Water is such a basic necessity for life and health that we often take it for granted. Water is water, right? Wrong. Today, we have available many types of water, each of which undergoes different processes and has its unique pros and cons. Find out what makes the different types of water different — and which may be best for you.
Tap Water: Running Into Your Glass
When you turn on the tap, the water that comes out has a composition that can vary a lot depending on where you live. If you live in a rural area, your house may have its own well. In that case, the water running from the tap has been pumped from groundwater in your area. This means the level of minerals and possible contaminants will vary quite a bit from place to place. While clean groundwater has been naturally filtered through earth, sand and rock and is often perfectly safe to drink, pollution in the area or poor well construction can allow contaminants to enter well water, so it’s best to test well water every year for common pollutants.
If you live in an urban area, your tap water comes from a municipal water source. This water is usually sourced from lakes, reservoirs or rivers. In most areas it is treated to remove harmful contaminants that can enter those sources from runoff. Treatment can include filtration and disinfection with chlorine to kill harmful bacteria. These treatments produce water that is not harmful to your health, but you may notice an unpleasant taste from the chemicals used in those processes. The treatments may also remove many beneficial minerals that would have been present in the water originally.
Spring Water: Bubbling Up From the Earth
Besides the water that comes from the taps in your home, many varieties of bottled water are available for purchase. Spring water comes from an underground source, which feeds a spring on the surface of the earth. This water is bottled at the location where the spring rises to the surface or from man-made boreholes that access the same source as the spring. Spring water is naturally filtered, but some companies perform further processing to remove certain substances. The levels of contaminants and of naturally occurring minerals can vary greatly in spring water, as each spring has a unique underground environment.
Purified Water: Cleaned Up From Various Sources
Purified water can come from anywhere — spring, well or municipal water source — but it must meet the purified water standards set by the U.S. Pharmacopeia. This sets a low allowable limit on certain contaminants, ensuring that it tests cleaner from chemicals than some municipal tap water. However, the processes used to purify water to this standard — including reverse osmosis, distillation, carbon filtration and other methods — remove not only contaminants but healthful minerals as well.
Distilled Water: Nothing But
Distilled water is produced solely through the process of distillation, in which the water is boiled and transformed into steam. The steam leaves behind any substance, including harmful pollutants and non-harmful minerals. Though this process results in water that won’t make you sick, it also lacks the taste of natural water due to the absence of dissolved minerals.
Mineral Water: Rich in Nature’s Nutrients
A final type of water available today is mineral water. This water is sourced from a clean, protected underground environment, guaranteeing it is free of man-made pollutants. It also contains predictable levels of naturally occurring minerals (at least 250 parts per million, according to U. S. standards). With the filtration afforded by seepage through earth, sand and rock, mineral water is naturally clean like spring water. However, it also provides a high level of substances such as magnesium, calcium and silica which have known health benefits for people.
Next time you reach for bottled water and pause to consider which type to choose, remember that the mineral water Primus checks all the boxes. It’s hydrating, fresh, tasty, clean and contains high levels of health-giving minerals.
Written by Amy Smith
Amy Smith is a Pennsylvania-based writer and educator, producing informative, research-based online content for a variety of clients in the fields of natural living, health and wellness, family and parenting.