Types of Drinking Water: A Tall Glass of Something

Here at Diamond Springs we often boast about our wonderful 100% natural, fresh spring water. Ok, great. Sure. That’s all fine and dandy, but what’s the fuss about? You got to be kidding with this types of drinking water stuff, right? Can’t you get water anywhere? Isn’t most “spring” water just tap water anyway?

And the answer is no. Especially when you consider our locality, not all drinking water is created equally. So let us fill you in before you fill up your glass.

What is water anyway?

If you don’t exactly remember from science class, here’s quick refresher. Water is an inorganic compound, which basically means that it doesn’t contain carbon in its molecular structure. In fact, it is made of only two types of elements – hydrogen and oxygen. Maybe this sounds familiar, you know like, H20 – two hydrogen molecules to every one oxygen?

Anyway, water has some pretty darn-special qualities that make it truly unique. One of those traits is that it can be found as a solid, liquid, and a gas all at normal temperatures on the planet, i.e. the water cycle. (If you’d like to have NASA refresh your water cycle knowledge, go ahead and click here.) Another cool fact, H2O is denser in liquid form than solid form, allowing ice to float.  Aqua also has a really high surface tension, which plays a huge part in capillary action. That’s why water likes to stick to itself and to other things. One last interesting tidbit (it’s a big one) – water is essential to all life on earth. You will literally die without it.

The Diamond Springs team thinks pretty highly of having the best types of water available. When the human body is composed roughly of 60% water, don’t you want to be made of the good stuff?

That Brings Us To

Understanding Types of Drinking Water

Types of Drinking Water - Tap


Tap water, also known as municipal water, is piped water that comes out of your faucets, runs your dishwasher, and flushes your toilets. In Virginia, tap water is safe to drink and regulated by the EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) in line with the 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act. (More on that here). Community and Non-Community water systems must present an Annual Water Quality Report also called, Consumer Confidence Report (CCR). You should be able to access your city or county’s CCR online. A few local systems’ are linked at the end of this article.

Tap sounds great, right? You’re already paying to have it in your home, and it’s easily accessible publicly. However, it’s important to know where your water is sourced from, the processes used to filter and treat it, and how the chemicals added to it can affect you. Water sticks to itself and other things remember? Another important consideration is the age and infrastructure of paths carrying it to you, from water mains to the pipes in your office, apartment building, or even your house.

Here’s an example. The City of Richmond sources its drinking water from the James River near Downtown RVA. The water can contain fertilizer runoff, septic tank leakage, sewage, erosion of natural chemical deposits, and other non H2O substances. At Richmond’s Water Treatment Plant, built in 1924, the water from the James settles in basins near Byrd Park to remove large particles, and afterwards goes through a filtration process to remove smaller particles. Chemicals are then added to disinfect it, which can produce byproducts like haloacetic acids and trihaomethanes, before it is pumped to you through a system of pipes.

Even after the water is made safe and tested at water treatment facilities throughout Virginia, it can contain acceptable traces of lead or other heavy metals, microbial substances, pesticides and herbicides, synthetic and volatile organic substances, and things like radium, which is radioactive decay of uranium and thorium. Have you seen the movie Radium Girls yet? 

It is recommended that you run tap water for around 30 seconds before using it for cooking or drinking. 

Types of Drinking Water - Purified


Purified water, usually tap or groundwater processed to remove impurities, is likely why so many people assume spring water is just tap water. Next time you buy bottled water, be sure to check the label. Not all bottled water is spring water. A lot of it is purified water. Purified water is the type of water that comes out of your fridge filter or Brita pitcher. Purified water is fine to drink. Any water that is sold in a bottle and correctly labeled must undergo testing to ensure its safety.

