Mineral water can be still, or sparkling. However, not all sparkling waters get their “sparkle” the same way. While many might be naturally sparkling, the bottling process causes partial loss of their carbon-dioxide (CO2) content. This can be compensated either with generic CO2 used in fizzy soft drinks, or with the CO2 that is harvested from the same aquifer the water came from. In some cases, a mineral water’s CO2 content is boosted to levels above those that occur naturally.
AQUA Carpatica is special because its “sparkle” is 100% natural. Its CO2 comes from the same aquifer as the water, and the bottled product has the same CO2 content as the source.
“Mineral” waters can be defined as such either according to their content of various mineral substances (chemical composition), or according to therapeutic properties.
Generally speaking, mineral waters contain at least 250 parts per million of total dissolved solids (TDS) and keep this level relatively constant.
FEMTEC, the World Federation of Hydrotherapy and Climatotherapy says a mineral water must have properties unique to its origin; it must not have undergone any modification; it must differ from other potable waters by virtue of the type and nature of the components in its structure. Furthermore, the water’s therapeutical properties need to have been medically vouched for.
In the European Union, mineral waters can undergo limited treatments in order to maintain their classification as “mineral”. These treatments include the separation of iron, manganese, sulphur and arsenic through the use of ozone-enriched air, as well as separation of unstable compounds such as iron or sulphur, through filtering or decanting, which could be preceded by oxygenation.
In the case of either of these treatments, the water’s chemical structure cannot be altered.
Artesian, or spring waters, come from an underground rock formation (aquifer) under positive pressure that causes the water to “spring” naturally to the surface. Should these waters be harvested for bottling, the end-product must be identical to the water emerging naturally to the surface.
Bottled water & tap water
Just because water is bottled, this does not mean it is any different from what comes out of the tap. In some cases, bottled water has been found to be less pure than tap water, so consumers must be vigilant and closely watch the label.
Nutritionists advise against drinking tap water, as it contains some pollutants that can cause health problems in the long term – even if their levels might be at or below legal limits. Those suffering of kidney conditions must be particularly vigilant in this regard.