Comparing the Different Types of Drinking Water

Facts and Statistics on Drinking Water

The Facts

  • You can survive one week without water
  • Drinking too much water too quickly can lead to water intoxication
  • Annually, Americans consume 8.6 billion gallons of bottled water
  • 25 million people die each year from contaminated water


How much water entering our homes goes down the drain

Water Makes Up…

  • Of a Human’s Body Weight 70% 70%
  • Of Your Brain Tissue 80% 80%

Different Types of Drinking Water

The main types of drinking water are spring water, purified water, mineral water, sparkling bottled water, artesian water, and well water.

Spring Water

The Facts
  • Underground source of water that naturally rises to the surface
  • Filtered to remove unwanted particles
  • Free of contaminants
Health Benefits/Pros
  • It is mineral-rich, therefore it will have a neutral or slightly alkaline pH
    • Alkaline water is water that is more basic than acidic
  • Drinking alkaline water helps neutralize acidity in the body and helps keep bones strong
  • Has a clean, refreshing taste
  • Bottled spring water is convenient because it’s easy to pick up a bottle at any gas station or supermarket
Health Risks/Cons
  • Sometimes bottled spring water companies can lie about the source (sometimes it doesn’t actually come from a natural spring)
  • Costs can add up if you are constantly buying bottled spring water
  • Isn’t environmentally friendly unless you actually recycle the bottles

Purified Water

The Facts
  • Purified water is water that is rid of unwanted contaminants
    • Bacteria, algae, fungi, parasites, metals like copper and lead, chemical pollutants
  • Water is purified by using one of several methods
    • Distillation
      • The action of purifying a liquid by a process of heating and cooling.
    • Deionization
      • Removal of charged atoms or ions from a liquid by passing it through two resins, one removes positive sodium ions (Na+) and the other negative chlorine ions (Cl-)
    • Reverse Osmosis
      • Movement of fresh water through a semipermeable membrane when pressure is applied to a solution (such as seawater) on one side of it
Health Benefits/Pros
  • Better than tap water because purified water is rid of harmful contaminants like bacteria or chlorine that could be in your well
  • Can absorb and eliminate toxic substances from your body
  • Since it’s purified, it will not be contaminated, therefore there is a guaranteed fresh taste and smell
Health Risks/Cons
  • Can absorb carbon dioxide from air
    • Carbon dioxide makes water acidic, the more a person drinks, the more acidic your pH level will be

Mineral Water

The Facts
  • Obtains minerals by one of two ways
    • Naturally from wells
    • Artificially infused
      • Mineral drops
        • Includes micro minerals that your body needs in very small amounts (chromium, copper, manganese, molybdenum iodine, selenium, iron, and zinc)
      • Mineral-rich, unprocessed sea salt
        • Known to contain over 80 trace minerals
        • Just add a pinch to water and wait to drink until it dissolves
      • Alkaline pitcher
        • One made by Santevia that filters water, raises pH, and adds back in calcium, magnesium, and other beneficial minerals
Health Benefits/Pros
  • Adding minerals to water makes them much more easily absorbed by the body because they are already in their electrolyte or ionic form
  • It can help balance electrolytes
    • Important because they help regulate how and where fluids are distributed throughout the body
Health Risks/Cons
  • Mineral water can be high in sodium and avoided by people with high blood pressure
  • It can be more expensive

Sparkling Bottled Water

The Facts
  • Fizz created by carbon dioxide gas
Health Benefits/Pros
  • Healthier version of soda (carbonated but doesn’t contain harmful chemicals in soda products)
  • Helps treat indigestion
  • Good stain remover
Health Risks/Cons
  • Minerals are removed which reduces health benefits
  • Can cause stomach ulcers
  • Known to prevent absorption of calcium and increase the risk of osteoporosis
  • Very acidic therefore shouldn’t drink regularly

