by: Dr. T. G. Day, MD
Water is essential for human life, and the right amount of water is necessary for excellent health. But, is there a difference in the drinking water available? In this blog post I will discuss the various forms of drinking water and what makes each one unique.
First, let’s discuss tap water. Tap water is transported to homes and buildings through a pipe system which comes from your local Water Treatment Facility. Chemical and physical processes are used to filter and treat bacteria and impurities. Beneficial minerals like fluoride, zinc and manganese are present in tap water. Counties, cities, and towns will have their own Water Facilities that will govern the water treatment and distribution locally. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency oversees the quality and safety of tap water.
Bottled water is also tested for impurities and bacteria. This water contains minerals as well, and is then packaged in bottles and prepared for distribution by private companies. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration oversees the quality and safety of bottle water sold nationally.
Spring water comes from an underground formation that water flows naturally to the surface of Earth, such as, rainwater flowing down a mountain side, and collecting in an area at the bottom of the mountain. Thereby, minerals from the rock are found in the spring water.
Purified water is water that has been distilled, deionized, gone through reverse osmosis, or other suitable processes to remove contaminants. This water has had all substances removed. It lacks minerals and ions as well. Purified water is useful for autoclaves, hand-pieces, laboratory testing, laser cutting, and automative use. Although some may use this water for drinking purposes, it is not recommended because it is devoid of all minerals and ions useful for the human body.
Carbonated water is water that carbon dioxide gas under pressure has been dissolved. There are various names for carbonated water such as, sparkling, seltzer, or soda water.
Now that we have discussed some of the main types of drinking water, which one is best for you? There are a number of factors to consider when choosing drinking water. Tap water goes through filtration and treatment to be beneficial for the body, however, water treatment facilities may vary in different areas. Also, if the pipe system is old, there may be larger exposures to lead. Therefore, I would suggest you reach out your local water treatment facility for a summary of what the water quality is in your area to help you decide as well. Bottled drinking water also is filtered and treated for bacteria and other substances that isn’t beneficial for the body, but fluoride may not be present in it. Fluoride can help prevent tooth decay. Carbonated water doesn’t appear to have any health benefits over the other types, so this may be a preference based on taste. Spring water certainly seems to have the benefits of minerals, but may be more difficult to acquire in its natural form.
I hope this discussion helps you when choosing your source of drinking water. Because water is essential for human life and excellent health, it is important to choose the best quality drinking water when possible.