If you think that there are only two types of water: clean and contaminated, you will be surprised by the end of this article.
Even something as simple as water has several types. It could vary according to its source, components, or treatment. In addition to that, different types have different pros and cons as well.
So, without lingering off, let us get started on the different types of water.
Types of Water
Let us explore the different kinds of water to gain a better perspective.
Ocean water comprises 96.54% of the total water on Earth. Even though it is not consumable by humans directly, it is an essential source of water for marine life.
It has a salinity of 3.5%, meaning it contains 35 grams of dissolved salts in one litre of water.
Its freezing point is lower than freshwater, but it is denser. Even its electrical conductivity is higher than freshwater due to its salinity. Moreover, it contains minerals and dissolved gases.
Even though consuming ocean water without any treatment is harmful to humans, it is used in cosmetics, aquaculture, and agriculture.
Industries use it due to its saline composition, especially for thermoelectric power-plant cooling.
- The presence of minerals makes it beneficial for skin diseases like lupus, psoriasis, acne.
- Bathing in ocean water is known to increase red and white blood cells.
- It also helps in reducing anxiety levels.
- It cannot be directly consumed by humans.
- The process of desalination of ocean water is expensive.
Glacier water is exactly what the name suggests- obtained directly from a glacier. It is also known as spring water.
As it is directly consumed from the source or bottled at it, it is said to be completely natural.
However, it has low minerals and tastes like rainwater.
Obtaining the water from its source itself does not guarantee its safety. Studies suggest that it might contain faecal matters or bacteria as well. If it is not filtered or tested, it might harm your health.
- It does not contain any toxins.
- Several brands sell glacier water, making it widely available.
- It might not have the best taste.
- It might contain bacteria or faecal matter.
- It might be expensive.
After looking at the largest water body, let us look at something more drinkable, like tap water.
Tap water is the most significant source of drinkable water. It is obtained from rivers, lakes, and groundwater.
Generally, tap water is found everywhere- from offices to public locations to your homes.
In several countries, tap water is purified to remove all kinds of contaminants and dirt particles. However, it might have a certain unpleasant odour.
If it is too overpowering, you can use a water purifier to get rid of any smell.
- Tap water is cheap.
- It is available everywhere.
- It is safe for drinking as it complies with the general safety standards.
- You can use it to make food, to water your plants, wash your utensils, clothes, etc.
- It might have certain pesticides from the rivers or streams.
- The pipes might also add lead to your water.
The water obtained from mineral springs or the water containing minerals like salts and sulfur compounds is known as mineral water.
As evident from the name, it contains vital minerals like magnesium and calcium. Typically, it is obtained from underground sources and sold as packaged mineral water.
Studies suggest that mineral water contains large quantities of gases or dissolved gases. It is loaded with calcium carbonate, potassium, magnesium sulfate, and sodium sulfate.
Additionally, it might also contain carbon dioxide or hydrogen sulfide. The presence of carbon dioxide limits bacterial growth.
- Mineral water is rich in several minerals with health benefits.
- It helps with digestion, immunity, blood circulation, blood pressure, etc.
- It has a likeable taste.
- Carbonated mineral water might cause bloating.
- As it has lower pH than tap water, it might be more acidic.
Packaged Water/ Bottled Water
People often use mineral water and packaged water interchangeably. But if you look at the composition, packaged water and bottled water are different.
Mineral water contains dissolved sulfate substances or minerals like sulfur compounds. It is treated with sulfate minerals and aluminium sulfate. On the other hand, packaged water is filtered with chemicals.
Other technologies like reverse osmosis, ozone, or UV are used to treat packaged water. Sometimes, calcium or magnesium salts are added to make it healthier.
Even though it is advertised as safe, research suggests that three out of ten packaged water bottles are contaminated. Not just water, but the presence of plastic bottles may harm your health.