Well Water

The Facts
  • Similar to mineral water because of infused minerals from the ground
Health Benefits/Pros
  • Mineral-rich
  • Environmentally friendly (not using plastic bottles)
  • If you survive the bacteria in it, it can make your immune system stronger
Health Risks/Cons
  • May contain microorganisms and chemicals that can make you sick
  • Must routinely test your well for unwanted toxins
  • If you have hard water (water infused with too many minerals), it can corrode your pipes and leave residue on your skin or any other surface

Artesian Water

The Facts
  • Extracted from an artesian well

    • Water in the aquifer must be under enough pressure to force it to the top of the well

Health Benefits/Pros
  • There is nothing extraordinary about this type of water besides the way in which it was processed

Health Risks/Cons
  • Has no chemical or medicinal qualities

    • There is no extra added minerals or substances that are known to make the water any better than the other types

Tap Water

The Facts
  • Can come from a variety of sources
    • Well
    • Surface water collected from streams, river, lakes, and reservoirs
  • Tap water of at least 41 million Americans has been found to contain a wide range of pharmaceuticals, including sex hormones and anti-seizure medicine
  • Contaminants in tap water, such as lead and perchlorate, can increase the risk of learning disorders in small children
Health Benefits/Pros
  • Essentially costs you nothing
  • Some tap water sources add in fluoride which is good for your teeth
Health Risks/Cons
  • Doesn’t always taste the best
  • Can potentially make you sick
    • Sewage releases
    • Arsenic, radon, uranium and other naturally occurring minerals and chemicals
    • Fertilizers and pesticides

Distilled Water

The Facts
  • Produced by distillation
    • Water is boiled into steam and condensed back into liquid in a separate, sterile container
Health Benefits/Pros
  • Very clean water
  • No harmful contaminants
Health Risks/Cons
  • Loses beneficial minerals in the purification process
  • The creation of free radicals
    • Free radicals are atoms in the body that have unpaired and uneven electron counts that can encourage inconsistency in the body’s makeup

Alkaline Water

The Facts
  • Alkaline water has a pH that is more basic rather than acidic
  • Processed by one of two ways
    • Naturally –  water passes over rocks (like springs) and picks up minerals, which increase its alkaline levels
    • Electrolysis
      • A product called an ionizer is utilized to raise the pH of regular water
Health Benefits/Pros
  • Helps regulate body’s pH level by neutralizing acidity
  • Prevents chronic diseases like cancer
  • Helps eliminate acid reflux symptoms
  • Cleanses colon
  • Supports immune system
Health Risks/Cons
  • Too much alkaline can lead to metabolic alkalosis which deteriorates bone health and causes nausea

Average pH Level of Water Types

  • Water with a pH < 7 is considered acidic and with a pH > 7 is considered basic
  • Normal range for pH in surface water systems is 6.5 to 8.5 and for groundwater systems 6 to 8.5
  • Ideal pH level of drinking water is between 6 and 8.5

  • Spring (7.0)
  • Distilled (5.0 to 7.0)
  • Mineral (5.0 to 7.0)
  • Sparkling (3.0 to 4.0)
  • Well (6.0 to 8.5)
  • Alkaline (8.0 to 9.0)
  • Tap (7.0 to 9.0)
  • Bottled (6.5 to 7.5)

Cost of Different Water Types


Danger/do not drink/highly expensive
Caution/avoid in large quantities/moderate price
Healthy/drink as much as you’d like/affordable
No effect

  Tap Filtered Bottled Reverse-Osmosis Distilled Ionized
Upfront Cost (Per Liter) <$.01 $.02-.06 $1.50+ $.06 $.10-.17 $.06
Ongoing Cost (Per Liter) <$.01 $.02-.06 $1.50+ $.02 $.07-.10 <$.01
Mineral Source
Long-term Drinkability

Hi I'm Jamie, teacher and owner/chief contributor at We strive to bring you the most informative water filter reviews in the most intuitive and user friendly way. Besides offering advice on the water filter to suit your needs, we also post topical articles on water pollution and the environment. Stay connected and follow us on, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and more!

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