Water is everywhere, but only 2.5% of this is consumable.
Our body is composed of 65% water and we need at least 0.3- 0.5 gal (1-2 l) of water a day to remain healthy. But with several reports surfacing about contaminated water from around the world, even drinking water has become a risky affair!
Unknowingly, you may end up consuming harmful chemicals that will show their symptoms only in the long run. Leave alone consuming it directly, is the water you use to cook food or wash vegetables safe? Many across the world depend on municipal water supply for a number of reasons, like drinking, doing household chores, electricity generation, celebrating festivals, and the like.
Do you know that Thailand celebrates the Songkran festival every new year during the spring using water? It is one of the wettest festivals you will find across the world. Now, using any kind of water for the festival is OK but drinking? Making you anxious? Well, you may relax if you rely on spring water. As spring water gets recharged by the nutrients of the earth, its quality is superior to any form of purified, filtered, distilled or bottled water. In fact, it makes your food tastier as well.
Apart from depending on bottled water, you can also tap spring water by using pipes. After you find the source of the spring, clean the area and dig up a little to find the exact rock, from where the water is coming. Then place the pipe there and angle it to maintain the flow. Voila! You have crystal-clear, high-quality spring water. Depending on the range of discharge, you can fill quite a few plastic bottles. Many believe this water will be better than distilled water or bottled water.
Spring Water Composition
After originating in the mountain valleys and hills, the springs flow through mountains and rocks before reaching the surface. This makes it rich in minerals. Here are some more interesting facts about spring water.
- Though many believe that the water gets naturally filtered in its course, it needs to be treated. But the mineral content is not being tampered with. It is the presence of these natural minerals that gives the water its pleasant taste.
- The real appeal of natural spring water comes from pure sources. As a result, the water contains fewer man-made contaminants and an abundance of natural minerals. Mineral-rich water, considered the healthiest form of water coming from the earth, comes with trace elements and several minerals like bicarbonate, calcium, sodium, and magnesium, essential for better health.
- Bicarbonate helps in maintaining proper pH levels in the human body. It is secreted by the stomach, but at times of stomach upset, consuming it with water helps calm the irritation. Bicarbonate is also considered helpful in preventing kidney stones. Now, imagine getting the required dose of this mineral just by drinking spring water. It contains 0.00008-0.0008 lb/gal (10 - 100 mg/l) level of bicarbonate in still water and around 0.0008 - 0.008 lb./gal (100-1000 mg/l) in sparkling water.
- Just like bicarbonate, maintaining a proper level of sodium is important for a healthy life. Sodium helps the brain communicate with muscles and the central nervous system. However, its high level can lead to high blood pressure in many people. Springwater is a good source of sodium, but if you are on a low-salt diet, do not forget to check the sodium content of the bottled water label as it varies from one brand to another.
- According to some reports, the need for calcium in our bodies is higher than any other mineral. Though calcium is mostly required for maintaining dental and bone health, it also assists in muscle development, blood clotting, and the functioning of the central nervous system. In spring water, you can find around 0.0001 lb/gal (20 mg/l) of calcium concentration.
- Magnesium, too, plays an essential role in controlling muscular contractions, the transmission of nerve signals, and the production of energy. The level of magnesium in natural springs varies depending on its source of collection. However, it can be as high as 0.0009 lb/gal (110 mg/l) as well.
- Also referred to as 'raw' water, its contents help the body and cells regenerate. The presence of all these natural minerals makes the spring water alkaline. Its pH level lies between the range of 6.5 and 8.5, the level prescribed by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Spring Water Sources
A spring is a place from where underground water, saturated with subsurface minerals, emerges onto the land through an opening. In other words, it is an aquifer that overflows to the land surface after being filled to a certain point. A natural spring can be in the form of a trickle or a continuous waterfall. It can also appear from hot rocks below the ground, giving way to hot springs. The quality of water discharged by a natural spring largely depends on the aquifer and the rocks through which it has passed.
- Depending on many factors, like the type of rock in which it occurs, how it is formed, the quantity of water flowing, and its temperature, springs’ classification is done. A spring can be classified under various classifications.
- Artesian Springs: This kind of spring occurs when the aquifer’s pressure outweighs the land’s atmospheric pressure and the spring finds a way through any porous layer or fracture to reach the earth’s surface. You will mostly find these kinds of springs in valleys or cliffs.
- Gravity Springs: Water seeps into the ground until it meets a confining layer. Unable to flow further, water starts accumulating above that layer till it touches the ground surface. At that time, it comes out of any crack or opening it finds on the surface. Gravity springs are mostly found on cliffs or hillsides. You can spot this kind of spring along the St. Croix River Valley.
