Are Water Brands Actually Different?


Selection of different bottled water brands available to buy at Target. (Photography by: Chloe Nguyen)

60% of our body consists of pure water, yet we typically fail to remain attentive to the quality of water we fill the majority of our bodies with. The importance of water quality is often overlooked; drinking quality and plentiful amounts of water are vital for one’s organs to properly function. Students at Huntington Beach High School (HBHS) have strong opinions on water brands and were interviewed on their opinions on the following water brands: Fiji, Dasani, Arrowhead, Kirkland, and the school’s water fountains. 

#1 Arrowhead 

When surveyed, students rated Arrowhead moderately at 6/10 stars. Students described the water as adequate, sufficient water that gets the job done. Arrowhead water was deemed nothing revolutionary or exceedingly bad.

HBHS ASB sophomore class president Kai Wong provided his opinion on the brand and said, “Arrowhead has a grainy consistency and it [leaves] you needing more water,” never fully satisfying the consumer. He continues stating, “it’s a momentary thirst quencher, [but in the] long term [a bad option]” overall keeping the drinker thirsty in the long term due to the poor quality of the brand. In addition, another sophomore at Huntington Beach High School, Pedro Polvo, expressed his thoughts on the brand stating, “Arrowhead water is disgusting but it’s purified so I believe it’s good for you.”

#2 Fiji

Among Huntington Beach High School students, Fiji was rated high in quality, yet low in relation to the price, averaging 8/10 stars. The singular 16.9oz bottle costs $1.57, whilst other competing water brands cost approximately $1.11 per bottle, and $1.17 per gallon, proving that an entire gallon of water from another brand costs less than a singular 16.9oz Fiji water bottle. 

HBHS students have had complaints regarding this significant cost difference.

Ryan Otani, a sophomore at Huntington Beach High School, said, “You have public water systems that are contaminated… and then people are forced to go spend their life savings on water. That is [detrimental] because water is essential to human life and it is a human right, we should not be suppressing that right for people.” 

Another student, Logan Kustra, a sophomore at HBHS, agreed with Otani’s views on Fiji water stating, “Fiji water is overpriced but it’s good.” 

Price of the bottled water brand, Fiji, sold at Target (Photography by: Chloe Nguyen).

#3 Kirkland

Kirkland water is exclusively sold at Costco in bulk, meaning it is more affordable. Buyers are also drawn to this brand due to the thin plastic bottles, therefore it is more environmentally friendly. Most students voted the brand to be 7/10 stars.

HBHS junior student Maddy York, said, “I do sometimes drink Kirkland water because it is easier to get and more affordable than other bottled water brands. At the same time, it’s not my favorite brand of water, but it is not terrible, it’s just average.” 

Agreeing with York, HBHS alumni, Kloey Silvia said, “I have nothing against Kirkland. I heard it is actually healthier to drink than other brands. If I have to drink it, then I will.”

Specifically, people prefer Kirkland because it does not contain fluoride unlike other brands such as Arrowhead. At the same time, many companies add small amounts of fluoride to help with preventing cavities. However, if too much is ingested, it can become dangerous. Over years, bones, especially teeth, will slowly be affected by the overconsumption of fluoride. Effects on tooth enamel is common amongst people who consume excessive amounts of fluoride. Skeletal fluorosis happens when fluoride begins building up in one’s bones. Overexposure and ingestion of fluoride are toxic and can lead to negative changes in brain development for small children.

#4 Dasani

Dasani seemed to be the lowest-ranked competitor among all five water types. Students ranked the brand to be  2/10 stars overall. Most students argued their rating was so low because of two major factors. The first was complaints regarding the taste of Dasani, and the second was that it caused harmful health conditions. 

Ella Watkins, a Huntington Beach High School senior, actively drinks Dasani water. Watkins said, “I never noticed the differences between water brands. I would just drink whatever my mom bought for our family. I especially didn’t know about the multiple controversies behind the brand Dasani. After all, water is water.” 

Timothy Huy (left) and Gregory Wood (right) talk about Dasani water. (Photography by: Elisha Stenseng)

#5 School Water Fountains

Many concerns regarding the quality of water within Huntington Beach High Schools water fountains are at an all-time high for students. There have been specific complaints regarding the temperature of the water.

A sophomore at Huntington Beach High School, Marissa Nishi expressed her complaints. “When [I go] to track and want to get water, [I] go to the water fountain, [and the water is usually] hot.” 

Most students are skeptical about the school’s water fountains, resulting in many not drinking from them.

Jamie Adams, an HBHS junior stated, “I refuse to drink the school’s water. If I have to I will go around and ask everybody if they have any other water brand that I could drink. My water preference stems from my own safety.”

Whether it’s Fiji, Arrowhead, Kirkland, Dasani, or the school water fountains, we can all agree that water is vital. According to Huntington Beach High School students’ opinions, specifically the brands Kirkland and Arrowhead reign superior over Dasani and Fiji. However, staying hydrated no matter which bottled water brand you drink remains a necessity.

All water bottle brands sold in bulk are available at Target. (Photography by: Chloe Nguyen)