Spring, Drinking, Distilled vs. Purified Water Infographic Guide
You are at the supermarket. Eventually, you make your way to the water section and the same question hits you again and again. Why are there so many different choices of water? Read on to learn the difference between spring water, drinking water, distilled water, and purified water.
KEY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN BOTTLED WATER TYPES
There are three factors that differentiate the type of water.
Source of Water: bottled water may come from a number of different sources including municipal tap water, springs, and artesian wells.
Type of Water Treatment: bottled water may go through a number of different filtration or purification methods including reverse osmosis, carbon filtration, and distillation.
Minerals & Impurities: bottled water may contain varying levels of mineral and impurities based on the type of treatment and source of water.
The following information breaks down where each type of water is sourced from, how they are treated, and some pros and cons. Note that some of these factors may vary based on where the bottled water is being sold.
Source: underground aquifer source where water naturally rises to the surface.
Treatment: varies but bottled spring water go through some form of filtration process to remove impurities and other unwanted elements.
Pro: contains nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and bicarbonate that serve an important function for the body. Spring water also has a higher pH (more alkaline) than regular tap water.
Con: lack of transparency around water source due to inadequate regulations set by the FDA. Don’t expect 100% of bottled spring water to come from the pristine sources advertised by beverage companies.
PURIFIED & DISTILLED WATER
Source: could be sourced from any authorized water source including municipal tap supply. Beverage companies do not have to disclose where the water is sourced from.
Treatment: varies by brand. Purified water could go through any form of purification process including reverse osmosis, distillation, or deionization. Distilled water goes through a distillation process and could be considered a sub-type of purified water.
Pro: purification process removes impurities and contaminants from the water. This, however, does not mean that all the contaminants are removed. The purification process brings down the level of contaminants to a point where it is safe for human consumption.
Con: along with any unwanted impurities, purification process may also take away important minerals.
Some supermarkets may also offer bottled water labeled “drinking water”. This could cause all sorts of confusion and make people wonder if the other types of bottled water are safe to drink.
In reality, there is unlikely to be any significant difference between drinking water and purified water. Check the bottle label to review any differences in the type of purification. In Publix, for example, their drinking water product is carbon-filtered and ozonated while their purified water is deionized and ozonated.
WHICH SHOULD YOU DRINK?
The main argument to be made is whether there is any benefit to drinking one type versus the other. Ultimately, there really isn’t and we recommend you stick to whichever water tastes best, unless you have been given explicit instructions by a health professional.
The minerals in spring water are a plus but the concentration of mineral in bottled water is very small. In any case, you are most likely going to acquire those nutrients from the consumption of food and other types of beverages.
BY THE WAY…
We hope you noticed that bottled water could be coming from the same source used for tap water. If you live in an area that has good-quality tap water then there really is no reason to purchase bottled water all the time. Bottled water creates a host of environmental problems.
According to the Pacific Institute, producing bottles for American consumption required the equivalent of more than 17 million barrels of oil. Start doing the environment a favor and switch to drinking tap water if it is safe to do so.