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Bottled Water to Outsell Soda for First Time This Year

  • Companies tout convenience, but decaying water pipes help too
  • U.S. municipalities aren’t fixing infrastructure anytime soon
A volunteer walks by cases of bottled water at the St. Mark Baptist Church in Flint, on Feb. 23, 2016.
Photographer: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

Bottled water will be more popular than soda for the first time in the U.S. this year, thanks to its convenience -- and fears over what’s coming out of the tap.

The biggest U.S. bottled-water companies -- Nestle Waters, Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo Inc. and Dr Pepper Snapple Group -- say Americans have switched from carbonated beverages because their products are calorie-free and as portable as a can of Mountain Dew. But the expectation that future sales will rise has to do with another, less happy reason: crumbling infrastructure.