This type of drinking water tends to have a lot of chlorine in it. Chlorine kills bacteria that is harmful to you, but also bacteria that is helpful. In addition, it affects the smell and taste of the water. Because chlorine is toxic to fish, other aquatic animals, reptiles, and amphibians, be sure not to use water with high levels of chlorine in your goldfish bowl. It might also kill your houseplants. For more on chlorine and chloramine check out this article from the CDC.

For those of you who do prefer to drink purified water, Diamond Springs offers Dasani purified water 16oz cans in cases of 24, that you can order here. Please recycle!

Types of Drinking Water - Spring


Spring water is water that naturally flows out of a spring from the ground. This happens when an aquifer is filled to a point where the water overflows to the surface. When water is collected and bottled at the source where it emerges from being organically filtered by layer after layer of rock, then it is officially spring water. This means that it should be naturally clean and free of toxins. It also contains helpful minerals that are needed by your body and enhance the taste. Spring water is pristine, and largely untouched by human hands. How nature intended.

In Diamond Springs’ case, our three- and five-gallon bottles are bottled right at our protected springs near Richmond, Virginia. It’s the same location where the bottles are loaded onto our trucks and then delivered to you. And just to be certain, we regularly test our water and provide Annual Quality Reports. Our natural spring not only meets, and often exceeds, all state, national, and FDA requirements, but it also adheres to guidelines set by the IBWA, International Bottled Water Association.

The water coming out of our spring today has no lead, radium, haloacetic aids, or added chlorine. Instead, it has naturally occurring magnesium, manganese, and other minerals, that help flavor the water and balance your body. Not sourced from open to-pollution-and-contamination rivers. No holding basins and tons of added chemicals to balance out other unnaturally occurring chemicals. No traveling through old, intensive municipal pipe systems. Straight-from-the-earth, locally sourced, you-can’t-beat-the-taste, spring water.

Types of Drinking Water - Distilled


Distilled water is any type of water that has been through a distillation process to remove all total dissolved solids. We use a process that mimics the natural water cycle. First, water is vaporized to produce steam. The minerals are left behind and the vapor is condensed for a pure, mineral-free product. The aim of distilled water is for it to be as close to pure H2O as possible.

Distilled water is perfectly fine to drink as it’s free of containments. However, it doesn’t really have the same health benefits as other types of water. In fact, Healthline.com claims it can often times leach minerals from the things it touches, like your body or teeth. Distilled water tastes flat or sharp, mostly just wet. Nevertheless, it is excellent to cook with as it adds no flavor of its own. It is recommended for mixing with baby formula, because the formula is already predesigned to contain the correct balance of vitamins and minerals. It is largely used for medical or scientific applications. If you are into horticulture and already have perfected your soil composition, distilled water won’t upset your plants. Distilled water can provide control by eliminating guess work as to what’s in your water.  It can be immensely beneficial when utilized with full understanding.

Diamond Springs offers distilled water in one gallon or five-gallon sizes. Our five-gallon distilled water comes directly from our local spring where we distill it on site.

There are still other types of drinking water like sparkling water, which has carbon dioxide added to it to get bubbles, or flavored water which can have natural or artificial flavors added to it to have it take on fruity or herbed tastes, but the building blocks of those mostly fall under the previously listed categories. Whenever making choices about how to hydrate, consider where your water comes from, what has been done to it to make it safe to drink, and how it gets to you.

Now that we’ve filled you in, we hope that you don’t just fill up a tall glass of something, but fill up your glass with our 100% natural, fresh Diamond Springs water. Stay hydrated, and please recycle!

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Consumer Confidence Reports

Sources not linked in article
  • https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/z9r4jxs/articles/zkd3rwx
  • https://www.usgs.gov/special-topic/water-science-school/science/springs-and-water-cycle?qt-science_center_objects=0#qt-science_center_objects

Author: Lauren Core is a film nerd and future novelist who graduated from James Madison University. She loves her black lab and black cat, the sound of rain on skylights, and hiking in the mountains. Mixing craft cocktails is her specialty. You can connect with her via Diamond Springs' social media DM.