In this article we’ll
take a look at all of the different types of water there are available to you
to drink. We all know we need to stay hydrated to stay healthy, but what’s the
best type of water
to drink? The answer may depend on a number of factors particular to your own
situation, so read on to find out more.
Why should I know about the
different types of
There are quite a few different types of water. The obvious
one comes straight out of a tap, but is this always the best water to drink?
Maybe you spend lots of money buying bottled water, but is this the most cost-effective
plenty of healthy water
? And what’s the difference between mineral and
spring water? We have all the facts about all the different types of water available to you so
you can decide which one you’d rather be drinking on a daily basis.
The 8 different types of water
1. Purified water
Purified water shouldn’t contain any nasty or unnecessary contaminants that
wouldn’t normally be there at its natural source. Because our tap water is
exposed to a whole host of invasive elements and processed at water treatment
plants, it needs to be purified to restore it back to its natural self.
Purified water is free from chlorine, bacteria, sediment, silt, scale,
dirt, rust, sand, microplastic, pesticides, herbicides, volatile organic
compounds (VOCs) and other organic matter - a pretty comprehensive list of all
the things you wouldn’t really want to be drinking that could be found in tap
If you live in a
area, purifying your tap water gets rid of the scale that can easily
This type of
drinking water should retain the naturally occurring healthy minerals
such as magnesium, calcium and potassium.
your own water
means you don’t have to continue buying expensive water in
single-use plastic bottles.
Purified water contains less contaminants than water from a filter
jug. A decent water purifier will draw directly from your mains and chill or
heat it for you on demand, so it’s much
Water purifiers are an additional cost. Even so, it’s still cheaper than buying
lots of bottled water if you drink enough of it.
Tap water is the
stuff that’s piped to your property from your local water treatment works. Your
mains water will originally have been surface water (from rivers, lakes and
reservoirs), groundwater (from the cracks and spaces in underground rocks, soil
and sand) or wastewater (from the sewers) that’s been treated by your local
Your tap water should
always be safe to drink
This type of water
is cheaper than buying bottled water
If you live in a hard water area, you may be able to see and taste the
scale that can easily form.
The quality of your tap water may vary, depending on a number of factors such
as where you are in the country, how far you are from the water treatment works
and even the weather. Yes, really! When it’s hot, surface water may contain
more algae than normal. In certain weather conditions more treatment may be
needed, such as increased chlorination, and you may smell and taste the difference.
Here is what you need to know about the
of chlorine in our tap water
and when you should choose a different type of drinking
Water that’s potentially travelled miles and miles through aged pipes from the
water treatment works may pick up rust and dirt. If your tap water sits for a
long time in your pipes it may grow bacteria as the chlorine evaporates.
drinking water inspectorate
(the DWI) recommends that we filter our tap
water if we can detect chlorine and don’t like the taste and smell. They also
-Only drink freshly drawn water from the cold
water tap directly off the water mains, usually the cold tap in your kitchen
-If you haven’t run any water for several
hours, fill a washing up bowl before drinking any tap water. Don’t drink water
which may have been standing for a long time in your pipes
-Don’t drink or use the water from your
bathroom taps for cooking as it usually comes from a storage tank in the loft
so won’t be as fresh as from your kitchen tap
Distilled water is tap water that’s been boiled until it’s just a lot
of steam. That steam has then been cooled back down and returned to its liquid
state. This is water purification at its most serious as it removes absolutely
everything from H20 apart from the H20 itself.
Distilled water is
used in medical facilities and laboratory tests as it’s the cleanest it can be.
It’s so clean that it doesn’t contain any healthy minerals that would
naturally have been present in groundwater.
As it has no vitamins or minerals, it can taste flat.
To try and restore its mineral content, distilled water can pull in minerals
from anything it touches. If kept in a plastic container, it may absorb trace
amounts of plastic. It’s best kept in sterilised glass as this won’t leach
anything. It could even try to pull in minerals from your teeth and body!
Explore more about this type of water with our handy
water versus distilled water.
Mineral water is directly pulled from a named, naturally occurring
underground mineral spring that’s constantly flowing. Its original purity
should be maintained and its composition, which should be on the label, must
remain stable over time. Therefore, mineral water needs to be bottled at
source, free of any contaminants and not be chemically treated. It should also
be officially recognised by the local authority.
As its name suggests, mineral water contains lots of healthy,
naturally occurring minerals found in groundwater that our bodies can’t create
on their own.
Buying lots of
bottled mineral water, enough to keep up our recommended daily fluid intake,
can be a costly enterprise. Choosing this type of water can also be detrimental to the
environment, if bought in single-use plastic bottles.
