Different Types of Water
Many people don’t understand that different purposes for water requires different quality. For example, the same water you provide your family with at dinner and the water you use to wash dishes should meet different stipulations. Similarly, the water you wash dishes with shouldn’t the same as the water you’d use in your garden. We’re here to decode the different types of water you’re exposed to on a regular basis and the best way to use those different levels, or grades, for their specific purpose.
Utility grade water is the water provided by the city that meets the minimum federal standards for water. This water is best to be used on lawns, streets, toilets, and other non-contact purposes. This water comes out of your hose and some faucets in houses with no filtration systems, and while it meets the minimum standards to be consumed or used for topical purposes, it is the lowest grade available for those purposes. It will still contain certain levels of harmful pollutants and chemicals which are regulated by the local water authority.
Work grade comes after utility grade. This water is higher quality than utility grade, and is often filtered more carefully. This can be used for laundry, dishes, cleaning, and for showers or baths. Most often, this is found in places like restaurants or hospitals who need a certain level of water purity for expensive machinery or lab work. Again, this water can be consumed, as it is safe, but it isn’t to the highest drinking standards.
There are a few types of drinking grade water which can be chosen based on personal preferences. Drinking grade water is purified strictly for consumption. Many times it’s only prepared in small quantities such as in filtration pitchers or bottled water, but a soft water system can achieve the same quality straight out of your faucet. Below are some common examples of what people see as “drinking grade” water and an explanation of whether or not they’re a good option.
Mineral water is water with minerals (shocking, we know). According to the FDA, natural mineral waters must contain 250 parts per million “total dissolved solids” originating from a geologically and physically protected underground water source. Basically, mineral water must come from the ground already having plenty of minerals such as magnesium, calcium, sodium, and zinc. A recent study showed that there can be some benefits to mineral water when consumed in moderation and if it fits the health needs of the individual. However, mineral water does tend to contain more contaminants than necessary and should not be considered a good source of minerals in an individual’s diet.
This is often what you find in bottled water, however, it’s often not as pure as you’d expect. In many cases, spring water has just as many contaminants as work or even utility grade water. Spring water originates from an underground source and may or may not have been treated and purified. If you have other options, choose against spring water, even as refreshing as it may sound. There are many stories of spring water coming from the tap and hosting negative chemicals such as trace amounts of chloroform, arsenic, and phthalates (again, all levels are compliant with federal standards, but really, who wants to risk it?).
Purified water can come from any source, but is purified to remove any toxic chemicals or pollutants. Types of purification can include distillation, deionization, reverse osmosis, and carbon filtration. With purified water you’re guaranteed no harmful chemicals, but these processes also remove and good, natural minerals that may have been present in the water prior to the filtration process. However, since water should not be a main source for mineral consumption in the first place, this isn’t much of a downfall.
Often referred to as demineralized water, or water which has been subjected to a treatment that removes all its minerals and salt by the process of reverse osmosis and distillation. Despite being a pure form of water, it is typically not recommended for drinking. Drinking this water can cause a rapid sodium, potassium, chloride, and magnesium loss.
Choosing the best drinking water for you and your family can be a daunting process for many people. It seems as though each type of water comes with just as many disadvantages as benefits, and many people often give up and simply stick with their standard utility grade water. If you need help choosing a filtration system which fits your needs, we’re here to guide you through this process.