Water is a lot more technical than we realise! It is governed by ‘The Codex Alimentarius’ – (bit of a tongue twister!), which is an internationally operated government practice for defining all the types of bottled water.
The definitions are comprised of:
Bet you never knew that! Human consumption of water is critical for our health and if you look at it logically, why shouldn’t it be governed by important criteria? After all, food is, so why not water?
So, if you don’t know your mineral from your spring or your purified from your artesian, here is a guideline of why each water is labelled accordingly. The WHO (World Health Organisation) plays an extremely active part in defining packaged water quality.
This water must contain naturally sourced minerals – it is not allowable for minerals to be added to water, and become ‘mineral water’.The level of minerals such as calcium, magnesium and manganese will affect the taste of the water – if you notice a ‘salty taste’, this generally means that the mineral content is high. Bottled waters vary incredibly in mineral content. It must also be gleaned from underground sources, to avoid any form of pollution. Packaging or bottling is equally important – it has to be done at source, as as close to as possible. No refining or treating is allowed, with only a few exceptions (ie. removing iron traces or adding carbonation).
Spring water again should either come from a recognised underground source, or an allowable surface source, and has strict guidelines in terms of its vulnerability to pollutin and/or contamination. It must also go nowhere near a community water system.
Just what is says on the tin (or bottle!). It will have been treated to enable purification and remove any suspected toxins or bacteria. There are many brands of purified water on the supermarket shelves, but more and more people use their own purification systems at home, connected to your tap water.Purified water is also called ‘prepared water’ and is the minimum standard set for emergent nations where clean water sources are rare, thus affecting health conditions.
The cream of the crop, and if it is accessible – drink it! Known to be far purer than mineral water, due to the fact that is comes from deeper sources and will therefore experience more natural filtering as it travels through the earth. To qualify as ‘artesian’ the water must come from a water-bearing underground layer of rock or sand in which the water level is above the top. Certain brands in the UK are available.
Sparkling (Carbonated) Water
We all know the taste sensation of the bubbly stuff, and we don’t mean champagne! Bubbles can occur naturally from the source, but quite often are due to the addition of carbon dioxide. You choose what you prefer, but we know our thoughts on that one.
We would like to mention well water – that is water from a well! If you are lucky enough to have one in your garden, it has hopefully been constructed properly as it should be a ground-drilled well that taps the water directly to the surface. There aren’t many of those around!