What Kind of Bottled Water Is Healthier, Again?
A New Jersey mom gets the skinny on water products
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2013 3:07 PM CST
A shopper peruses the bottled-water section.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Back when Hurricane Irene struck the East Coast, one new mom faced a decision: what kind of bottled water to buy after the nearby water purification plant was flooded? Wanting to keep her newborn healthy, Chanie Kirschner reviewed the EPA's website to get the lowdown on water, she writes at Mother Nature's Network. What she learned:

  • Drinking water: It's from a municipal source, it's safe, and it has no added ingredients beyond what you need (like fluoride).
  • Distilled water: A filtration process has removed both contaminants and natural minerals from purified water. It's best for hand-held appliances like steam irons, which won't build up minerals. But the lack of healthy minerals is a negative if you want drinking water.
  • Purified water: It's been stripped of chemicals and contaminants, but like distilled water, that comes with pluses and minuses.
  • Spring water: Despite the label, it may be more "glorified tap water" than natural aqua from "a tall snow-capped mountain," writes Kirschner. Some studies found it can even contain contaminants like arsenic and coliform.

So Kirschner ultimately picked drinking water, because that's what it's meant for: drinking. But in case that solution makes you nervous, you can confirm the quality of your local tap water at the EPA's website. Or you can look up the quality of your preferred bottled water at the Environmental Working Group's site.