- Perennial Springs: It is a spring that flows continuously through all seasons of the year. It drains a large surface area and is not affected by droughts, even prolonged or extreme ones. Its water supply continues as it delivers groundwater.
- Intermittent Springs: Flow is not consistent in intermittent springs. You will find water only during those times of the year when snowmelt or rainfall sufficiently recharges the soil and groundwater. The largest intermittent spring, also known as a periodic spring, is found at Swift Creek Canyon in Star Valley near Wyoming. Rainwater plays an important role in the existence of intermittent springs.
- Thermal Springs: As the name suggests, this type of natural spring is hot compared to the groundwater in the surrounding area and surface water. They are known by many names, like warm springs, geysers, mud pots, and hot springs. You can find one of these hot springs at Yellowstone National Park in the USA. Thermal springs occur in areas with a history of volcanic activity. They are quite popular as people find hot springs a way of soaking away their health problems.
- Seepage Springs: This type of spring water is formed when groundwater seeps out of the land surface. They usually occur in gravel, organic materials, or sand and are mostly found in valley bottoms or depressions. They are, however, different from artesian springs because they are not always contained below any dense layer of material and have low flows.
- Tubular Springs: This kind of spring water is formed when water flows from circular fissures. They are mostly associated with caverns, limestone channels, and volcanic lava tubes. Water is contained in lava tube caves and cavities in limestone. These tubes can be huge or microscopic in size. You can find a million gallons of water flowing per minute in some tubular springs in the USA.
Difference Between Spring Water And Tap Water
Between spring water and tap water, there is an entire world of difference. With concerns rising about the safety of the water we are consuming, many have shifted from tap water to bottled water, assuming the latter contains spring water. But that’s not the case, always. The source of over 25% of bottled water is the municipality water supply.
Before going further, let’s find out the differences that make spring water desirable and the quality of water in taps questionable.
- Source: While spring water is an overflow of fresh groundwater, tap water comes from lakes and rivers that get their fill mostly from rainwater. The bottled water industry sells spring water bottled at its source while the municipality uses motors, pipes, and other materials to supply the water via taps.
- Filtration: Natural spring water goes through minimal filtration only to remove impurities. Some spring water may be disinfected as well. The purified water is then sold in glass or plastic bottles on the market. Tap water goes through a series of filtration processes before it becomes fit for drinking. First coagulation is used to remove dirt and other harmful particles. Chemicals like alum are added to the water to attract unwanted particles. Chlorine is also added to make the water free of bacteria or other micro-organisms. As a byproduct, chlorine may leave behind trihalomethanes, known carcinogenic environmental pollutants. To put this apart, water is filtered several times, passing through layers of gravel, sand, and charcoal to further purify it. It is then supplied to houses through pipes.
- Mineral content: We have already discussed the composition of natural spring water. However, to ensure that your bottled water offers those health benefits, check the label on the bottle. Tap water may also contain a certain number of minerals, but those get removed when filtered. But you can find several chemicals in tap water. While some are intentionally added during the treatment to make it a reliable drinking water option, others remain as a by-product of the intense disinfecting process. Some of them are fluoride, chlorine, and lead. Though fluoride is added to tap water in the US to prevent tooth decay, its excessive consumption could cause digestive issues. In extreme cases, a person may also suffer from weakened bones and skeletal fluorosis. Chlorine kills the microbes for good but discharges a chemical capable of damaging vital cells. As tap water passes through corroded old copper pipes, it becomes high in lead content, whose excessive consumption can cause developmental disorders in kids. Many people, therefore, prefer to drink distilled water over tap water.
- The only thing that goes in favor of filtered tap water is that it’s easily available. Bottled water, on the other hand, is quite expensive depending on the source of spring.
Benefits Of Spring Water
Natural spring water offers plenty of benefits when compared with other forms of drinking water, including bottled water. Check out these benefits of spring water:
- As you drink it, you get more oxygen. The oxygen content in spring water is higher than it is in bottled water. This helps with your addiction issues as well. Springwater has melatonin and serotonin. As a result, your body produces fewer of them. Also, it cures hormonal imbalances and reduces your urge for addiction.
- The minerals that this water contains help you to become smarter and wiser. Its levitational quality and the molecular order of hydrogen oxide make you intelligent. However, it is not just the brain. Springwater nourishes your entire body. As you continue consuming it, it helps create probiotics, micronutrients, and homeopathic solutions that improve your overall health.
- Imagine getting all these benefits through bitter pills. Nobody would like it, right? But with spring water, the taste is never an issue. The minerals enhance its taste, and those who drink it swear by it. While distilled water is also considered a safe drinking water option, in the race to become the best, spring water wins. There are several companies that sell pure bottled water containing nothing but spring water. One such company is Poland Spring, which sources water from the natural springs of Maine in the town of Polland.
The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.