The Show on KJZZ

Real Water: Bottled Water Linked To Illnesses, Deaths

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Thursday, June 10, 2021 - 11:47am
Updated: Thursday, June 10, 2021 - 12:29pm

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Real Water box
Food and Drug Administration
Real Water was marketed primarily in Nevada, Arizona, Utah and California.

Bottled water produced in Mesa and Henderson, Nevada, has been found to cause myriad illnesses.

Real Water, also called Real Alkalized Water, is connected with non-viral hepatitis, nausea, loss of appetite, and fatigue, as well as liver inflammation.

One woman and a dog died after drinking the water, and at least 11 adults were hospitalized.

Real Water was marketed as “the healthiest drinking water today,” but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says the product may have been contaminated during its manufacturing.

And the story of the company behind Real Water gets even stranger.

To learn more about the company, The Show spoke with the Arizona Republic’s consumer protection reporter, Rebekah Sanders.

Interview Highlights

What went wrong here? How sick did people get, and how widespread was this?

From what we know so far, there is more than a dozen cases of hospitalization in southern Nevada, in the Las Vegas area, both of adults and children — including infants — for severe liver inflammation. And at least one person says that they had to get a liver transplant and at least one person's death is potentially linked to this outbreak. And the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that they believe that the bottling practices by this company were basically not up to snuff.

What do we know about how this water may have become contaminated.?

It's not entirely clear at this point. ... There are still many lawsuits going on. And the ... FDA, has been investigating. But from what we know from the lawsuits, there was a water testing technician who was hired by the company last year who had no experience in chemistry or water quality. His background seems totally different — strip club promoter, timeshare salesmen, things like that. And he testified in a deposition that he was basically given a few hours of instruction on how to add the chemicals or the concentrate to the water and not much more, and that at times he even guessed the amount to put in the water.

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