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Is Bottled Water Better Than Tap Water?
Pure hydration or pure hype? When it comes to water, what is the difference between the numerous brands of the bottled and filtered water?
You may think that all water is drinking water, however when you see it on a label it simply refers to bottled water, sold for human consumption in sanitary containers and free of added sweeteners or chemical additives (other than flavors, extracts or essences). Drinking water must be both calorie- and sugar-free (that is, comprised of less than one-percent-by-weight of the final product or the product will be considered a soft drink).
The word “natural” is reserved for bottled water that’s derived from spring or well sources where the natural chemical (mineral and trace elements) composition of the water has not been altered as a result of treatment processes.
According to Canadian Springs, the nation’s leading provider of fresh natural spring water, spring waters are derived from underground foundations from which the water flows naturally to the surface of the earth; it must be collected at the spring.
Artesian water is collected from a drilled well into an aquifer. The artesian water is water is confined by a layer of clay or rock, which then pressurizes the water enough to allow it to rise up through the ground without mechanical pumps.
Waters containing not less than 250 parts per million total dissolved solids may be labeled as mineral water. According to Bottled Water of the World, mineral water is distinguished from other types of bottled water by the fact that its level and relative proportions of minerals and trace elements are identical to the levels contained at the natural source. No minerals can be added.
Perrier: Natural Carbonation
According to Perrier, the high-end beverage contains only mineral salts and carbonation (CO2), captured independently from isolated points at different depths, within the same geologic formation. Before they are combined for bottling, a filter is used to remove any natural impurities in the carbon gas.
Minerals contained in mineral waters typically include chromium, copper, iron, lithium, manganese, magnesium, potassium, and sodium. While these elements are generally considered to be healthy, the value of mineral water versus spring waters is still debated.
Sparkling water is that which has been treated and had carbon dioxide replaced to match the levels it had at emergence from the source (Bottled Water of the World).
Purified waters have been produced by treating municipally-sourced waters with processes including distillation, deionization, or reverse osmosis. They run through gigantic industrial filters, and are further treated to remove chlorine and detritus.
Bottled water is also available that contains additional minerals, vitamins and other ingredients which allows manufacturers to tout it as a “healthier” water.
Water Filtration Systems
You can filter your municipal water by attaching a commercial filter such as Brita to the tap or using a pitcher with a carbon filter in it, or buying refrigerators with built-in filters that make both filtered ice and filtered water.
Find out how much water you should drink to stay healthy and hydrated.