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What is the difference between mineral water, spring water and tap water?

There are two types of water: water that is pure in its natural state and suitable for drinking, and water that has to be processed to make drinking water. The raw and naturally pure water can be divided into natural mineral water and spring water.

There are two types of water: water that is pure in its natural state and suitable for drinking, and water that has to be processed to make drinking water. The raw and naturally pure water can be divided into natural mineral water and spring water. Processed water can be divided into tap water, soda and sparkling water, table water and water cooler water.

The table below shows the differences between natural mineral water, spring water and tap water. 

  Natural Mineral Water Spring Water Tap water
Origin Grond water (only from a government-recognized source) Grond water (only from a government-recognized source) Diverse and not regulated (groundwater, surface water, canals, rivers) 
Natural Protection Obligated Obligated Not required
Drinkable directly at the source Yes Yes No
Chemical treatment Not necessary and prohibited by law Not necessary and prohibited by law Yes mandatory treatment until it is drinking water, 65 control points
Mineral composition Constantly required Not necessarily constant Variable

Natural mineral and spring water

Natural mineral and spring water are the only naturally pure water. It comes from a natural underground source. The water comes from water that sinks into the ground, such as rainwater, groundwater or melted snow. On its long journey through the various layers of the earth, the water absorbs minerals and other useful substances. This gives it its unique taste and composition. Clay, sand and other layers of earth purify the water. This natural process sometimes takes centuries. Ultimately, the water collects in springs that are usually hundreds of meters deep. Mineral water has a unique, constant mineral composition. This is stated on the label.

Both natural mineral water and spring water must come from a source recognized by the government. It is a legal obligation to protect these sources strictly. In this way, the natural purity is guaranteed. Chemical treatment of mineral and spring water is prohibited by law. Treatment is also not necessary since the water is pure and therefore drinkable directly at the source. Naturally, the quality of the water in the springs must be strictly monitored. In the Netherlands, 13 sources have been recognized by the Ministry of VWS.

Springwater

Springwater must meet almost the same legal requirements as natural mineral water. It must therefore also be naturally pure and must not be chemically treated. However, spring water does not (unlike natural mineral water) have to be bottled directly at the source. Spring waters may, for example, be transported by tanker to a bottling plant. Furthermore, spring waters may not make claims as 'suitable for a low-salt diet'.

Other processed waters

Soda and sparkling water
Soda and sparkling water are treated or untreated (tap) water, to which carbon dioxide and possibly minerals (sodium carbonate) have been added.

Table water
No requirements are set for table water other than for tap water. There is no legal definition for this category.

Water cooler water
Water from a water cooler is treated or untreated (mains) water that is offered via a cooling installation. Sometimes the water is also offered hot. Occasionally the water from these coolers is spring water or natural mineral water. This is then clearly stated on the water cooler.

Tap water
Tap water comes from the soil (groundwater or sometimes deeper water layers) or from lakes, rivers and canals (surface water). Tap water must be treated chemically and / or bacteriologically intensively to make it suitable for consumption. 

To upgrade the quality of your tap water at your home, we recommend the Aquablu One purifier.