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Author Topic: Difference between Distilled Water and Spring Water?  (Read 5319 times)

Offline Jonathan Madriaga

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I see many of these products in grocery stores, what is the difference between distilled water and spring water in the bottles in terms of composition and treatment, and which is safer to drink?


 

Offline Geezer

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Difference between Distilled Water and Spring Water?
« Reply #1 on: 08/06/2010 05:31:27 »
Assuming they come from reputable suppliers, they are probably equally safe to drink. You might not care for the distilled water too much because it should be water and nothing much else, so it will tend to taste a bit "flat".

The "spring water" (which may actually have come from a municipal water supply) will likely taste better because it will still have some dissolved minerals in it. It may also have been chlorinated to kill any possible bacteria, but I'm not sure about that.

If you have a good municipal water supply where you live, you are probably better just drinking your tap water. It's likely to be just as safe, it will be a lot less expensive, it will reduce oil consumption, and it will keep a lot of discarded plastic out of the landfills. If you don't care for the way it tastes, you can run it through one of those filter jug things.

I have a suspicion that people like bottled water because it's been refrigerated. Try putting a bottle of your tap water in the fridge for a while and you might find it tastes much better. It might even taste better than the stuff they sell in the store. Don't put ice in it, because ice tends to pick up aromas from the food in your fridge, especially if it's been in there for a long time.
 

Offline LeeE

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Difference between Distilled Water and Spring Water?
« Reply #2 on: 08/06/2010 17:37:04 »
Distilled water and mineral (spring) water can be thought of as being opposites.

Distilled water is produced by boiling water, to produce water vapour, which is then cooled and condensed back into liquid water, the resulting water being very low in impurities as these are left behind when the water is boiled and turned into water vapour.  The limescale you find in your kettle is formed from the impurities in the water that has been boiled (although when you boil a kettle you do not capture the water vapour that's produced and condense it back into liquid water, so you're not really distilling water when you boil it in a kettle).  Note that deionised water is similar to distilled water, in that it too contains relatively few impurities, but the method of production is different.

Mineral, or spring water, on the other hand, is water that has passed through various rocks and minerals underground before being bottled and as a result contain a relatively high amount of dissolved minerals (which would be regarded as impurities in distilled water).

Distilled water is generally considered to have no taste, because it is the 'impurities', or dissolved minerals in the water that give it any taste that it might have.  Conversely, mineral water, because it has a relatively high mineral content, will be likely to have more flavour.

In terms of safety, distilling water can remove many harmful toxic impurities from it, in which case the water shouldn't be drunk until those toxins have been removed anyway, but the minerals present in mineral water are not considered to be harmful and it is precisely because of the presence of those minerals that many people prefer it.
 

Offline tommya300

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Difference between Distilled Water and Spring Water?
« Reply #3 on: 08/06/2010 21:27:43 »
Distilled water has no electrolytes
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Difference between Distilled Water and Spring Water?
« Reply #4 on: 08/06/2010 22:12:18 »
Distilled water sold for things like topping up car batteries may not meet the hygiene standards required for drinking water.
 

Offline Geezer

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Difference between Distilled Water and Spring Water?
« Reply #5 on: 09/06/2010 00:09:26 »
Distilled water sold for things like topping up car batteries may not meet the hygiene standards required for drinking water.

Good point. The stuff Jonathan referred to is sold in supermarkets in the US and Canada alongside spring water. I have a gallon of the stuff and it includes the composition on the label (lots of zero percents), and, although it does not actually say it's potable, it does mention a suggested serving size of 8 fluid ounces!

It blinking well better be potable, because, now that I come to think of it, one of its main uses is to mix it with dried milk formula to feed infants.
 

Offline tommya300

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Difference between Distilled Water and Spring Water?
« Reply #6 on: 09/06/2010 03:43:57 »
Well you can find it in the consumer food and drink isle!
And not in the hardware, automotive and cleaner isles!
 

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Difference between Distilled Water and Spring Water?
« Reply #6 on: 09/06/2010 03:43:57 »

 

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