Shop-bought water in plastic bottles has been shown to contain ‘a few hundred’ pieces of microplastic. Tests
revealed that 93% of bottled water shows 'some sign of microplastic
Spring water comes from a named underground source and is free of any
contaminants. It must be bottled at source, ensuring that this type of drinking water
doesn’t pass through any community water system and isn’t chemically treated.
Should be naturally clean, healthy and tasty.
Spring water is one of the different
types of bottled water that isn’t subject to as many regulations as mineral
water is in the UK, so while it still may contain as many minerals, it might
have more, it might have less. There’s no legal obligation to tell us what
spring water constitutes.
Many spring water sources may be the same as our mains water sources, so you’re
effectively paying to buy the same stuff that comes out of your tap (minus the
chlorine and other contaminants it might pick up along the way as detailed
As with mineral water, buying lots of bottled spring water, enough to
keep up our recommended daily fluid intake, can be a costly enterprise. And
detrimental to the environment, if bought in single-use plastic bottles. Check
bottled water compares to purified water with our quick guide.
Just as with mineral water, drinking spring water from plastic bottles
might expose you to hundreds of tiny pieces of plastic. If you want to find out
more about bottled
water and the risks of microplastic contamination, we covered all you need
to know in our article.
A different type of water
you should know about is alkaline water. lkaline water has a higher pH level
than normal water due to the amount of alkaline minerals it naturally contains,
such as calcium, potassium and magnesium. The pH level, from 0 to 14, measures
how acidic or alkaline something is. Water’s normal pH level is a neutral 7 -
right in the middle of the scale. Anything pH 1 will be super acidic, while
anything pH 13 will be alkaline.
Alkaline water may be
able to help with symptoms of acid reflux and reduce inflammation in our
Research has shown that
drinking alkaline water can help athletes improve their performance. In tests, alkalized water enhanced
hydration, helped flush lactic acid out of muscles faster and improved
anaerobic exercise performance (such as high intensity interval training).
None of the latter health
claims above have been universally proven, so more research is needed.
Drinking lots of alkaline water may reduce acid in our stomachs,
therefore dampening our natural ability to kill off bacteria. Drinking too much
of this type of water may also trigger metabolic
alkalosis, where our bodies lose too much acid.
Ionised water is similar to natural alkaline water in that it has a
high mineral content, but those minerals have been electrically charged.
Ionised water is usually the commercially available equivalent of alkaline
water. Therefore, If you buy alkaline water, it may be labelled as ‘alkaline
Ionised water has been chemically treated by an ioniser to give it a
similar pH level to naturally alkaline water. That doesn’t mean it’s bad for
you, it’s just not the natural stuff.
Borehole water, or well water, comes straight out of the ground. A
deep narrow well is dug to tap into naturally occurring groundwater, which is
then pumped up to the surface. This type of water is raw and untreated.
The convenience of having your own water source in your back garden is pretty
amazing. If you’re lucky
enough to be sitting on top of a nice bunch of aquifers, you effectively have
your own source of entirely natural mineral water that doesn’t need treating.
from your own well is usually safe to drink, but it must first be checked to
make sure. The National Ground Water Association recommends you check your borehole water at least once a
year for bacteria, nitrates, nitrites and any other contaminants.
As borehole water comes straight from the ground,
depending on where you are, it may contain high levels of iron, magnesium,
calcium or other minerals as well as some bacteria. While not always harmful,
anyone vulnerable (including babies) should be careful.
You may need to treat this type of water before
it’s safe to drink. Getting it regularly tested will keep you on top of this.
If it’s coming out brown and smelly, that’s not a good sign.
Drilling a borehole may cost anything between £10-£16K, depending on how far
you need to drill. This includes getting a geological survey beforehand. Annual
costs may be anything around £160, including the cost of electricity to run
your pump and any replacement filters needed.
If the costs above are less than you normally spend on water, then in the long
term this could well be a pro!
What are the best types of water to drink?
All the above types
of drinking water are safe, although if you have your own borehole water
supply you need to get that checked regularly.
Tap water should always technically be safe to
drink, but you may not like the look and taste of your local hard water or you
may catch a chemical whiff of chlorine.
Bottled water seems like a convenient and healthy alternative to tap water, but
not only are single-use plastic bottles polluting the planet, the
water itself has been shown to contain microplastics. Who wants to be
In many ways, your
own water sourced from a borehole seems like the ideal solution - if you can
afford the upfront cost and happen to live on the right patch!
Perhaps the best solution is to purify your tap water. If you don’t
like the taste of your tap water and you spend lots of money buying bottled
water, then investing in a countertop
water purifier could be the best, most cost-effective, long-term solution -
not only for your purse and your palate, but for the planet as well.
Next, check out all the amazing benefits
of increasing your water consumption, no matter the type of water you choose to drink on
a regular basis. Or if you’re struggling to drink
more water, we’ve got the best tips for you, here.