The Best Drinking Water: How & Where to Find Quality H2O

Choosing the best drinking water is a rather subjective process. There are personal preferences to consider such as taste, source & quality, which will cause selections to vary. One water will not satisfy everyone. So we'll examine the plethora of options available, and allow you to decide which is the best drinking water for you. Personally, I prefer: 

Pure Alkaline Ionized Water

 Alkaline water is not accessible/acceptable to everyone though, so we're here to assist you in choosing from the resources available to you.

Tap Water

We're all familiar with this type of water to some degree (and the uncertainty of its quality too). You might have already assumed that this may not be the best drinking water, but let's anchor those assumptions in some facts.

There are two main sources for tap water, which are ground water and surface water.

Ground water is pumped from wells that tap into a natural water reservoir beneath the earth's surface. This water is filtered as it travels through the ground, and replenished by rain or surface water.

Surface water, on the other hand, is replenished by tributaries such as lakes, rivers, and reservoirs. One negative aspect of this source is that water problems that occur miles away, will eventually influence the quality of this source.

The quality of tap water varies from region to region, depending on the quality and type of the source.

Some ground water systems are not required to undergo much processing, because they already meet federal requirements.

However, surface systems generally are subject to treatment, due to their exposure to direct land, which significantly increases the possibility of contamination.

Most systems use a treatment train, which is merely a sequence of processes to make the water safer.

The treatment train usually includes:

  • Filtration: removes solids and particles from the water, and also increases the effectiveness of the disinfection process.
  • Flocculation: binds small particles together to form larger ones that will eventually settle out of the water.
  • Disinfection:The goal here is to remove dangerous microbes from water. There are several methods of performing this particular task. The addition of chlorine to the water supply is quite common (and the most cost effective). However, it is also considered health risk, with links to illnesses such as cancer. Ozonation and ultraviolet radiation are alternatives to the chlorine addition method. Ozonation does not change the mineral content of the water supply.
  • *Ion Exchange: if contaminants have not been sufficiently removed after filtration or flocculation, this process removes those remaining.
  • *Adsorption: removes (or reduces) organic contaminants, taste, coloring, & odor.

* These processes are not used as commonly as the others mentioned, but always when necessary.

The fear of tap water consumption is understandable, considering it may lead to serious health problems. There are processes put in place to make it less harmful, but they hardly make the water safe. Let's face it, the best drinking water will not be flowing from the tap.

Bottled Water

Some have been convinced that bottled water is the best drinking water, but the jury's out on whether or not this type of water deserves the title.

The contents of these bottles are derived from either a natural or processed supply.

Natural bottled water is minimally processed ground water, which usually retains the characteristics of its source (i.e. flavor or mineral composition). 

Unlike natural, processed bottled water is derived from a municipal or ground water source and undergoes extensive treatment. Generally, the retention of the source's original characteristics is not the sought after attribute; its purity is the strongest quality.

According to the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA), there are several types of bottled water:

  • Spring Water
  • Mineral Water
  • Well Water
  • Artesian Water
  • Sparkling Water
  • Purified Water

Check out the IBWA's website for more information 

Treatment for bottled water varies by type, but most natural bottled water is minimally processed. If needed, some go through the sanitization and filtration processes.

Processed bottled water undoubtedly uses multiple purification methods including, but not limited to, distillation, reverse osmosis, filtration, and sanitization.

While bottling companies may indeed make the best drinking water more accessible, there are risks that come along with this type of water also.

For years, scientists have been warning consumers of the dangers associated with plastic bottles. These bottles have been know to release harmful chemicals into the water. One way many have avoided these hazards is by buying glass bottles. Glass might be slightly more expensive, but it's definitely worth those extra pennies.

Some Bottled Favorites

  • pH Miracle Water
  • Eternal(plastic bottle, but a pH of 8)
  • Voss
  • Trinity
  • Essentia
  • Evamor(pH of 9; great alkaline water)

Some of the things to consider when selecting the best drinking water is glass bottling, pH level, mineral content, and purification method (I prefer ozonation & absolute 1 micron filtration). 

Filtered Water

How can filtered water provide the best drinking water if it's just processed tap water? Great question. Let's see how the different filtration system types measure up!

True, filtered water is usually tap, but these processes remove potentially harmful particles that escape most purification methods used by government regulated systems.

Devices treat the tap water to eliminate impurities such as chlorine or lead. Often times these systems improve the taste, color & odor of the water as well. However, all filtration systems are not created equal. Quality definitely varies. There are a few more common types we'll investigate here.

Pitcher Filters

While the pitcher may be an inexpensive (well, not really) alternative to bottled water; it has a reputation for being the least effective of the filtration methods.

These pitchers produce water that is only slightly better in quality than tap water.

Additionally, cartridges generally have to be changed after every 30 gallons. Here's where companies make up for that seemingly inexpensive pitcher.

I suppose any filter is better than no filter at all, but if you're paying good money than why not find the best option. These filters are not even in the running for producing the best drinking water. Next!

Counter Top & Under Sink Filters

Counter top and Under sink systems most commonly utilize either a carbon block or granular carbon filtering method.

The contaminant removal process used here, adsorption, bonds the contaminant to the surface of the filter. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes this method as one of the best technological removals of herbicides, pesticides, & industrial chemical.

Granted these systems rank better than the pitcher filters, but do they provide the best drinking water? We shall see.

Dual Stage Filters

The best filtered water comes from multi-stage processes, which perform the best at eliminating a variety of pollutants.

These filters remove extremely harmful chemicals, that tend to elude other filters, as well as deadly parasites.

Another positive attribute is these systems generally allow for the retention of essential minerals. And we know, the best drinking water is undoubtedly mineral-rich. Let's have a look at some more unconventional methods of improving the quality of drinking water.

Need help choosing a water filter? Find out more here.

Unconventional Methods to Improve Water Quality

These methods are not as popular as the sources listed above. They can also be quite costly, but getting the best drinking water is worth it, right?

pH Drops

pH drops will significantly reduce the size of molecular clusters, as well as maximize electron activity. What does this means for you? It alkalizes and increases the energy of your water which does wonders for your health (we explore why this may be the best drinking water more here). Take your filtered water (see, those filters do come in handy) and add the drops to correct the pH to about 9 or 10. If you choose a sodium/potassium bicarbonate(8% solution), add approximately 5 drops per liter. It's that simple.

Water Ionizing Processing Machine (Electrolysis)

These machines reverse the charge of from positive to negative. The water is made more alkaline(this word just keeps popping up!) and more electrically charged.

How does it work? Well your tap water (yes, tap) runs through a hose that is attached to the faucet and is sent through a sequence of filtering procedures. After the water is thoroughly filtered, it then travels into an ionization chamber, where it is divided into electron-rich (alkaline) water and proton-rich (acidic) water. The quality stuff is what flows to the faucet, now with a pH of 9-11.

This method can be quite expensive, usually running around $2,000-$3,000. It's worth it! You are worth it!

Some notable brands include Young pHorever and Jupiter Orion.

Whichever type of water you choose as your best drinking water, make sure it meets your needs. I would encourage you to avoid mineral deficient water like:

  • Tap
  • Distilled (has absolutely no minerals)
  • Reverse Osmosis (very acidic, and removes minerals)
  • Deionized Water (does not remove bacteria)

Reading More About Finding the Best Drinking Water

The Drinking Water Book: How to Eliminate Harmful Toxins from Your Water

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