Living in America, we have a plenty of options when it comes to selecting the type of water we drink. Many of us consume what’s known as spring water. But, what is spring water exactly and where does it come from?
To offer a better understanding, we’ve put together a list of some common questions and provided answers to each.
What is a Spring?
Before we understand what spring water is, we must first understand where it originates. When most of us think of a spring, we picture a perfectly-shaped circular pool sitting at the base of a tall snow-capped mountain. While this may be true in some rare instances, it isn’t always the case.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, “A spring is a water resource formed when the side of a hill, a valley bottom or other excavation intersects a flowing body of groundwater at or below the local water table, below which the subsurface material is saturated with water. A spring is the result of an aquifer being filled to the point that the water overflows onto the land surface. They range in size from intermittent seeps, which flow only after much rain, to huge pools flowing hundreds of millions of gallons daily.”
In more basic terms, as the water cycle produces rainwater, it falls onto the earth’s surface which is covered by a relatively thin layer of soil. As water seeps through this soil, it will then likely encounter a variety of permeable rocks (sandstone, limestone, etc.) below. The water will continue to sink into the earth until it hits an impermeable layer of rock (such as clay). At this point, the water will obey the laws of gravity and travel downhill until it again reaches the land surface. Once the water breaks the surface, springs result.
Springs were very important to early civilization, as villages needed sources of fresh water. Fresh water typically did not come from the sea or rivers.
What is Spring Water and How Does It Differ from Other Types of Water?
Spring water is collected from its source (explained above), providing the consumer with a healthy amount of minerals that are good for the body. Many consumers of spring water claim it has a natural and refreshing taste that is hard to find in other types of water. While spring water can be safe to drink without being treated, its quality cannot be promised, which is why here at Summit Springs,We do our own regularly scheduled testing and have the results verified by third-party laboratories.
Tap water can come from many different sources, but the majority originates from creeks, streams, rivers, lakes, and rainwater. This type of water typically uses sand filtration, flocculation, and chlorine to kill off bacteria and remove any debris that might jeopardize its usability. Additionally, since 1945, fluoride has been added to tap water as a measure in the best interest of public health. However, there is debate that fluoride could cause a number of health-related issues.
Filtered water is very popular in today’s homes as it helps get rid of that “chlorine” taste many people complain of. Additionally, filters can eliminate the presence of bacteria and other pesticides. Most of the filters found in countertop pitchers use carbon (activated charcoal), which attracts and soaks in particles before passing the water through a screen and into the container. While filtered water removes many of the unwanted elements found in tap water, it will not filter out fluoride.
Purified water is very commonly used in the production of medications, but is a popular drinking choice as well. Using a variety of different processes (deionization, microfiltration, ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis, and more), purified water is stripped of chemicals and other contaminants. While this may be extremely beneficial for scientific work and reduces chemicals present in drinking water, it also removes some of the beneficial minerals that are present in spring water.
Distilled water is when water is heated until it reaches a boil, turns to steam, and then returns to water. As the water boils, it naturally kills off bacteria and other chemicals, leaving behind minerals and other heavy contaminants. Rather than the contaminants being removed from the water, distillation removes the water from the contaminants. Much like purified water, distilled water will not include minerals that may be beneficial to the human body.
The next time you consume water, think about its source and feel free to brag about the knowledge you gathered from this post. We hope we did a good job of answering the “what is spring water?” question!
October 28th, 2015
by Abe Bellini