Part of the grocery list my wife gave me included bottled water. I didn’t think much about it until I noticed there were so many choices and I wondered if one brand was better than the other. I decided to do some checking. Although this research was conducted by a layman (me), you may get some information from it.
Many brands of bottled water use a "reverse osmosis" purification system. When mineral-free water is the desired product, this is fine. It does not extract contaminants such as chlorine and this process produces acidic water. Some minerals left in the water are beneficial for our health. Reverse osmosis can be defined as a method of producing pure water by forcing saline or impure water through a semipermeable membrane across which salt or impurities cannot pass.
Distilled water also provides mineral-free water and removes bacteria and viruses from drinking water, which is useful where risks of disease exist such as in developing countries. Like reverse osmosis, distilling the water does not remove chlorine, so for municipally-treated water it is not ideal. Distilling water is taking regular tap water and vaporizing it into sterilized steam and then condensing it back to its pure liquid state. All contaminants are left behind.
Filtered water, unlike the two previously mentioned methods, removes most contaminants and leaves some minerals behind. Depending on the type of filters used, this can be a better system when utilizing our city water. Water filtration can be described as removing solids and/or bacteria from water by a mechanical process in which they are passed through a sieve, filter bed or the like.
Spring water, which is also known as source water, comes from natural springs. In some cases spring water has more calcium and magnesium than other bottled water and is sodium and fluoride-free. It seems to me that spring water is the popular choice, but again this is a layman’s opinion.
It is certainly worth investigating. When you have made your own decision as to the type you want to drink, check out the company involved.
Rick Sparling is a Winnipeg-based writer.
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