Types of Spring Water
Defined by the International Bottled Water Association and the FDA, there are six different types of bottled water: spring water, purified water, mineral water, sparking bottled water, artesian water and well water. Of the six choices, spring water is the best to drink, according to Jim McMahon, an ecologist with more than 12 years’ experience working with water quality issues.
The term "spring water" refers to water that flows naturally in the earth’s surface from underground storage, known as an aquifer. Bottled water can only be labeled spring water if it was collected from the spring or directly from the aquifer.
Unlike purified water, spring water contains many valuable minerals such as calcium, sodium, potassium, fluoride, magnesium, bicarbonate, nitrate, chloride, copper, sulfate, arsenic, pH (units) and lead. The pH (acidity) and mineral content of spring water is what makes it so healthful, according to Jim McMahon, an ecologist.
Aquafina, Dasani, Evian and Nestle are the leading brands of bottled spring water. Aquafina is bottled by PepsiCo, and Dasani belongs to Coca-Cola. Completely independent of the two is Evian, which comes from the French Alps. Nestle, on the other hand, operates through multiple regional U.S. brands.
Poland Springs, Arrowhead, Deer Park, Ice Mountain, Ozarka and Zephyrhills group together under the vise of Nestle Water North America. Depending on the region, different waters are sold. For example, Poland Springs can be found in the North East and Zephyrhills is found in Florida.
Variations in Spring Water
Each spring water is different and tastes different based on the purification process used. For instance, Aquafina uses a charcoal filtration in conjunction with reverse-osmosis and ozonination. During this process nearly all of the natural minerals are removed from the spring water, resulting in a clean taste. Dasani, on the other hand, also uses reverse-osmosis, but unlike Aquafina, it adds minerals back in, resulting in a crisp taste. Then there is Evian, which does not use reverse-osmosis at all, giving the water a fresh taste.