Spring water

Spring water is particularly pure water that comes from natural, underground sources. For spring water different conditions apply compared to medicinal water
and to drinking water. How spring water is precisely defined, what quality it must have, and what else you should know about it, is therefore explained here.

Origin of spring water

Spring water feeds from deep underground reservoirs. These reservoirs protect the water from contamination.

It is usually surface water which has seeped through the superficial layers of rock and has deposited in subterranean basins. This can happen occasionally even a very long time ago.

So spring water generally has nothing to do with natural water sources, but is predominantly underground water.

Artesian sources

Artesian springs are sources that emanate from a deeper layer of the earth's crust and have made their way to the surface through overlying layers.

They are under pressure and therefore reach the surface over time. It is also water from artesian sources also very pure water, which is stored in deep layers of the soil protected. It can also be very old.

Occurrence of artesian sources

The emergence of artesian sources may occasionally be associated with geological dislocations. Very often one finds artesian sources with limestone-containing surface layers. Especially on the edge of the Thuringian Forest and the Harz spring many artesian springs.

Purity of spring water

By storing deep below the surface, the spring water is well protected against contamination. On its way through the upper rock layers, the spring water was repeatedly filtered until it was stored in the reservoir, and is therefore very pure.

Unlike curative water, however, it usually contains no increased mineral content and thus has no proven health effect. It is only particularly pure compared to tap water.

Regulations for spring water

Spring water is not covered by the Drinking Water Ordinance. The current regulations for spring water can be found in the Mineral and Table Water Ordinance (Min / TafelWV).

However, the basis for this is an EU Directive (2009/54 / EC), which regulates the extraction and trade of natural mineral water. It applies uniformly throughout Europe and has priority over national law.

This provides, among other things, that spring water must be of natural purity. To be considered spring water, the water must meet certain criteria:

  • Temperature of the source
  • Composition of the water
  • general, fixed characteristics

These values ​​must be very close to the specified specifications. They may fluctuate within a very narrow range, as this is unavoidable in naturally occurring water. Above all, the microbial specifications (bacteria in drinking water) are stricter than for drinking water.

Permitted treatment of spring water

Before bottling, spring water may be treated, but the permissible possibilities are limited. It may be de-iced and desulphurised if it is the removal of volatile compounds in the water. The removal may only be done with physical methods.

Ozonation is permissible under certain circumstances to remove rock constituents from the water. The carbonic acid content of the water may be changed by approved methods.

Certain substances may also be removed by approved procedures:

  • manganese
  • Arsenic and
  • fluoride

Spring water must be referred to as "natural mineral water" according to the food labeling regulation. The term "soda" is only permitted for waters with a natural carbon dioxide content of more than 250 mg / l. They are sometimes called "Säuerling" or "Sauerbrunnen".

Differences between spring water and medicinal water

Spring water is a food, whereas medicinal water is a medicine. It falls under the drug law.

Spring water usually has a higher mineral content such as tap water, but not nearly as high as with medicinal waters.

For both spring water and medicinal water, sources must be officially certified and acknowledged before bottling. The tests are carried out on spring waters and medicinal waters by different authorities, and they are tested in different ways. The specifications for medicinal water are the strictest in all water types.

According to the current status, 815 officially approved sources for spring water are available in Germany. With healing water there are only 60.

Classification of spring water according to its mineral content

The classification of spring water is based on the classification of medicinal water sources.

  • Chloride water
  • Bicarbonate waters
  • Sulfate waters

The requirements for the mineral content are much higher because of the required medicinal effects on medicinal waters. For example, the sulphate content for a medicated effect is at least 1,200 mg / l, while most natural mineral waters are in the range of 100 and 300 mg / l.

Possible contamination with spring water

Despite the required purity, soiling of mineral and spring waters is repeatedly found.

radioactivity

Especially the uranium content is very high in some sources. Uranium can damage the kidneys. The load, however, is comparatively low. For example, 50 liters of the most heavily contaminated water in an infant is approximately equal to the radiation exposure of a single long haul flight.

Pollution by substances

Through the use of pesticides, occasionally minor residues may also remain in the mineral water. The limit value is 0.05 μg / l for all substances taken together. For drinking water, on the other hand, the zero principle (detection limit) is checked.

For artificial sweeteners that are not filtered out in sewage treatment plants, such as cyclamate and acesulfame, recent evidence has been presented in individual sources. There is currently no valid limit.

Tips & Tricks

Also, the pollution of water by plasticisers in the PET bottles should not be underestimated in the long term. The quality of drinking water in tap water is so high that even with continuous enjoyment no damage is to be expected from drinking tap water.

Video Board: Why Spring Water Is Amazing