THE WATERWHEEL: A series dedicated to one of our most treasured resources - Water

THE WATERWHEEL - What is Bottled Water?

by Don Janssen, UNL Extension Educator

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Water WheelBottled water is defined as water that is sealed in food grade bottles and intended for human consumption. There are several types of bottled water, depending on the type of water provided and the source of the water. This publication will address the type of bottled water most often used to replace tap water. Some bottled water is carbonated and is called sparkling water. This water has a "fizz" that is usually created by carbon dioxide gas. Water without the added carbonation is still water. Ordinary tap water and most bottled water found in larger containers are examples of still water. Bottled still water is the type of water most often used to replace tap water.

Water has varying levels of dissolved minerals. The mineral content is expressed as the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) in the water. Bottled water sold as mineral water usually has a higher TDS content than tap water since people want and expect mineral salts in their mineral water. Distilled or demineralized water has been treated to remove nearly all minerals that occur naturally in the water, making the water taste flat. Natural water is unmodified by mineral addition or deletion. Groundwater will contain the minerals dissolved as the water moves through soil and rock materials. Natural bottled water or mineral water are the types most often used to replace tap water.

Bottled water can come from a variety of sources including groundwater from a well, water from a protected spring, or water from a public water supply. Groundwater comes from an aquifer, an underground zone of saturated sand, gravel or rock that yields significant quantities of water. In most cases a well is drilled in the ground and cased, and the water is pumped out. Spring water flows naturally to the surface from an underground formation. The source of water for a public water supply can be groundwater, surface water or a combination. Bottled water from all of the sources mentioned above is used to replace tap water.

This article appeared in the NEBLINE Newsletter.

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PHOTO Credit: Rita Shelley

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444 Cherrycreek Road, Suite A, Lincoln, NE 68528 | 402-441-7180

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