There are so many different types of drinking water it is hard to keep track. Spring water, distilled water, mineral water, purified water-with so many differing descriptions on bottled water, how do you know which is right for you? What do they all mean? Here’s a brief rundown of common bottled water terms and what they mean to you.
The general term ‘drinking water’ indicates that a water source is deemed safe for public consumption. Bottled water with this label may include disinfectants and may optionally include fluoride.
The label ‘spring water’ is contingent upon its source. To be considered spring water, it must come from an underground water source where water flows naturally to the surface. The water may be collected at the spring site or may be manually extracted from the earth through bore hole tapping.
The label ‘mineral water’ is contingent upon its source and its content. Mineral water is defined by having a consistent level of minerals and trace elements totaling no less than 250 parts per million of dissolved solids. No minerals may be added to the water. The water source must be underground and protected.
The label ‘distilled water’ is contingent upon the disinfecting process. Distilling is the process of collecting the steam from water and then recondensing it. This process kills microbes and removes minerals. The water source is not taken into consideration.
The label ‘purified water’ is contingent upon how it is treated. Purified water must be free from all chemicals and may also be free of all microbes. It may have no more than ten parts per million total dissolved solids. The water source is not taken into consideration.
The label ‘sterile water’ is contingent upon its level of purity. To carry a ‘sterile water’ label, the content of the water is free from all microbes and passes the US Pharmocopia standards for sterilization. The water source is not taken into consideration.
“Bottled Water Basics.” <em>EPA.</em> EPA, n.d. Web. 19 Dec. 2009. www.epa.gov/safewater/faq/pdfs/fs_healthseries_bottlewater.pdf.
“Regulation of Bottled Water.” <em>Food and Drug Administration.</em> FDA, 8 July 2009. Web. 19 Dec. 2009. <www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Testimony/ucm170932.htm >.