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Bottled water is the fastest growing drink choice in the United States, and Americans spend billions of dollars each year to buy it (Beverage Marketing Corporation, 2004) Some people drink bottled water as an alternative to other beverages; others drink it because they prefer its taste or think it is safer than their tap water.

Water BottlePreviously, we have talked about several sources of the bottled water. The following terms are frequently used on bottled water labels to describe the water’s characteristics, sources, and methods of treatment. To learn about the quality of bottled water, begin by reading the label. In addition to the volume of water, any pertinent nutritional claims, and any contact information for the bottler, the label may include the type of bottled water, its source, and the way in which it is treated. For more specific information, you may need to contact the bottler directly.

  • Artesian water, ground water, spring water, well water - water from an underground aquifer which may or my not be treated. Well water and artesian water are tapped through a well. Spring water is collected as it flows to the surface or via a borehole. Ground water can be either.

  • Distilled water - steam from boiling water is recondensed and bottled. Distilling water kills microbes and removes water’s natural minerals, giving it a flat taste.

  • Drinking water – water intended for human consumption and sealed in bottles or other containers with no ingredients except that it may optionally contain safe and suitable disinfectants. Fluoride may be added within limitations set in the bottled water quality standards.

  • Mineral water – Ground water that naturally contains 250 or more parts per million of total dissolved solids.

  • Purified water - water that originates from any source but has been treated to meet the U.S. Pharmacopeia definition of purified water. Purified water is essentially free of all chemicals (it must not contain more than 10 parts per million of total dissolved solids), and may also be free of microbes if treated by distillation or reverse osmosis. Purified water may alternately be labeled according to how it is treated.

  • Sterile water - water that originates from any source, but has been treated to meet the U.S. Pharmacopeia standards for sterilization. Sterilized water is free from all microbes.
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Related Articles:

The Bottled Water Purification Process
One Third of Bottled Water Contain Contaminants
Common Bottled Water Treatment


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