Evian water has high mineral content and is favored by many consumer advocacy groups, both of which are good. While it may be expensive, it's probably not bad for you.
Evian Water probably isn't bad for you. The Environmental Working Group - a consumer advocacy group that compares different water bottle brands - gives Evian a C. That may sound low, but it's actually near the head of the pack; EWG gives no water bottle brands an A and only four a B. According to their assessment, Evian is bottled in the Alps and not treated. The company has two water quality reports available on their website - one for Evian sold in California and one for Evian sold elsewhere. Transparency with water quality reports is one of the main metrics by which EWG measures different bottled waters.
What about the mineral content of Evian? The WHO has published standards for mineral content in water; they recommend that you drink water with relatively high mineral content. Your body can't get all the minerals and nutrients that it needs from eating food, and you need some minerals from water in order to function properly. Desalinating or filtering water removes many of those important minerals. Demineralized water isn't just worse for you, however - it's "thirsty" and will actually leach calcium and magnesium from your system to replenish itself. So, when you drink demineralized water, you're depriving yourself not just of the minerals you need from water but also those that you've gotten from other sources.
Evian has relatively high mineral content. One bottle will provide about a tenth of the calcium and a twentieth of the magnesium that you need for the day. That's a good amount - of the various bottled waters on the market, Evian is one of the only brands that makes the cut according to the standards published by the WHO. If you're hurting for calcium or magnesium in your diet, you may want to consider drinking Evian water.
Is Evian purer than tap water? That depends on where you live. In the United States, tap water is overseen by the EPA, and bottled water that's sold between states is regulated by the FDA. The EPA has fairly stringent standards for the content of tap water; the FDA, by contrast, has no authority to regulate bottled water that's bottled and sold in-state, and dedicates relatively few resources to regulating and overseeing bottled water.
Whether or Evian is better than tap water, in short, depends largely on the city that you live in. Despite EPA regulation, there's a range of quality when it comes to tap water - Des Moines, Iowa gets high marks, while Riverside, California consistently makes lists for the worst tap water. Read up on the quality of your local water before making the decision to filter it or switch to a bottled brand like Evian.
We also have a separate article that explores the controversies around dangerous chemicals from the plastics that are used in water bottles. There's not much conclusive evidence that bottles will introduce dangerous chemicals into your water, even when heated or re-used.
- high mineral content
- relatively high score from consumer advocacy groups