I've heard of all different types of water but never really knew the differences between them. Below is an article that describes the differences.
And if you're interested to see what our water, in the Greater Victoria area, looks like you can click this link water quality report
Equinox Health Clinic
The basic foundation of health lays in answering this question. When I first tried to answer it myself, I began a quest that left me frustrated and bewildered. There are too many options! This article serves to demystify what kind of water you should drink.
As a health coach, I’m always asked, “What kind of water should I drink? Is my water filter adequate? Is tap water ok?” This issue has become increasingly complex. It took me months to figure out what kind of water to drink. I went all over Los Angeles searching for the ‘best’ water, the best filter, my fountain of youth and health. My discoveries may surprise you.
Types of Water
Pure water is a type of “whole food.” Like other whole foods, when it is tampered with, water loses most of its precious healing properties. Water is tampered with any time one adds anything to it, filters it using anything except carbon, spins it, alkalizes it, or does other things to it.
All of these manipulations tend to ruin it, rendering it less healthy and hydrating. To clarify all the confusion, I’ve listed many different types of water or ways in which it can be tampered.
Spring Water is the only type of water you should drink. It’s okay if you drink other water occasionally, but try to make spring water the
majority of the water you drink.
Spring water has been filtered by the earth in ways we do not completely understand, but which works better than any invented means of purifying water.
Another advantage is that it contains a wide variety of trace minerals that the human body desperately needs. Ideally, drink only spring water from remote places on earth.
It will be freer from pollutants. I like Ice Age water from a remote Glacier in Canada for its mineral profile. I love Hawaiian waters that run through mineral-rich volcanic rock (Hawaii is one of the most remote places on earth). Other spring water examples include Evian, Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water, Volvic, and Poland brands.
Artesian Water. This is spring water. Artesian water comes from a well that is dug in the earth. When the well is dug, the internal pressure from the hole causes the water to burst forth spontaneously form the well like a fountain.
Artesian water comes from a well that taps a confined aquifer - a water-bearing underground layer of rock or sand in which the water level is above the top of the aquifer. Examples include the Fiji brand water.
Reverse Osmosis. This method involves passing water at high pressure through a plastic membrane with tiny holes in it. This is a common filtration method in many bottled waters as it produces very pure water.
It is used in almost all home and commercial “drinking water” machines such as those in water stores, supermarkets and health food stores. It is also used industrially in bottling plants for soda pop, soups, juices, beer and many other drinks. I bought a reverse osmosis alkaline water system for $1100 before I had done my research.
Excited about my new purchase, I drank 10 glasses of water a day. I drank more and more, drinking ten glasses of water a day for weeks. But I was still thirsty! I never felt satiated. Then I read on Dr. L Wilson’s website that reverse osmosis water does not hydrate as well as spring water. I can certainly attest to this.
Since then, I have only drunk spring water and feel fully hydrated after 8 glasses a day. Reverse osmosis, sadly, is terrible for drinking. It does not matter if someone has added minerals back to it. These things cannot undo the damage to the water that occurs due to passing it through the plastic membrane. Examples include Dasani.
Alkaline Water. Alkaline water has been ionized to increase its pH to between 8 and 10. Some believe that the health benefits of alkaline water are overstated, and that it has little to do with stabilizing or reducing acidity in the body, but is more of a marketing scam.
A major issue with this kind of water is that there is not enough research conclusively showing the benefits actually exist. Even if many of the claims are true, the only people who really would benefit are individuals who have trouble keeping their body alkaline due to a bad diet, or people who have problems with their natural buffering systems.
Alkaline water systems include the Jupiter, I-Water, Kangen, and others. Some devices pass tap water through a carbon filter, which does not remove many toxic metals and often does not even remove too many toxic chemicals because the water must move quickly through the filter.
Then the water passes over electrified platinum and titanium plates to alkalinize it. Platinum is a deadly toxic metal, as is titanium. Some people find that they develop extreme platinum or titanium metal toxicity after using these machines. Because of this problem alone, I do not recommend these filters.
Some say alkaline water is beneficial because of its alkalinity (High pH-balance) and ORP (Oxidation Reduction Potential) that makes it an antioxidant. However, the antioxidant value only lasts 18-24 hours after it’s made.
The higher pH will last approximately 1-2 weeks. The smaller molecule cluster size of its water will last about 1-3 months. Given these facts, bottling alkaline water makes no sense, because the health benefits are gone is such a short period. Don’t waste your money.
Tap Water. Tap water contains heavy metals, fluoride, chlorine, medicines like antibiotics and antidepressants and hundreds of chemicals, many of which are not even measured or regulated.
Fluoride causes many, many side effects, weakening bones and increasing your chance of developing osteoporosis and cancer, yet it’s added to almost every municipal water supply in the US.
Drink it if you dare. Tap water, if unfiltered, often has too many toxic metals and chemicals in it to be good for drinking.
If tap water is filtered with only carbon, then it will hydrate the body and can be used for drinking, but is not usually as good as a high quality spring water. Note that carbon can remove some chlorine, but not fluorides. Since city regulators do not monitor or filter for medications, there are hundreds of them in your tap water. Not a good idea to drink it.
Drinking water. Drinking water comes from a municipal source, but is better known as tap water. Don’t bother paying for bottled drinking water that you can get out of your tap. Examples include Sahara and Kirkland brands.
