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Friday, November 18, 2011

What's The Best Drinking Water? Spring, Distilled or Tap?

In 1974, the US government set up the Safe Water Drinking Act. Apparently, the fact that a river in Ohio burst into flames from toxic substances a few years prior had something to do with the creation of this act.

This law requires that every community water system meet safety standards set up by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) against 84 different pollutants.

Twenty-one years later, in 1995, a research study conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council found that over 53 million people in this country were still being exposed to drinking water that did not meet the EPA's safety standards, especially from lead, bacteria and parasites.

During the year 2000, the EPA got stricter on the levels of certain contaminants, like arsenic, that were allowed in drinking water. Basically, according to the EPA, if the contaminant levels in your drinking water only gave you a 1 in 100,000 risk of getting cancer in your lifetime, that was okay with them.

But many experts believe that there are still too many contaminants allowed by the EPA and enforcement of the standards that are in place is shallow at best.  So, if you drink tap water, you might want to think about installing a filter.

Spring water is water that comes from an underground water source that is collected when it rises naturally to the surface, or it may be collected before it rises to the surface, as in artesian spring water.

Spring water is usually free of contaminants and microorganisms and will be rich in whatever minerals have dissolved in it as it passes through the ground and rocks below it, such as calcium and magnesium. The source of the spring water that you intend to buy will be listed on the bottle.

Distilled water is made by boiling tap or spring water into steam that passes through a special filtering system, leaving virtually all contaminants and minerals behind, even ones that cannot be removed from traditional filtering.

It is pure and clean, but lacking in minerals. In addition, distilled water has a tendency to absorb carbon dioxide when exposed to the air, making it somewhat acidic, whereas, spring water is naturally alkaline. Purified water is usually just tap water that has been either distilled or filtered.

So, you decide. What kind of water do you want to drink?

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