The plastic in which the water is bottled may react with extreme sun exposure and make the water unhealthy. Moreover, even though the water does not expire, the plastic bottle surely does after a couple of days.
- They are travel-friendly.
- It is more purified than tap water.
- It is convenient to store water.
- It is expensive.
- The plastic may contaminate the water after a few days.
You might have heard it in restaurants or at least in movies when the waiter asks, “Still or sparkling water?”
Sparkling or Carbonated water is made with dissolved carbon dioxide gas. It is either done through natural geological processes or by artificially injecting it. Due to such a composition, you will see tiny bubbles in the water.
People prefer sparkling water over regular soda as it provides more hydration. The fizziness makes it more hydrating than regular. Moreover, it tastes better than regular tap or packaged water.
- Sparkling water is more hydrating.
- It helps with digestion and constipation.
- It keeps you from feeling hungry.
- It might lead to bloating.
- It might have long-term ill effects on your teeth.
Generally, you will find distilled water in laboratories, aquariums, steam irons, car cooling systems, batteries, etc.
It is obtained by boiling water till it gets converted into vapour. Later on, it is condensed back into a liquid and filled into a separate container. This helps in removing the contaminants from the water.
Even though it is void of any contaminants, it is not recommended for drinking. It will not provide any sodium, potassium, magnesium, or chloride to your body. It can lead to several health complications due to the absence of salts or natural minerals. Moreover, it can also remove minerals from your body, adding to the mineral deficiencies.
- It does not contain any bacteria, viruses, or pollutants.
- It tastes good.
- There are no minerals or vitamins in it.
- It can cause mineral deficiency and hence, is not recommended for drinking.
Well water is more prominent in rural areas. It is a structure created in the ground by digging for water stored underground.
Well is a primary source of water for rural regions. It is useful in bringing groundwater directly to the surface for usage.
As there are no chemicals in well water, it will taste significantly better than your tap water. At the same time, it is also left untreated. It can contain contaminants like bacteria or viruses.
- It does not require any high cost.
- You have an endless supply of water.
- Wells last for years.
- As it is consumed directly, it might not be best for your health.
- It may contain bacteria, viruses, or other pollutants.
Hard water is the kind of water that is loaded with minerals. It is obtained when water passes through limestone or chalk deposits, making them high in calcium and magnesium carbonates. Apart from that, it also contains sulfates and bicarbonates.
Hard water might also get additional minerals from the over-extraction of groundwater. It might also contain iron and aluminium.
If you believe that being loaded with minerals make it beneficial for us, you are mistaken. You cannot consume hard water as it contains “too many” minerals that are not within the required limits.
Due to such a composition, it will not lather with soap. Moreover, it will leave behind stains on the utensils. It also has certain drawbacks when it comes to your health. Hence, it must never be consumed for drinking.
- Hard water has a number of minerals.
- It might have certain dietary benefits.
- Hard water will clog the pipes.
- It will leave behind stains on utensils.
- It does not lather with soft.
- Your hair and skin will get extremely dry.
As the name indicated, alkaline water refers to the pH level of the water.
When we say something has a pH level of 1, it means that it is very acidic. On the other hand, when something stands 13 on the pH level scale, it means it is alkaline.
Your normal tap water might have a pH of 7. But alkaline water has a pH of 8 or 9. It helps in neutralising acid in the body.
This kind of water contains alkaline minerals and negative ORP (oxidation-reduction potential).
You can obtain it naturally when water passed through rocks and picks up minerals. However, it can also be obtained through electrolysis that uses an ioniser to increase the pH of your tap water.
- Alkaline water neutralises acid in the body.
- It is beneficial for people with diabetes, high blood pressure, acid reflux, and high cholesterol.
- It is known to stop ageing.
- Drinking too much alkaline water can cause vomiting.
- It can also lead to muscle twitching and hand tremors.
As you can see, there are several types of water, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Now that you have some basic knowledge about them, you can decide to choose the best type of water for yourself.
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