Raw Water vs Bottled Water vs Tap Water – What’s The Difference and What Am I Drinking?

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.

Bottled 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.

Tap Water

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! 

Bottled Water vs Canned Water

Bottled Water Vs. Canned Water

When it comes to water storage containers, people can buy either a plastic bottle, glass jar (although very rarely seen) or an aluminium can. These options may seem similar on the surface; they all hold liquids, after all. Yet major differences between the aluminium can and the plastic bottle can affect the health of both people and the environment – as well as the taste.

Advantages of Bottled Water

You can reseal plastic bottles by putting the bottle-lid back on; doing so prevents contaminants getting into the drink, increases portability and preserves freshness. Cans cannot be resealed once they are opened, so the entire contents of the can must be consumed in a single sitting, or placed into a storage container.

When selecting your bottled water supplier, ensure their bottles are made from PET food-grade plastic. This prevents leeching of potentially dangerous chemicals such as BPA into the water. Read more about that here.

Some other benefits of bottled water over canned water include:

  • Convenience

Keeping your refrigerator stocked with bottled water is a quick and convenient way to fulfil your body’s hydration needs. Although it doesn’t take much time or effort to fill a glass with water from the tap or a pitcher, grabbing a bottled water from the refrigerator is even quicker.

  • You Can Track Your Intake

To keep the body properly hydrated, recommendations usually advise drinking six to eight 8 glasses of water per day. And while that recommendation seems quite simple to follow, it can be a bit challenging to keep track of how much water you’re actually drinking. But a bottle of water’s label clearly indicates the volume of water you’re drinking — so you can easily track your intake in ounces. Bottled water is available in a variety of sizes, from handy half-litre bottles to larger sized containers.

  • Your Water Remains Taste- and Odor-Free

Water from the tap occasionally has an unpleasant taste or odour, such as a metallic taste or sulphurous odour. These smells and flavours can be imparted on drinking water from chemical treatments, plants or animals inhabiting the original water source or the plumbing materials used to deliver water into your home. While these subtle scents and tastes may not bother everyone, people with discriminating tastes may be displeased. Typically, bottled water has no recognizable aromas or flavours.

Advantages of Canned Water

Aluminium cans do not contain bisophenol A (BPA), found in (some) plastic bottles. This chemical has come under scrutiny due to a possible link to health risks that might include cancer. Aquazania’s PET food-grade water bottles are BPA free – read more about that here.


Other advantages of drinking canned water include:

  • Cans have the highest recycling rate of any beverage container .
  • The average aluminium can is made from 68 percent total recycled content, the highest of any beverage container.
  • Cans don’t shatter and are among the lightest beverage packages to transport, reducing their environmental footprint. However, in comparison to plastic bottled water, this is not the case.
  • Cans go from the recycling bin to store shelves within 60 days.


The choice is and always will be yours.


How Much Water Do You Eat?

How Much Water Do You Eat?

We’re told day after day how much water we should be drinking. Some experts say you should determine your necessary water intake by body weight, others says it’s decided by your gender – but the general rule of thumb is that you should drink approximately 2 litres per day (and more during hotter months or illness).

Have you considered that the food you eat also contains water – which directly contributes to your daily intake?

Approximately 80% of our water intake comes from drinking water and other beverages, and the other 20% comes from food. Assuming these percentages are accurate for most of us, the recommended amount of beverages, including water, would be approximately 9 cups for women and 12.5 cups for men.

While 20% may seem like a lot of fluid to get from food, many common food items are mostly water. Here are some foods with high water content:

  • Lettuce (1½ cup) – 95%
  • Watermelon (1½ cup) – 92%
  • Broccoli (1½ cup) – 91%
  • Grapefruit (1½ cup) – 91%
  • Milk (1 cup) – 89%
  • Orange juice (3/4 cup) – 88%
  • Carrot (1½ cup) – 87%
  • Yogurt (1 cup) – 85%
  • Apple (one medium) – 84%

If you consume the specified amounts of these foods regularly, you may be consuming more water than you know. Keep it up!

How Much Water Does it Take to Make Food?

It also takes more water to produce different types of food.

Different foods are more “water-friendly” than others. With 92% of the water we use being used for food production, it’s essential we shop smart. A few small difference to our shopping baskets could make all the difference for the world’s water consumption. The key to lower water consumption? Less red meat. Red meat is one of the worst foods for water consumption. When comparing a vegetarian’s consumption of water per day, it is around 2,500 litres. For meat eaters, however, it stands at twice that. 5,000 litres of water per day.

So, what can you do?

  • Have one meat-free day a week. Less meat means lower water consumption. Try to go veggie!
  • Choose grass-fed meat rather than corn. Corn fed meat requires more water to grow the corn, to then feed the animal. Grass-fed animals cut out this use of water as they are eating a natural plant.
  • Do not waste food. In advanced nations, we throw away nearly a third of the food we purchase. This wastes the food and the water used to grow/feed it.