Water is essential when we are trying to get healthy. The fact is that many of us do not drink enough water to stay well hydrated and although we can be a bit dehydrated all of the time it is much better to be well hydrated by drinking water.
The argument always comes up that you don’t need to drink water, you can get enough from the food that you eat, but really, if you go just a week with an increased water intake you will never go back. You will have more energy, better concentration, be more aware of your surroundings and think like a superstar.
City tap water is not acceptable to many areas of North America. Another option for drinking water is to buy water from one of the options listed here. Before heading out the door, be aware that your options may include spring water or drinking water.
Common Types of Drinking Water
Municipal water, also known as tap water, is drinking water that comes directly from the water main, where it comes from wells or rivers. There is no consistency to how good actual tap water is but many cities and municipalities will put out infomation on chemical readings of tap water. This is better for the environment than bottled or filtered water because it does not require material to be shipped into Davis from far away. Municipal water may be drunk from hose or tap, with hose possibly giving a better taste.
Spring water is bottled directly from mountain springs, or wherever the company says it comes from, and will be high in mineral content — high mineral content means more flavor. Since this is essentially why you may not want to drink the local tap water, you may have to do a taste test to determine which spring suits you best.
Drinking water is essentially filtered water; it’s usually just some municipal water (though not necessarily from Davis) that has been run through a filtering process. The source of filtered drinking water can vary, as can the process by which the water is filtered. If you are particular about your water, you would do well to do a bit of research to find out how the water the drinking water you purchase is treated.
Distilled water may also be found within supermarkets & grocery stores, but this is not typically sold as “drinking water,” and is intended for use in appliances, such as irons. Distilled water is actually boiled in a still and the condensate collected and bottled — this process removes both ionic and non-ionic organic contaminants including minerals. Mineral deposits left by drinking waters can damage clothing, affect appliance performance, or otherwise screw up the results of your experiment.
Deionized water isn’t typically readily available to the average consumer and requires a fairly expensive process. It is most often used in labs to ensure that chemistry results aren’t skewed by dissolved impurities in modern water supplies: ions such as calcium, sodium, chlorides, etc. Y’all shoulda lernt this in high school chem! Deionization removes ions from water via ion exchange, much like those things in clubs that make smoke stick to your clothing. Safeway sells purified water under its own label by the gallon, which is indicated as having been either deionized or filtered by reverse osmosis.
Purified water may also be found in your supermarket aisle, and this water has been treated to remove both minerals and smaller particles. Hikers are familiar with this difference, because water purifiers remove particles smaller than a micron, while microfilters typically filter down to about 1 micron — an absolute 1 micron filter is sufficient to eliminate cryptosporidium and giardia cysts, but not small enough to get rid of bacteria and viruses. Water may be treated by reverse osmosis or chemically, e.g. addition of iodine, to remove contaminants to this level. Most home systems don’t filter down to this level and won’t produce purified water. Not so much a problem unless you think livestock may have been using your water source, but something to keep in mind when purchasing a filtration system… it may not be filtering everything you think! And ideally, we want a little bit of flavor in our water, so it’s not necessarily desirable to filter out everything — “potable water” isn’t necessarily “purified water.”