I was recently in the water aisle at the store (purchasing distilled for my lavender hair mist) when I saw some other types of water and realized that I didn’t really know exactly what defines each kind. In addition to distilled there was also drinking, spring, purified, artesian, and more. This could be a bit confusing if I ever just needed to buy some water!
I decided to do a little investigating of the differences and the below is what I’ve come up with on each type:
- Distilled water is boiled until it becomes a steam and then cooled until it is liquid again (any dissolved materials in the water would separate as solids). This process is called distillation and the water no longer contains any minerals after completed. There is plenty of disagreement about whether or not this water should be drunk due to the fact that it is so pure.
- Purified water is water that has had chemicals, contaminants, or minerals removed from the water through processes such as water filters, reverse osmosis, and UV light. Being that purified is such a broad term, it can also technically include distilled water.
- Drinking water can contain trace minerals/contaminants and is regulated by the FDA based on the requirements for tap water which are regulated by the EPA. A detailed reference guide on bottled water from the EPA is here.
- Spring water is collected from natural aquifers where the water is naturally brought to the earth’s surface (and thus thought to be free of contaminants, yet rich with minerals).
- Artesian water is from an artesian well which occurs when an aquifer is under sufficient pressure to force water up the well to a point higher than the top of the aquifer.
- Sparkling water is carbonated meaning it has carbon dioxide dissolved in it (Unless it is sparkling mineral water which bubbles naturally)
- Mineral water can come from a spring or natural well, but must contain a certain quantity (at least 250 parts per million of total dissolved solids) of trace minerals such as iron, magnesium, calcium, etc. The minerals can be naturally occurring or added to the water.