Did you know that there are at least a dozen different types of bottled water available?
Bottled water products are normally categorized according to the source of the water and the method(s) used by the bottler to treat it. Bottled water products are generally required to undergo disinfection. Bottlers who obtain water from a source which has not previously been disinfected, such as a spring or well, will usually use ozone or ultraviolet technologies to disinfect the water, as these processes do not normally leave a residual taste or odor in the water, like chlorine does. Bottled water companies can also purchase their source water from an approved potable water source, such as a municipal water supply.
Some bottling companies choose to further treat their bottled water products, using treatment processes such as filtration, reverse osmosis, or distillation. Although federal laws do not require the bottler to list any naturally occurring compounds on the product label, such as sulfates, sodium, or radon, if a bottler chooses to add any ingredients to the water, such as minerals, fluoride, or flavorings, this must be stated on the label. Any naturally occurring or added ingredients cannot exceed the maximum levels permitted by the applicable FDA or state regulations.
The FDA has established "Standards of Identity" for bottled water products sold in the U.S. Some of the more common types of bottled water are listed below:
This is water that originates from a confined aquifer that has been tapped and in which the water level stands at some height above the top of the aquifer.
This type of water contains fluoride added within the limitations established in the FDA Code of Federal Regulations. This category includes water classified as "For Infants" or "Nursery."
This type of water is from an underground source that is under a pressure equal to or greater than atmospheric pressure.
Mineral water contains at least 250 parts per million total dissolved solids (TDS). It comes from a source tapped at one or more bore holes or spring, and originates from a geologically and physically protected underground water source. No minerals may be added to this water.
This type of water has been produced by distillation, deionization, reverse osmosis, or other suitable processes. Purified water may also be referred to as "demineralized water." It meets the definition of "purified water" in the United States Pharmacopoeia.
Sparkling water contains the same amount of carbon dioxide that it had at emergence from the source. The carbon dioxide may be removed and replenished after treatment.
This type of water comes from an underground formation from which water flows naturally to the Earth's surface.
This type of water meets the requirements under "sterility tests" in the United States Pharmacopoeia.
Well water is taken from a hole tapping, etc. This hole may be bored, drilled, or otherwise constructed in the ground.