Purified Water vs Spring Water: What’s the difference?

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Purified Water vs Spring Water

Your body needs clean water to survive, and yet, in certain parts of America, it is becoming harder to find. When drinking tap water is not an option, people turn to bottled water. But with so many options, it is difficult to make the right choice for your family. Purified water or spring water?

Purified water vs spring water is a topic many people have strong opinions about. But many people drink bottled water and do not know where the water comes from or how companies treat it. 

When people hear the word spring water, they think of a beautiful waterfall, but is that really where it comes from? In this guide, you will find everything you need to know about purified and spring water so you can make the best decision for your family.

So what is the difference between Spring Water and Purified Water?

Purified Water vs Spring Water: What’s the best choice?

When it comes to purified water vs spring water, there is no clear-cut winner. Both spring and purified water are safe to drink. Purified Water is water that is heavily purified to remove bacteria, viruses and chemical pollutants from drinking water. Spring Water is water from a natural source untouched by man, and undergoes a less rigorous treatment process than purified water.

What is Purified Water? 

Purified water is water that is mechanically filtered or processed to remove bacteria, viruses, chemical pollutants, and minerals such as lead and copper. Purified Water is the most common type of bottled water that people drink.

In the US and Canada, tap water is purified, and nearly all the water utility companies do so by using the following process.

1. Coagulation and Flocculation – During this process, positively charged chemicals are added. These positive chemicals neutralize negatively charged chemicals, such as dirt and other contaminants. Floc is created, which are large particles that sink to the bottom.

2. Sedimentation – The floc is heavier than the other particles in the water, so it sinks to the bottom. Because the impurities sink to the bottom, the water at the top is clear.

3. Filtration – The clear water on top filters through different filters made from different materials and different sizes. These materials can comprise charcoal, gravel, and sand. The filters remove dirt, chemicals, and dust, among other particles.

4. Disinfection – Chemical disinfectant is added to the clear water. The disinfectant could be chlorine, or it could be chloramine. While the disinfectant will kill the remaining bacteria and viruses, the amount added is monitored. Manufacturers have to monitor how much disinfectant they add to ensure that the water is still safe to drink.

Some other methods of water purification include:

Reverse osmosis, distillation, and ozonation. Manufacturers use these methods to produce purified bottled water or at home.

  • Reverse osmosis is where the water is pushed through a membrane to remove impurities.
  • Distillation is the process of eliminating contaminants by heating water until it becomes steam. The steam turns into water.
  • Ozonation is where ozone gas is infused into the water. Manufacturers use it to disinfect water instead of chlorine because the smell and taste are hard to distinguish.

Purified Water Benefits 

Purified Water is Safe to Drink

In order to sell purified bottled water, manufacturers have to meet FDA and EPA standards. If they don’t meet these strict water quality standards, they cannot sell the water. It is because of these strict standards and high regulation that make the water is safe to drink.

You can Purify Water Yourself 

If you don’t want to buy purified bottled water all the time, you can opt to filter your tap water at home. You can buy water filters and water purification systems that filter and purify the water coming directly from your taps, so your water is always purified.

Disadvantages of Purified Water

Lower Mineral Content

The mineral content is also lower in purified water than spring water. Because of this lower mineral content, it may not taste as good as spring water.

Purified Water can be Wasteful

If you are buying plastic water bottles every day, then you are contributing to the world’s plastic crisis, regardless of whether you recycle or not. 

However, there are personal water bottles that you can buy that have a built-in filter so you can purify your tap water daily without the need to purchase plastic water bottles.

What is Spring Water?

When you think of spring water, you may picture your water coming from a beautiful oasis with a waterfall, however, it is most unlikely to be the source of your bottled spring water. Spring water comes from a natural water source that is less likely to have been contaminated by man, which can be a natural aquifer, well water or fresh groundwater.

The water can be considered pre-purified because it has traveled through some natural filters such as certain rocks, limestone, sandstone, and clay. These can act as natural filters and add to the mineral composition of the water.

Once the water is gathered it is treated at a man-made treatment center. The mineral content is preserved while the contaminants are removed .

