Bottled Water Vs Tap Water

By Chris Cook

In our previous article "What are the Different Types of Water" we told you what the difference between spring water and mineral water is. In this article, we wanted to advise you briefly what makes bottled water different to tap water.

It's all about the additives. Water is simply H2O, that means the water molecule is made up of two Hydrogen atoms (H2) with one Oxygen atom (O) hence the name H2O... in pure water, such as distilled or de-ionised water that's all you get, just pure H2O. But in tap water, mineral water and spring water there are invariably additives.

Additives is probably the wrong word; the "additives" are very often not added purposefully to the water, but are absorbed by water as it travels through its life-cycle. The life-cycle of water includes time at sea, time spent in the atmosphere, as rain, underground, in bodies - it's truly a well recycled resource!

Anyway, these "additives" are typically minerals and salts, but occasionally you will also find organic molecules as well. Usually the concentrations of these additives are very low, they are measured in parts per million. It is the varying quantities of these additives that make up the "mineral composition" of the water you drink, and this can vary enormously. They can also affect the taste.

Tap water very often has Fluoride added, this is the anion (reduced form) of the element Fluorine. This is often added because Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay and cavities. However, the addition of Fluoride is controversial as some people believe it may cause serious health problems.

Bottled water, typically has reduced amounts of copper, lead and other metal contaminants, since it is not supplied through plumbing pipes. Water delivered through pipework is often exposed to metal corrosion. The exposure varies depending on the pipework leading to a tap.

Tap water also very often has chlorine added to it, chlorine is a disinfectant, it's also used in swimming pools as a disinfectant and is responsible for the familiar smell of the public swimming pool. The levels of chlorine found in drinking water are typically quite low.

So, hopefully you understand a little more about the differences in the various types of water available.



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