Where does the water you drink – bottled or tap – come from?

Do you know where the water that you drink comes from? Or did you know that there’s a difference between spring water and mineral water? Whether you drink tap water, spring water or mineral water, here’s all you need to know about where your water comes from.

Spring Water

Spring water is the term used to refer to water collected directly from an underground spring where it rises to the surface. It’s rich in trace minerals and considered to be one of the best types of water for hydration and other health benefits.

All spring water comes from a known named underground source, without passing through a community water system, and must be bottled at the source. It’s also protected within certain set vulnerability perimeters to avoid pollution and contamination but it can’t be chemically treated.

Spring water doesn’t have to undergo the same rigorous 2-year regulatory process as natural mineral water.

Mineral Water

Just like spring water, mineral water also originates underground, but flows over and through rocks before it’s collected and bottled at source. However, it can’t undergo treatment in the same way.

The major defining characteristic of natural mineral water is that it must contain 250 ppm of trace minerals – calcium, magnesium, potassium and sulphates, to name just a few – to be considered true “mineral” water. It can’t be chemically treated under any circumstances and the flow of the water must be constant too.

According to UK legislation, it must originate in an officially recognised source that has undergone 2 years of frequent microbiological testing. Authorities must be confident that the source is protected from all pollution and that the temperature and composition remain stable. The source must also be subject to continuous testing for years after its original certification.

Drinking water

Drinking water, often called tap water, is water that is intended for drinking. It is safe for human consumption and comes from a municipal source. There are no added ingredients besides what is considered usual and safe for any tap water, such as fluoride.

Prepared water

Sometimes known as “table water” or “mountain water”, prepared water can originate from any type of supply (including municipal water) and can come from multiple sources.

It can also be treated so that it complies with chemical, microbiological and radiological safety requirements for pre-packaged water.

Table water or mountain water may also have things added to it, such as additional minerals or treatments.

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea

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