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Showing 3 of 27 comments
Jan 14, 2013 2:06 PM CST
This article has a slight misnomer. Distilled water is in fact the best water to be drinking. It has the best removal rate of bacteria because not only is it killing the bacteria in the boiling process but it is also leaving the dead bacteria behind as the steam rises. It will remove most any other toxin or contaminant in your water in its organic or inorganic form. Most distillers now will have a vent on the cooling coil that will vent off any contaminant that has a lower boiling point than water. The term "healthy" minerals is also a bit of a misnomer for 2 reasons. 1. minerals in water are in an inorganic form. Our bodies absorb about 5% to 15% percent of inorganice minerals. When an inorganic mineral is run through the process of photosynthesis, it gains an amino acid that wraps around the mineral and makes it organic. Our bodies are designed to absorb this type and can absorb upwards to 80% to 90%. We get our minerals and vitamins from the food we eat not from the water we drink. the only thing we need out of our water is the H2O itself. 2. If your filter process is allowing in "healthy" minerals that means it is also allowing in dangerous toxins like arsenic, fluoride, chlorine, nitrates, nitrites, herbicides, pesticides and who knows what else. That is the point. you never know what is in your water from day to day. Distillation lets you know that you have the purest water possible.
Jan 14, 2013 1:53 AM CST
Why did I choose "Depressing" when I rated this article? It's misleading, and it's a waste of time! Same on you, Neal Colgrass for presenting, and shame on you, also Newser and Disqus for even putting this so-called article on this page. NOT A SINGLE BRAND OF BOTTLED WATER IS NAMED IN THIS PEICE! Even though the title reads: "What Kind of Bottled Water Is Healthier, Again?" You owe us an apology, Mr. Colgrass. Do you think we are actually stupid enough to accept this? I'm a writer, Mr. Colgrass with TWO degrees in Journalism. This is one of the things we are taught to NEVER do. You do NOT mislead your audience! Nowadays people don't have time to waste reading articles that contain no information whatsoever. I was already aware that city tap water, in most cases, is our first and best choice when it comes to drinking water...IF OUR WATER SYSTEMS HASN'T BEEN CONTAMINATED DURING A FLOOD OR SOME OTHER NATURAL DISASTER, that is! Or, if there is a high contamination of bacteria or other toxic nasties that causes the city, township, or borough to add more than the usual dosages of chlorine and other chemicals to the system. In that event, you only safe option IS bottled water. I'm also aware, that 90% of the time, products labled "Spring Water", "Mineral Water", or other so-called "healthy waters", are nothing moe than flavored tap water. However, there ARE legitmately healthy waters on the market. The big difference though, is THESE waters are almost always sold in GLASS bottles. AND, they are are usually quite expensive! Aother fact you might not be aware of is, that water stored and sold in plastic bottles has been linked to the increasing numbers of Gay men and Lesbian woman. Seems that if the mother has been drinking a lot bottled water during her pregnancy, the chemicals from the plastic that leech into the water cause changes in the developing fetus. If small children are permitted to also drink bottled water, the chances that the child will turn out Lesbian or Gay increases yet again. If you live in an area, like I do, where in the summer time the local tap water tastes positively horrible - it tastes and SMELLS like a mixture of Clorox Bleach and old rubber tires (gag!)- this is bad news. I read your article hoping that I learn the name of at least ONE brand of bottled water that was safe to drink. What did I get? A load of misleading BS! I was your editor, I wouldn't even have paid you for this peice! I guess, actually taking the time to RESEARCH your story before writing it never occured to you! As I read some of the comments here, I see, as expected a lot of people who are equally as misinformed. Most have subscribed to the BS handed to them by Coca Cola, Pepsico and others who market their chemical-contaminated crap.Yes, there are plenty of municipal waters that not only small and taste worse than something scooped out of a toilet, but have just about as many contaminants. And, as for the gentleman with the whole house filtration system (as if we can all afford THAT), who mistakenly believes that all of that flouride we had in our water when we were kids actually made a difference...sorry, but no. I grew up in the 50s and 60s, so did my husband. We both drank all of that Flouridated water. And, we both have ROTTEN TEETH! Or rather, I DID have rotten teeth. I lost all of my natural teeth to a combination of cavities and a very powerful bite. I have Arthritis (Rheumatoid Arthritis, actually, the deforming, crippling kind), and it affects my jaws. Because, I cannot open my mouth as far as most people, my bite is very powerful, and actually not only ground away the enamel, but actually broke my teeth. I eventually lost them all and now wear dentures. My older sister, also wears dentures. So much for Flouride! I do agree with this gentleman -MikeLand - about the Pure Filter that attaches to the household tap. These work pretty well, but you need to have one on ALL of your taps, not just the one in the kitchen. Finally, DON"T condemn all bottled waters. There really ARE some good ones, but they are for the most part imported, and pricey. The best rule to follow is get a European, or other overseas brand. These other countries have much stricter rules governing these products. Over there, if it's going to market as a "Health" drink, then it MUST BE BOTTLED AT THE SOURCE, meaning at the spring, or well, etc. when the water originates. Another rule to follow, is make sure you buy it in GLASS BOTTLES ONLY! These are just a few that I researched: 1.Gerolsteiner from Germany 2.Acqua Panna from Italy (This one is often called "Baby's Water" because many Italians use it for their newborns and toddlers, exclusively) 3. Blue Keld from Yorkshire in the UK 4. San Pellegrino from Italy 5. Ferralle from Italy 6.Ty Nant From Wales in the UK 7. Perrier from France 8. Mulshi Springs From India 9. Sole from Italy 10. Tasmanian Rain Water from Australia 11. Volvic from France 12. Icelandic Glacial Water from Iceland These others are from American Bottlers, but are exceptional products 13. Calistoga from Napa Valley 14. Glace Pure Iceberg Water 15. Aidirondack Water first discovered by the Iraquois and Mohawk Indians During my research I discovered that many of the health waters were from Italy, and not from France, as I'd expected. So, yes, you CAN find some good, safe, and healthful bottled water, but you will have to go out of your way, and it's going to cost you more than that chemically tainted stuff from the grocery store. I've also found that the cheaper it is, the worse it is for you. I came across one market my "Sam's Club" and "Wal Mart", that was loaded with Arsenic and a bunch of other stuff! "Dasani" marketed by Coca Cola and "Aquafina" marketed by Pepsico, a BOTH nothing more than MUNICIPAL WATER with a few cents worth of minerals thrown in to make it taste good! So, if you're one of the folks who commented here, bitching about how bad your tap water was, and singing the praises of bottled water, and you drink THIS stuff...You need to sit down and shut up, because you're STILL DRINKING TAP WATER! Do I drink Tap Water? Yep. I do. Where I live, in the winter time, our Tap water is glorious! It tastes fresh and clean, free pf chemicals, and it's as cold as if it came straight from the Iceberg that sunk Titanic (No insult to the 1554 souls who lost their lives)! Do I drink bottled water? If I can get it a decent price, only when it's sold in glass bottles, and only when our local tap water tastes bad. Also, I look for a bottled water with plenty of minerals. As for you, Mr. Colgrass, I suggest that BEFORE you post articles, take the time to RESEARCH THEM properly!. THIS article was a total waste of mine, and everyone else's time.You certainly shoudn't have been paid for it.
Jan 13, 2013 3:04 PM CST
"It's from a municipal source, it's safe, and it has no added ingredients beyond what you need (like fluoride)." I find it hard to believe that people are still falling for this line of crap.