Know Your Water Options

Understanding the Types of Water 


Everyone knows what water is. Our bodies must have it to live. We drink it every day. But when people start talking about what the best source of drinking water is, you’ll soon realize that everyone’s opinion is different.

Before you start looking for an office water service for your company, it’s important to understand the different types of water out there. Knowing, for example, the difference between purified water and spring water or mineral water vs. distilled water will help you in choosing a water service provider that meets your needs.

different glasses of drinking water

Differences in water are based on:

  • Where the water comes from
  • The kind of filtration process the water undergoes

The water source could be any of the following:

  • Man-made well
  • River, lake or ocean
  • Underground spring
  • Rainwater

The type of water you should choose is based on:

  • Personal taste
  • Intended use

water storage tanks holding drinkable well water

Well Water

Well water is water that has been stored in permeable rocks and soil. It is extracted using a drill. The water has been enriched with natural minerals, making well water an excellent type of drinking water. However, it is possible that the soil could have been contaminated at some point, requiring the water to go through some level of filtration. In order to be sold as “well water,” the water must pass FDA standards and come from a protected water source that is located underground.

Well water may be:
  • Bottled water
  • Regular tap water

natural flowing cold spring

Spring Water

Spring water flows from beneath a natural aquifer of rock beds and soil up to the surface. Spring water does not flow into any other lakes or rivers. When spring water is bottled, it may go through some kind of filtration to improve the quality, but it must still be naturally rich in trace minerals. Overall, spring water is an excellent choice of water to drink. Many consider it the best choice to stay healthy and hydrated. However, it is important to note that many manufacturers of spring water do not bottle the water at its source, but rather, transport it to an offsite facility where it is treated with many of the same chemicals that are used to treat regular tap water.

Spring water may be:
  • Bottled water
  • Regular tap water (with advanced filtration)

mineral water

Mineral Water

Mineral water can actually come from either a spring or a well. In order to be considered mineral water, it must have a specified amount of trace minerals. The amount of necessary minerals is hard to come by from a natural spring or well. The majority of mineral water in the U.S. is imported from Europe, which means it is more expensive. While the minerals create an added health benefit, the taste is harsher than what most people are used to. Mineral water is not typically consumed on a daily basis.

Mineral water may be:
  • Bottled water
  • Carbonated or non-carbonated (the only difference between the two is the amount of carbon dioxide; the amount of trace minerals will be the same)

graphic of water distillation process

Distilled Water

Distilled water is boiled until it turns into vapor. Once in a vapor state, the vapor is collected and cooled. The vapor then turns back into a liquid state. Minerals weigh too much to be carried up into the vapor state, which means when the vapor cools back into water it no longer has any minerals. Distilled water is useful for machinery and cleaning products, such as a steamer or coolant for a car engine. Water with minerals in it can cause stains or build-up. The lack of minerals in distilled water eliminates that problem.

Can you drink distilled water?

Or rather, should you drink distilled water? The answer is no. Ironically, distilled water could be considered the cleanest version of water, but it has a tendency to pull minerals out of the bloodstream. It’s not good for human consumption.

Distilled water is most commonly stored in mulit-gallon plastic bottles.

Purified Water

Purified water is a loose term applied broadly to different types of water. The term purified means that contaminates and/or minerals were removed from the water by some type of filtration process. The range of filtration can vary greatly. Tap water going through a charcoal filter could be considered purified just as easily as water treated with ultraviolet light or reverse osmosis. If spring or well water has been filtered in some way, it could be considered purified. Since some filtration processes can actually strip the water of its minerals, it is important to find out how the water has been filtered before drinking it on a daily basis. Office water services may use any of the following filtration systems: carbon filtration, UV radiation, or reverse osmosis.

Purified water may be:
  • Bottled water
  • Filtered from a tap

Which Water Should You Get

Now that you know the difference between all the different kinds of water, which should you choose? It all depends on what you need the water for as well as personal taste. We’ve put together a chart to help you determine what type of water is best:


chart of water types and uses

*Due to its cost and harsher taste, mineral water is not usually used for daily consumption, but it is a healthy choice if you have the means to do so.

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If you would like to learn more about water services, read the Office Water Buyer’s Guide. If you are ready to get a free price quote on office water services for your business or home, please fill out our form. We can put you in touch with up to 5 suppliers who will answer any questions you have and give you free price quotes.

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