The search for healthy water often leaves people wondering what, exactly, the difference between certain types of treated water is. For example, what’s the difference between purified water vs. spring water? Both sound healthy and are touted as better than municipal water. But is there any real difference between them?
In fact, there is, and it’s important for people to understand the differentiators between water types and their quality. Purified water and spring water are both a step above most tap water, but there are differences between them.
Here’s a look at purified water vs. spring water, and the key distinctions that make them unique.
What is purified water?
Purified water is water that’s filtered through several different processes, to remove impurities. Purified water requires all impurities in water to be reduced to no more than 10 parts per million. What most people don’t realize, however, is that your tap water is technically “purified.” That is to say, it goes through a water treatment plant where it’s subject to flocculation, sedimentation, filtration and disinfection.
When advertised, purified water usually refers to water that’s undergone an advanced form of filtration, such as reverse osmosis, deionization or distillation. Simply put: it’s water that’s specifically treated to remove anything that’s not water, down to a molecular level. Purified water is purely H2O.
What is spring water?
If you hike up a mountain and find yourself drinking water from a glacial spring, you’ll be enjoying the benefits of spring water. This water is often bottled and sold “as is” because it undergoes a form of natural purification—it tends to flow through limestone, sandstone or clay, which removes particulates from it.
Spring water isn’t limited to glacial springs. You can find high quality spring water wherever there’s a natural aquifer and a sediment filtering layer to support it. And while there’s bound to be some level of mineral composition within it, that’s exactly what makes spring water such a great option.
Both are types of filtered water
When comparing purified water vs. spring water, it’s important to note that both are types of filtered water. One is mechanically filtered (purified); the other is naturally filtered (spring). This means they’re both safe to drink.
However, it’s also important to realize that filtration happens on a scale. As mentioned, the tap water that flows into your home through a municipal water source is technically purified—but as we know all too well, the level of that purification isn’t always great. It’s why many people opt for bottled water instead—which, not coincidentally, can be either purified or spring water.
Water is often advertised as purified or spring water because it’s clarified to a degree higher than municipal standards. Whether you’re sipping water that’s undergone reverse osmosis or straight from a clear mountain spring, you’re getting a higher caliber of water than your tap can deliver.
Which one is better for you?
Comparing purified water vs. spring water leads us to one simple question: is one better than the other? The answer is complicated, and has to do with how filtered the water is by the time it reaches your lips.
On the surface, many people swear by purified water—after all, purified just sounds cleaner, right? In fact, purified water does have the potential to be healthier than spring water, if it’s not over-filtered. Too many purification methods and systems are overzealous, leaving you with water that’s pure, but not necessarily the healthiest it could be. To understand what this means, let’s take a step back for a moment and examine water quality.
pH is the acidity or alkalinity of water. Most filtration systems strive to deliver a pH of 7: a perfect neutral on the scale. However, in doing so, they strip out all of the natural minerals that occur in water. In reality, minerals like calcium, magnesium and even iron are important for our bodies. Leaving them in actually pushes the water more alkaline, to a pH of between 8-9. Conversely, the pH of spring water tends to naturally hover between 8-9. This is because, while it’s filtered naturally, there’s nothing to remove the dissolved minerals from the water.
From a pH standpoint, spring water is actually better for you than over-filtered purified water; however, properly filtered, purified water can be healthier. This is because filter media can also remove an abundance of other pathogens and contaminants that a natural spring aquifer system can’t—like dissolved pesticides or metals like arsenic.
How to get purified water on-demand
Too many people think that the only way to get purified water that’s healthy and safe is to buy bottled water. Unfortunately, this creates tremendous plastic waste and can quickly become expensive. A better solution is to choose a water filtration system that can provide the mineral-rich benefits of spring water, with the clarity of purified water.
Aquaspace® water filter systems are a great example of this. They utilize a proprietary Aquaspace® Compound filter media to remove unwanted organic and inorganic chemicals without lowering the pH value of water. The result is water that’s free of everything except the essential minerals you’d find in the purest spring water.
In choosing a water filtration solution, it’s also a smart idea to consider the type and capacity of that system. For example, whole-home systems deliver purified water to every tap and faucet, making them a great catchall for dealing with water contamination. Other point-of-use systems such as countertop and under-sink systems are more applicable for those who live in apartments or condos. Even filtered water bottles can have a beneficial impact, delivering purified water on-demand, on-the-go.
Everyone deserves clean, safe, healthy water
Ultimately, it’s important for every person to have access to water that’s clean, safe and, above all, healthy. That goes beyond stripping water down to its basest H2O molecules. It involves water that’s cleansed of any pathogens, yet retains essential minerals and the pH that comes with them.
Purified water vs. spring water can seem like a debate over semantics, but there are, in fact, differences between them. While both are a healthier alternative to most tap water, it’s important to drink only the purest spring water or purified water that retains natural organic minerals. It’s more than what your body needs—it’s what your body deserves.