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Water is a fundamental resource for life, and it comes in many different forms. The types of water can be broadly categorized into two main groups: freshwater and saltwater. Besides these two, there are several other categories of water. Below we shed light on the different types of water.

 

  • Fresh Water:

 

Fresh water is the one that is mainly found in underground aquifers and other sources such as lakes, reservoirs, etc. This type of water is either very low or totally free of salts and other dissolved minerals, which makes it perfect for drinking, irrigation and industrial processes. However, the purity of the water still depends upon a variety of factors like the presence of industries, etc. which could pollute the underground source. This water is usually distributed through public water systems and can even be accessed by deep water bores.

  • Salt Water:

 

The second main category of water is Salt Water, also known as Sea Water. It is found in oceans, and seas and is not safe to drink without desalination. And the majority of the earth’s surface is composed of salt water. This type of water is very high in salt and mineral content that come from a variety of sources such as weathering and erosion of rocks into rivers, dissolution of ocean floor salt deposits, and evaporation process.

Salt Water is not safe to drink but with the advent of desalination technologies, it can be made drinkable. Some of these technologies are:

– Reverse Osmosis

– Thermal Desalination

– Electrodialysis

– Membrane Distillation

– Hybrid Methods

– Solar Desalination

– Bio-filtration

 

  • Thermal Water:

Both; Thermal and Springwater are types of natural water. The former is characterized by high temperature whereas the latter is characterized by relatively cooler temperature. Thermal water is formed when the water in underground aquifers comes in contact with hot rocks or magma deep in the earth. The heat from these rocks causes the water to become heated and rise to the surface as thermal water. During the travelling up process, the heated water interacts with rocks and absorbs the minerals present in these rocks which causes the water to become mineralized. This type of water can be consumed but just like with all other types of water, it must also be tested and treated before human consumption.

  • Natural Mineral Water:

Natural mineral water is a type of water that is generally safe to drink. It’s characterized by significant quantities of minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Spring water and natural mineral water are quite similar as both undergo the same process. Both make their way up from underground aquifers and into the springs. The only difference between both is that natural mineral water maintains a constant composition whereas spring water does not have to meet these requirements.

It must be noted that all natural mineral water is spring water but not all spring water is not natural mineral water

  • Glacier Water:

Firstly, it is important to understand what is a glacier. A glacier is a huge mass of snow that has accumulated slowly over a period of time. The mass of snow slowly turns into ice due to the pressure of the weight of the snow above it. And when this glacier melts, which causes the ice to turn into liquid, it results in glacier water.

The glacier can melt due to a variety of factors such as friction & movement, geothermal heat, rising air temperature and direct sunlight.  Glacier water is generally considered safe to drink but just like all other types of water, glacier water must also be tested and treated if required.

 

 

  • Brackish Water:

To understand brackish water, you first need to understand Fresh Water and Salt Water, which we explained above.

With that out of the way, let’s understand brackish water. The word ‘Brackish’ means, slightly salty. And Brackish water is exactly that i.e. slightly salty. Brackish water is a result of fresh water and salt water coming in contact with each other. The salt content of the brackish water depends on the freshwater input from rivers and lakes and seawater input from oceans. If the freshwater input is high, then the salt content of the brackish water will be low and if the salt water input is high, then the salt content of the brackish water will be high.

 

  • Reverse Osmosis Water:

RO water can be further classified into two categories:

  1. Mineralized Reverse Osmosis Water
  2. Non-Mineralized Reverse Osmosis Water

Before diving into the two types, it is crucial to understand what is reverse osmosis.

Reverse Osmosis is a process that is used to treat water by passing it through a semi-permeable membrane. This water only allows water molecules to pass through and blocks other substances such as salts, minerals and other dissolved solids.

Generally, the product of a reverse osmosis system is non-mineralized reverse osmosis water as it removes water of almost all dissolved solids and has a mineral content of fewer than 50 parts per million (ppm). The taste of non-mineralized reverse osmosis water is ‘flat’. That is because the minerals that contribute to the taste of the water are removed during the RO process.

And to improve the taste of the RO water, a remineralization cartridge is used to add back the minerals such as calcium and magnesium that were removed during the purification process. If the RO water is re-mineralized, it would be known as re-mineralized reverse osmosis water.

 

 

  • Spring Water:

When the water rises from underground aquifers and comes out of springs, it is known as Spring Water. Underground aquifers are where the water is naturally stored in porous rock and soil. And the water in these aquifers comes from precipitation that soaks into the ground and is stored in the porous rock and soil. Now, when this water is under enough pressure, it makes its way up towards the surface and as it flows upwards, it comes in contact with rocks and soil, which results in naturally occurring minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium being mixed in the water. And that is how spring water comes out of springs. The mineral content and the purity of the spring water is influenced by a variety of factors such as weather pattern, geography, and human activity.

