellow eyes, and jaundice. Anyone experiencing these at any time should immediately contact their doctor, the FDA says. And for more on what your bathroom habits say about your health, check out If Your Urine Is This Color, Call Your Doctor.

One of the families who got sick has sued the company behind Real Water.

One Las Vegas family, including a toddler and his parents, suffered health complications that they allege came as a result of drinking Real Water. Emely and Christopher Brian Wren and their 2-year-old son, Christopher Noah Wren, all got sick while their daughter didn't drink the water and didn't come down with any illness, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

Both the toddler and his father were hospitalized, while Emely faced extreme nausea and fatigue. Now, they are suing the company behind Real Water, Affinitylifestyles.com Inc., saying in court documents: “Defendants’ bottled water was defective and unreasonably dangerous in that Defendants failed to provide warnings about elevated levels of toxins in their products."

After the FDA report and the lawsuit were filed on Mar. 16, Real Water released the following statement on their website: "We are saddened to hear of the potential health issue of the product from our Real Water Las Vegas Home Delivery operation. We, at Real Water, take the safety of our products and concern for our customer’s health seriously. Real Water takes great strides in every way to make sure our product is safe for consumption. Our goal is to diligently work with the FDA to achieve a swift resolution."

Though they note the potential problem arose in Las Vegas, the company has stopped selling and distributing Real Water throughout the U.S. "until the issue is resolved." Real Water is asking retailers to "pull the product from the shelf, effective immediately, and hold it in the back rooms or return it to the distributors." As for customers, they instruct anyone who has purchased Real Water to return it. And for another product that's been connected to a serious outbreak, beware that If You Have This Sauce at Home, Get Rid of It Now, FDA Says.