People Are Saying That This Bottled Water Brand Tastes Like “Old Socks”

bottled water old socks

Bottled water, if purified and packaged correctly, should be colorless, tasteless, and certainly odorless. However, customers in Canada are reporting that several bottled water brands are selling product that stinks of “urine” and “diarrhea.” And those brave enough to give the smelly water a taste report that it has a flavor similar to that of “old socks.” Um — that’s absolutely vile.

According to CBC News, which obtained four years’ worth of government inspection documents, Dasani, Real Canadian, and Refreshe have all been stricken with reports of foul odor and taste. Some batches of bottled water were even found to have high sulphur levels.

Furthermore, the reports also documented that firms such as Canadian Shield Natural Spring Water are operating in “filthy conditions.” At some point during the four years in question, Canadian Shield was pumping their water in a plant located behind an amusement park that had no safety testing facilities nor bathroom or hand washing stations for employees, CBC reports.

Other inspection reports outline issues like excess moisture trapped under the bottle caps, “complications related to factory air compressors,” and “conspicuous levels of sulphur,” according to the CBC writeup.

These reports, which contain 800 pages of information logged by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), were completed between 2014 and 2018.

Despite the reports and customer concern, the CFIA did not identify structural health or safety problems related to the smelly water, and have assured the public that the questionable water does not pose a danger.

“Yes, there were issues, but all of them were resolved,” Elizabeth Griswold, executive director of the Canadian Bottled Water Association, and who reviewed the CFIA inspection reports for CBC News, told the site.

“Health Canada and the CFIA do a great job ensuring bottled water sold is safe. And this report confirms it.”

However, after one customer reported Dasani, a Coca-Cola owned brand, smelled “off,” the CFIA opened up five bottles and confirmed the customer’s concern.

Dasani then disclosed to the CFIA that it had received four other complains about the same “moldy/musty odor.”

“We concluded that the unusual odor was from additional moisture on the bottles from rinsing prior to being packaged into cases.… Incidents such as this one are isolated,”company spokesperson Shannon Denny responded.

And when half a dozen customers complained of a “poo” smell coming from Real Canadian bottled water purchased from No Frills, owned by parent company Loblaw Companies Ltd., the CFIA said the smells reported “are typically associated with spoilage microorganisms and are not considered [indicative of] pathogens of public health concern.”

Catherine Thomas, senior director of external communication for Loblaw Companies, told CBC that the stench was caused by a faulty air filtering system within the facility.

The company “immediately took action to resolve it,” Thomas said.

Similarly, when a customer reported their Refreshe water smelled like “urine,” inspection concluded that the water contained high amounts of sulphur for apparently no reason.

“To be honest with you, no idea why it is high,” a Refreshe spokesperson said to CBC. “Concerning our source, nothing changed, and all the parameters are good.”



Situations were handled where and when they needed to be, and the CFIA reports that besides the two voluntary recalls of bottled water that occurred within the four years under scrutiny, no other public health risk was noted.

It looks like Canadians are just going to have to let the gross bottled water scandal slide.


And honestly, it’s stories like these that should urge us all to drink regular old tap water. Save the plastic and your nostrils.

Of course, tap water is a touchy subject.

Depending on where you live, drinking from the tap may or may not be such a great idea.

Maine and Colorado are the places to be to get some great tap, according to these Twitter users. Noted.

“I’ma start a thread of random af questions I get asked once people find out I’m from the US…” this Twitter user wrote. And honestly, this a valid question:

The majority of us Americans do have the privilege of being able to drink from the tap.

But we all know there are some regions in this country where tap water isn’t safe (*cough cough* Flint, Michigan water crisis *cough cough*).

The EU Council, on the other hand, reports that tap water everywhere within the European Union is safe to drink. Way to go EU!

Even if and when tap water is safe to drink, the argument still remains: Does the tap water from your kitchen sink taste the same as the tap water from your bathroom sink?

Tell the truth.

We don’t discriminate. We drink tap water from all the sinks available to us — including the bathroom tap!

And nothing goes better with ramen noodles than, “just tap water, Kylie… Just tap water.”

We really don’t know what we’d do if we opened a bottle of water and got hit in the face with “diarrhea” smell.

If this happens to you, report it to the store you bought it from. That way, if something dangerous is lurking beneath the cap, those in charge of public safety can be alerted.

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