  • Aquifer Water / Ground Water:

The water found in underground aquifers refers to aquifer water. This water is a result of precipitation that soaks into the ground and gets stored in an underground layer of permeable rock, sand, gravel, or other material that holds water and is capable of yielding usable water. Aquifer water is generally considered safe for drinking; however, it still depends on a variety of factors such as human activity, pollution, etc. Aquifer water can also contain minerals because it soaks into the ground, picks and up minerals and other substances from the rocks and soil it passes through.

 

  • Underground Water:

Essentially, any water that is found underground is referred to as underground water. Underground water is a very broad term and it encompasses all underground-based water. It includes underground aquifers, streams, lakes or wells.

 

  • Distilled Water:

It is a type of water that has been purified through a process called distillation, whereby the water is heated to its boiling point, creating steam. This steam is then captured and cooled, condensing back into the water. As a result, the impurities and minerals present in the original water are left behind and the water is captured in its purest form.

Summed up, distilled water has zero values of all minerals. It is also known as demineralized water.

 

  • Carbonated Water/Sparkling Water:

Carbonated water, also known as sparkling water or soda water is one that has been infused with carbon dioxide gas. This infusion can be natural or artificial.  Natural infusion occurs as a result of carbon dioxide being dissolved into the water. This infusion is a by-product of geological activities such as volcanic activity. Carbonated water can also be replicated by a man-made machine called, the ‘Carbonation Machine’. This machine mimics the natural carbonation process by dissolving carbon dioxide into still water under pressure. This water can then be bottled for consumption.

carbonated water

  • De-Ionized Water:

Distilled water and deionized water are both forms of purified water. Both achieve nearly the same product but use different processes to do so. The former makes use of distillation and the latter makes use of ion exchange.

Deionization is achieved by utilizing resin beads to remove positively charged ions, such as calcium, magnesium and sodium from the water. Consequently, the water produced is extremely pure but lacks most essential minerals and electrolytes.

This kind of water is used in a variety of applications where purity is a concern, such as in industrial processes, laboratories, etc.

 

     Difference between distilled water and deionized water:

It is important to understand the difference between distilled water and deionized water. The only stark difference is that distillation produces water that is extremely pure and free of most minerals and impurities. Deionization on the other hand produces water that is also pure to a high degree but still contains some minerals. So, deionized water is used in applications where pure water with some trace of minerals is required such as in the production of electronic components and pharmaceuticals. And distilled water is used where extremely pure water is necessary, such as in scientific experiments, in batteries, etc.

  • Alkaline Water:

Alkaline water refers to water that has a higher pH value than tap water. The term pH refers to the ‘potential of hydrogen’. And pH of water means the concentration of hydrogen ions in the water. The more hydrogen ions in the water, the more acidic the water is. And vice versa.

The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral, less than 7 being acidic and greater than 7 being alkaline. Water that is generally considered safe for consumption has a pH of between 6.5 to 8.5. And water that is outside of this range is either acidic or alkaline.

Proponents of alkaline water argue that this water can neutralize the acid in the body and improve hydration. But scientific evidence to back this claim is not enough. But alkaline water has proved to be very suitable for use in industrial applications such as industrial washing, food processing, metal treatment, etc.

  • Electrolyte Water:

The only difference between remineralized reverse osmosis water and electrolyte water is the number and quantity of minerals and electrolytes added to the water. While electrolyte water is fortified with electrolytes such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium, remineralized reverse osmosis water has just enough minerals to restore the taste of the water which was neutralized by the reverse osmosis membrane. Electrolyte water is mostly used by athletes to help maintain fluid balance and recover lost electrolytes during exercise.

         

 

  • Flavoured Water:

This type of water is categorized by adding flavourings such as fruit extracts, and natural or artificial sweeteners. The purpose of doing so is to a provide more enjoyable drinking water compared to plain water. Flavoured water may or may not be mineralized.

       

So what is safe to drink?

When it comes to what type of water is good for you, it is generally recommended to drink water that is clean and free of impurities. Tap water and filtered water are considered safe to drink and are widely available. Tap water is water that is treated and distributed through a public water supply system. It is considered safe to drink but may contain small amounts of impurities, depending on the source and treatment methods.

Spring water is another option that is often considered to be pure and clean. This water is sourced from an underground aquifer and can be a good choice for those who want to avoid tap water or purified water.

Distilled water, which is water that has been purified through a process of distillation, can also be a good option. It is free of impurities and minerals, but also lacks minerals that are essential for the human body.

Reverse Osmosis Mineral water is another type of water that can be beneficial for those who are looking to supplement their mineral intake. This water contains a significant amount of dissolved minerals such as calcium and magnesium. However, it is important to note that the mineral content of mineral water can vary greatly depending on the source, so it is important to choose a reputable brand.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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