Person holding a plastic water bottle filled with water

Tap Water, Bottled Water, and Beyond: Different Types of Drinking Water

Clean and safe drinking water is something that we can easily take for granted. While it is accessible for many of us, it’s easy to forget how many parts of the world may not have the same access. Not to mention getting fresh water and treating it so it is safe for drinking! 

Our local water treatment plants go to great lengths to ensure water is potable. That way, tap water is safe to drink.

However, you can find clean drinking water in other forms. Well water, mineral water, filtered water, and bottled water are all examples of different types of drinking water. 

Is one type of drinking water better than another? We will cover the advantages and disadvantages of the multiple drinking water types out there. 

What Different Types of Drinking Water Are There?

Woman filling up a glass of water from a kitchen faucet

For some people, one type may be more accessible than another. For instance, bottled water might be your best option if you don’t have readily available access to clean tap water. But each has its own characteristics that make it different. 

The main types of drinking water you may have heard of before are: 

  • Mineral water
  • Well water
  • Tap water
  • Spring water
  • Distilled water
  • Alkaline water
  • Hard water
  • Sparkling water

Let’s go over what each type of water contains and if there are any health benefits. 

Mineral Water

This type of water contains essential minerals that occur naturally when extracting water. Mineral water is retrieved from underground rock formations, and because of the way it is stored, it naturally contains dissolved minerals like magnesium, sulfur, calcium, and manganese.

These minerals have some added health benefits since your body doesn’t naturally create them and requires them from your daily nutrition. However, mineral water is expensive and not an affordable drinking water solution. 

Well Water

For many, well water is the main water source for drinking and their home. This is common in rural areas where large water systems aren’t accessible. 

Well water comes directly from its water source and straight to your home. Well water can contain minerals and nutrients as well as it’s coming directly from an underground source. 

However, well water can pose potential risks, as it’s untreated and can have parasitic or bacterial contamination. If you are drinking well water, it must be regularly maintained and tested for any potentially harmful contaminants. 

Tap Water

Tap water is a common type of drinking water that you may be used to. This refers to water directly from your tap, running through pipes to wherever your home sources its water, typically the city’s treated water. 

In most parts of North America, tap water is safe to drink and tastes great. If you want to filter your tap water, you can do so with a water purifier installed straight from your tap or in a water filter pitcher.

These purifiers can remove contaminants or bacteria in tap water, although most tap water is generally safe to drink. 

Spring Water

Like mineral water, natural spring water is extracted from an underground source where water is plentiful. Spring water is available to buy in bottles as local water systems do not commonly supply it. 

Natural spring is very healthy as it is generally toxins-free. However, it isn’t as readily available as tap water, so it can be expensive over time. 

Distilled Water

Like mineral and spring water, distilled water is available to purchase as it is bottled and sold and not available through community water supply sources.

Distilled water goes through a vigorous treatment process to remove dissolved minerals and salts. You may have seen distilled water products before labeled as reverse osmosis water, which is one of the methods of creating distilled water. 

Since it is free of minerals and salts, distilled water is one of the purest types of drinking water. However, because it doesn’t contain any essential nutrients or minerals, it’s not recommended you solely drink distilled water, as your body won’t get the mineral content it typically needs from water. 

Alkaline Water

Alkaline water has a higher pH balance than tap water and is considered safe as it contains natural beneficial minerals essential for your body. Whether or not it is the healthiest drinking water is still disputed, but some studies suggest it can support bioactive functions in animals. 

Hard Water

Many countries have exclusively hard water in their community water systems, and you may have it in your home. Hard water contains more calcium, iron, and magnesium than plain water, and this is due to water passing through limestone pipes in the water system. While it passes through, it picks up minerals and increases the hardness of the water. 

While hard water is usually safe to drink, it can cause dry skin, dull hair, and corrode your water pipes. It’s generally best to use a water filter before drinking hard water. 

Sparkling Water

Sparkling water, or soda water, is carbonated water infused with carbon dioxide gas to give it that fizzy taste. It often contains the same makeup as distilled or spring water, depending on the sparkling water you buy. 

Sparkling water can come naturally from a spring or man-made from any type of water – you may have a soda maker at home that can create your own sparkling water. 

What Water Is Best to Drink?

Young African American female athlete drinking water from a reusable glass bottle

Technically, all these types of water are safe to drink and healthy for your body. Sometimes, your body may not be used to certain types of water and will need to adjust, such as drinking well water for the first time. 

The best water to drink all depends on the area you live in. If you have access and can afford the extra filtration required for clean, healthy water, that is the best drinking water for your home. If you have access to clean, safe tap water from a community water source, use a water filter that purifies any contaminants in your water. 

All in all, you want to drink potable, clean water that still contains essential nutrients to keep your body working regularly.

At Quench Buggy, we have Quench Buggy and Cart options available to rent for your outdoor event, bringing safe, clean drinking water to your community. Check out our available models for more info.