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May/June 2007

Bottled Water – What’s the Difference?

Dear Jessica,

There are so many different types of bottled water (e.g. distilled, reverse-osmosis, artesian, spring).  What are the differences between them?

            Bottled Water Drinker

Dear Bottled Water Drinker,

Good question.  There are so many choices, it is confusing to know what to buy.  According to industry estimates, approximately one-fourth of bottled water is from a municipal source, just like tap water, so it is important to read labels and to understand what you are buying. 

Distilling involves turning water into steam to remove impurities and then condensing it back again to a liquid.  Some people like distilled water for its purity and taste.  Many also consider it excellent for detoxification since the process also removes minerals, making it “slippery” or less viscous.  This helps the body to eliminate toxins.  Some warn however, that drinking this water exclusively, long term, could lead to a mineral deficiency.  It is also not recommended for people undergoing fasts.

Reverse osmosis (RO) is another common type of water-purification process.  This process involves pushing the water through a semi-permeable membrane (basically a fine filter) at high pressure that captures impurities as well as removing minerals.  Both distilled and RO water often come from a municipal source and are frequently identified as “purified water” on the label.  Aquafina and Dasani are examples of this purified water.

Natural spring water comes from an underground formation that flows naturally to the surface of the earth.  The water is then collected either at the spring or through the underground formation that feeds it.  This water is rich in minerals and trace elements.  It is tested for quality, but is usually not as processed, as this would remove many of its beneficial minerals.  Some examples include Mountain Valley Spring Water, Evian, Ice Mountain Natural Spring Water and Crystal Geyser Alpine Spring Water.

Artesian water comes from a natural, underground, pressurized chamber called an aquifer.  The aquifer is covered under layers of rock and sand, which protects the water from contamination.  This water is also rich in minerals.  An example of artesian water is Fiji.

Whatever your choices of bottled water, it is suggested that drinking pure water is essential for healthy living.

Hope this helps you in finding the best solution for you and your family. 


In her free time, Jessica enjoys researching food and healthy eating.  If you have a food-related question that you would like answered in the journal, please email me at Jessica_L_Tucker@yahoo.com

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