Raw Water vs Bottled Water vs Tap Water – What’s The Difference and What Am I Drinking?
You may think water is “just that” – water. But, ask anybody, and they’ll have a preference for either bottled, tap or even a certain brand of bottled water. Water from different areas can have slightly different flavours, due to the presence of certain minerals or elements. This is also true of different brands of bottled water, as they come from different sources. But, is one type of water better than others?
What is Raw Water?
Unfiltered, untreated spring water, packaged in glass bottles.
A few companies “produce” and sell it. In general, it’s gathered at running springs and bottled at nearby facilities. Live Water says they test each batch for bacteria before it goes to market and that each bottle has a shelf life of “one lunar cycle.”
Proponents believe it’s better than tap water because it doesn’t contain fluoride and chlorine, and that it’s better than traditional bottled water because minerals aren’t filtered out or added to it during processing. They also criticize bottled water for being treated with ozone gas.
The Dangers of Drinking Raw Water
According to the The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), drinking water comes from groundwater, streams, rivers, and lakes, which are subject to contamination by animal by-products, microbial’s, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, and pollution.
To ensure your drinking water is safe, the EPA sets regulations for over 90 contaminants for drinking water, including:
Chemical contaminants: arsenic, chemical, lead, copper, radionuclides, lead, and other chemicals
Microbial contaminants: coliform, disinfection by-products, bacteria, parasites, and other pathogens
Even though untreated water appears clean, drinking it can be extremely dangerous to your health.
Even though the water looked pristine, there are all kinds of wildlife in the mountains that poop in the fields, and when it rains or the snow melts, the pathogens in their faeces end up in the water.
If drinking bottled water is not something you particularly advocate for, instead of drinking bottled water, why not consider purchasing a refillable water bottle or water cooler? By doing this, you eliminate the amount of small water bottled going into landfills, as well as having clean, pure water on-tap.
Most bottled water contains either mineral or spring water. This means the water comes from a safe, protected source and is safe to drink. Most bottled water is pure enough that it doesn’t need further treating. Read more about Aquazania’s water purification process here:
Step 1 – Silica Sand Sediment Filtration
This is the first stage, eliminating coarse particles, dust and other foreign matter.
The sand is regenerated after every batch produced to prevent clogging and the breeding of bacteria in the medium.
Step 2 – Granular Activated Carbon Filtration
This is done in 7 stages. The carbon is also regenerated after every batch to prevent clogging and the breeding of bacteria in the medium.
Step 3 – Ultra Fine Mechanical Filtration
Six times 1-micron cartridges are used for this stage.
Step 4 – Reverse Osmosis Filtration
This is the heart of the Aquazania process. Six pairs of semi-permeable cellulose-acetate and polyamide membranes remove all remaining contaminants, including bacteria and viruses, as well as 99.9996% of dissolved minerals, salts and chemicals. The effective pore size of the combined membranes is equivalent to mechanical filtration of 0.0001 micron (0.0000001 millimeters). The membranes are flushed after every batch.
Step 5 – Mineral Reinjection
Because 100% pure H20 has a mildly unpleasant bland taste, we re-introduce minute quantities of pharmaceutical grade minerals: calcium (2,70 parts per million), magnesium (2,54 parts per million) and potassium (1,90 parts per million). This produces a natural, sweet-tasting water with additional nutritional properties – pH=6,85.
Step 6 – Ozone Sterilization
Pressured ozone gas is injected into the water. Its powerful oxidizing properties kill any remaining micro-organisms, bacteria or viruses. In addition, any dissolved iron and manganese – often found in excessive amounts in ground water – are converted into insoluble oxides and removed by sedimentation.
Step 7 – 2-Stage Bottle Washing
A: High pressure, high temperature, high alkalinity washing
B: High pressure, low temperature rinsing
Step 8 – Sterile Bottle Rinse
At this stage the bottles are rinsed out with the product – having residual ozone – thus sterilizing the bottles.
Step 9 – Filling, Capping And Sealing
Filling, capping and sealing are done in a pressurized, dust-filtered environment.
Your bottle of Aquazania Premium Water is now ready for delivery to your home or office.
Municipal water on the other hand has added ingredients that can, in fact, be harmful; the reason for this is the necessity to add regulated substances, such as fluoride, chlorine and other flavour-enhancing chemicals to be able to supply potable water to the majority of households. Municipalities focus mainly on quantity over quality.
Also consider your municipal water undergoes quite a lengthy route to reach your taps from the reservoirs and aquifers. Acid rain can soak into the soil, and eventually into the water supply itself and cause contamination. Out-dated storm and sewer systems may sometimes leach lead or other unsavoury items when the systems are under pressure after heavy rainfall, and groundwater may be contaminated by chemicals leached into the soil from landfills, septic systems as well as unregulated agricultural overflow.
In Summary: Raw Water vs Bottled Water vs Tap Water
Raw water may compromise your health due to the high amount of unregulated and undocumented contaminants it contains. Bottled water has taken flack for plastic pollution – but if y=used responsibly and sourced from a supplier who ensures recycling of their own bottles, you’re good to go. Tap water in South Africa is questionable at the best of times.
Why not try out an Aquazania water cooler? Fill out the form below and we’ll contact you!