Distilled Water. Distilled water has gone through a rigorous filtration process to strip it not only of contaminants, but any natural minerals as well. When water is distilled, by boiling it and condensing it, all solid matter is left except chemicals that were in the water.
Most industrial distillers have methods to capture these substances to prevent them from remaining in the water. For this reason, I find that industrially distilled water is the very best. I do not recommend buying a home distiller because they cannot match the purity of industrial distillers.
Distilled water can be used for a few months to remove toxic metals and toxic chemicals from the body quite effectively. Drinking distilled water for longer than this, however, always results in vital mineral deficiencies. Examples of distilled water include Sparkletts and SmartWater.
Mineral Water. Mineral water contains no less than 250 parts per million total dissolved mineral solids and is defined by its constant level of mineral and trace elements at the point of emergence from the source. No minerals can be added to the water. Examples include Panna from Italy.
Sparkling Mineral Water. Yes, the fizzy kind. But what makes it fizzy? This type of water contains the same amount of carbon dioxide that it had when it emerged from its source. Sparkling bottled waters may be labeled as sparkling drinking water, sparkling mineral water, sparkling spring water, etc. Examples include Perrier and Pellegrino.
Well Water. Well water can be fine, but often it is contaminated. This is especially the case if one lives in a location that was ever used for industry or agriculture. Even if your location is pristine, wells can easily become contaminated, especially with minerals such as iron and manganese.
State testing laboratories cannot or will not test for hundreds of toxic chemicals and they often don’t even test for contaminants such as high levels of manganese. If you have a well, try to check carefully before using it for drinking purposes. Many of my clients that drink from wells usually have manganese toxicity, but usually have others as well.
Even though it’s best for you body to drink spring water, it is not always practical. Installation of a home water filter system is wise for drinking, cooking, washing vegetables, and even showering. One of your best bets for clean, pure water is to simply install a high quality water filter for your entire home.
A whole house carbon filter will remove contaminants from steamy chemical-laden vapors you and your family inhale while showering and washing dishes. It’s wise to install a house filter because the body absorbs a substantial amount of toxins, including fluoride and chlorine, through the skin during showers and baths.
I’ve compiled a guide for you to figure out the best filtration system for your needs. Great filters and live customer service to help you choose the right system for you can be found at APS Water. Follow these steps to find out the filtration system that’s right for you.
Consider the style of water filter that will best fit your needs. Household water filters generally fall into one of two categories: point-of-entry units, which treat water before it gets distributed throughout the house; and point-of-use units, which include countertop filters, faucet filters, and under-the-sink units.
Determine what contaminants you need to remove. You may already know what chemical pollutants you want to be sure your water filter removes. But if you don’t, a great place to start is to look at what kinds of contaminants are showing up in your community’s drinking water.
Look up your water system on EWG’s tap water database. Can’t find your system? Call your local water utility and ask them to send you a copy of their Consumer Confidence Report, which contains information on its testing of your system’s water.
Choose the type of filter that best fits your needs.
This list was reprinted from EWG’s site.
Carbon/Activated Carbon: Activated carbon chemically bonds with and removes some contaminants in water filtered through it. Carbon filters vary greatly in effectiveness: some just remove chlorine and improve taste and odor, while others remove a wide range of contaminants including asbestos, lead, mercury and VOCs.
However, activated carbon cannot effectively remove other common “inorganic” pollutants such as arsenic, fluoride, hexavalent chromium, nitrate and perchlorate. These filters come in two forms, carbon block and granulated activated carbon.
Carbon Block: Carbon block filters contain pulverized activated carbon shaped into blocks under high pressure.
Granulated Activated Carbon: These filters contain fine grains of activated carbon. They are typically less effective than carbon block filters because of their smaller surface area.
Reverse Osmosis: This process relies on a semi-permeable membrane that retains particles larger than water molecules. Reverse osmosis can remove many contaminants not removed by carbon, including arsenic, fluoride, hexavalent chromium, nitrates and perchlorate.
Ceramic: Ceramic filters have with very small holes throughout the material that block solid contaminants such as cysts and sediments from passing through. They do not remove chemical contaminants.
Deionization: An ion exchange process removes mineral salts and other electrically charged molecules from water. The process cannot remove non-ionic contaminants (including disinfection byproducts and other common volatile organic compounds) or microorganisms. This filtration method makes the water alkaline.
Ion Exchange: This technology passes water over a resin that replaces undesirable ions (charged particles) with others that are more desirable. One common application is water softening, replacing calcium and magnesium with sodium.
Ozone: Ozone kills bacteria and other microorganisms and is often used in conjunction with other filtering technologies. It is not effective in reducing levels of chemical contaminants
UV (ultraviolet): These systems use ultraviolet light to kill bacteria and other microorganisms. They cannot remove chemical contaminants.
Water Softeners: These devices use ion exchange to lower levels of calcium and magnesium (which can build up in plumbing and fixtures) as well barium and certain forms of radium. They do not remove most other contaminants
No filter will give you good performance over the long-term unless it receives regular maintenance. As contaminants build up, a filter cannot only become less effective, but also make your water worse by releasing harmful bacteria or chemicals back into your filtered water.
For the full article from Health Ambition click here