Spring Water Benefits

Spring water comes from a pure source

Spring water comes from a pure source, which means that it has most likely never been contaminated by man. 

Higher Mineral Content

Spring water comes from a source not touched by man, so the mineral content is high. The water goes through natural filters before it is collected, which then add to the mineral composition of the water, and makes it healthier and taste better.

Disadvantage of bottled Spring Water

Spring Water Can be Expensive 

A disadvantage of buying spring water is the cost. Unless you live on some land that has a well, you have to buy spring water from the store. If your family only drinks bottled spring water, you may spend a lot of more money during the year. Manufacturers know that spring water is healthy and tastes better than regular water, and the prices reflect that.

Which is better? 

This is a difficult question to answer because it entirely depends on your preference. Both spring water and purified water have both advantages and disadvantages, but they are both safe to drink. 

Some people prefer the taste of spring water, while others love the taste of purified water. Spring water has more minerals than purified water, which changes the taste. Purified water is purer than spring water, but it has a lower mineral content. 

Purified water is also more convenient because you can purify your own water at home by installing a filter on your kitchen faucet or buying a filtered water pitcher.

While the answer to this question is entirely up to you, whichever you decide, you can be sure that both spring and purified bottled water are safe to drink. Before companies sell bottled water, it has to meet the requirements and standards of the FDA and the EPA. The EPA regulates tap water while FDA regulates bottled water.

To meet the standards set by the FDA, bottled water manufacturers must:

  • Keep the water in sanitary conditions throughout the collecting and bottling process.
  • Keep their water sources free from contaminants like bacteria and chemicals.
  • Make sure the water is safe and free of bacteria and chemicals by using quality control.
  • Sample the water produced and the water source and test it for contaminants.

The EPA deals with tap water and allows some contaminants as long as it is within the legal limit. The legal limits on these contaminants ensure that they do not affect your health. 

The water systems are also tested regularly by the EPA. The EPA limits over 90 contaminants, like arsenic and lead, but you may still find very low amounts of these contaminants in your drinking water.

But if you do not like the idea of having any contaminants in your drinking water, no matter how minuscule, then you can get a water filter and purify your tap water. 

Water filters have certifications too. NSF is a third-party organization that certifies and tests products that deal with water and food. If NSF certifies the filter, you can be sure it will remove the contaminants the company claims it does.


1. Is spring water safe to drink?

If you are getting your spring water from a bottle, then yes. If not, then no. Water that has not been certified safe, like roadside springs, can be dangerous. By the time the water has traveled to the collection point, it is full of bacteria and other contaminants. It could make you sick.

If you drink bottled spring water, the water is taken from the collection point and sent to a treatment center.

2. What is natural spring water?

Natural spring water is water that has been untouched by humans. It comes from a spring, which is where the aquifer meets the earth’s surface. This water has minerals like bicarbonate, sodium, and calcium. Before you drink it, the spring water needs to be certified as safe.

3. Is Spring Water just tap water?

No, it is not. Spring water is water that comes from a pure source. It comes from a source that man has not touched yet. However, some impurities that are found in spring water are found in tap water. If a bottle of spring water says that it is pure, it came from a pure source.

4. Is purified water unhealthy?

Not necessarily. While spring water has more minerals in it, which makes it healthier, purified water is purer. They are both good for you and safe to drink. While purified water is good for you, distilled water is not. Distilled water doesn’t have the natural minerals your body needs.


When it comes to the debate about purified water vs spring water, there is no clear-cut winner. Both bottled spring and purified water are safe to drink. If the water isn’t safe, companies can’t bottle it and sell it because of regulations. When it comes to which one is best? That is up to you and your preference. Which one tastes best to you?

If you would like to learn more about regulations and standards set by the EPA and FDA, check out the websites below.

The H2Home Lab team is dedicated to helping you find the best solutions to your specific water needs, as well as provide troubleshooting tips and guides for water filtration, heating, softening and plumbing. We hope you will find the info you need on our site from any one of our buying guides or subject matter articles.

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