In the wonderful world of water we as consumers are thrown to death with the most beautiful descriptions and picturesque visuals of where the water was sourced. Natural mineral water, water of natural origin, spring water: a small selection of the terms used to sell the product. but what is the difference between the different types of water?
There are two points where spring water differs from mineral water. First of all, according to legislation, mineral water must be bottled directly at the source. Secondly, for mineral water, the composition of minerals may not be influenced by the bottling process. This way the water retains its natural composition of minerals (such as iron, salt and magnesium). For that reason, mineral water is often a bit saltier. Although such requirements do not apply to spring water, it does not necessarily mean that mineral water always contains more minerals than spring water.
Both spring water and tap water are extracted from natural, underground sources. In 60% of the cases, spring water is extracted from the same layer in the ground as tap water. In that respect, tap water does not differ from water that is sold as high-quality spring water. The Dutch TV-program “De Keuringdienst van Waarde” made an episode last year about this topic and showed that in Holland, in most cases, we flush our toilets with so called “high-quality spring water”.
An episode of the Dutch TV-program “De Keuringsdienst Van Waarde” in which they show how big brands use marketing terms as “high-quality spring water” while, in fact, their water is the same water that comes from our tap.
There are no studies that show that mineral water is healthier than spring or tap water. In fact, Dutch tap water is already of the highest quality possible. After all, water companies must meet strict safety requirements by law, in order to supply safe and reliable drinking water. Think of all the harm it would cause to public health if our tap water gets contaminated! And what about mineral water: is it healthier because of the minerals? Although we certainly need minerals in order to be healthy, it doesn’t mean that we should get these through mineral water. We already get these minerals from our diet. And when there’s a surplus, the minerals are excreted by our body.
What we know for sure is that tap water is the most sustainable. After all, tap water is bottled locally, while both mineral and spring water have to be transported from the factory to the final destination. In short, drink tap water: it is just as healthy and more sustainable!
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