Information on Water
Bottled water products are normally categorized according to the source of the water and the method(s) used by the bottler to treat it. Bottled water products are required to undergo disinfection. Bottlers who obtain water from a source which has not previously been disinfected, such as a spring or well, will usually use ozone or ultraviolet technologies to disinfect the water, as these processes do not normally leave a residual taste or odor in the water, like chlorine does. Bottled water companies can also purchase their source water from an approved potable water source, such as a municipal water supply.
Some bottling companies choose to further treat their bottled water products, using treatment processes such as filtration, reverse osmosis, or distillation. Although federal laws do not require the bottler to list any naturally occurring compounds on the product label, such as sulfates, sodium, or radon, if a bottler chooses to add any ingredients to the water, such as minerals, fluoride, or flavorings, this must be stated on the label. Any naturally occurring or added ingredients cannot exceed the maximum levels permitted by the applicable FDA or state regulations.
The FDA has established "Standards of Identity" for bottled water products sold in the U.S.
The FDA classifies bottled water according to its origin.
- Artesian well water. Water from a well that taps an aquifer--layers of porous rock, sand and earth that contain water--which is under pressure from surrounding upper layers of rock or clay. When tapped, the pressure in the aquifer, commonly called artesian pressure, pushes the water above the level of the aquifer, sometimes to the surface. Other means may be used to help bring the water to the surface.
According to the EPA, water from artesian aquifers often is more pure because the confining layers of rock and clay impede the movement of contamination. However, despite the claims of some bottlers, there is no guarantee that artesian waters are any cleaner than ground water from an unconfined aquifer, the EPA says.
- Mineral water. Water from an underground source that contains at least 250 parts per million total dissolved solids. Minerals and trace elements must come from the source of the underground water. They cannot be added later.
- Spring water. Derived from an underground formation from which water flows naturally to the earth's surface. Spring water must be collected only at the spring or through a borehole tapping the underground formation feeding the spring. If some external force is used to collect the water through a borehole, the water must have the same composition and quality as the water that naturally flows to the surface.
- Well water. Water from a hole bored or drilled into the ground, which taps into an aquifer.
Bottled water may be used as an ingredient in beverages, such as diluted juices or flavored bottled waters. However, beverages labeled as containing "sparkling water," "seltzer water," "soda water," "tonic water," or "club soda" are not included as bottled water under the FDA's regulations, because these beverages have historically been considered soft drinks.
Some bottled water also comes from municipal sources--in other words--the tap. Municipal water is usually treated before it is bottled.
Examples of water treatments include:
- Distillation. In this process, water is turned into a vapor. Since minerals are too heavy to vaporize, they are left behind, and the vapors are condensed into water again.
- Reverse osmosis. Water is forced through membranes to remove minerals in the water.
- Absolute 1 micron filtration. Water flows through filters that remove particles larger than one micron in size, such as Cryptosporidium, a parasitic protozoan.
- Ozonation. Bottlers of all types of waters typically use ozone gas, an antimicrobial agent, to disinfect the water instead of chlorine, since chlorine can leave residual taste and odor to the water.
Bottled water that has been treated by distillation, reverse osmosis, deionization or other suitable process and that meets the definition of "purified water" in the HYPERLINK "http://www.usp.org/" U.S. Pharmacopoeia can be labeled as "purified water”.
Creekside Springs bottles three types of water products -
Creekside produces drinking water by either reverse osmosis or distillation:
Reverse Osmosis (RO) - This type of water has been produced via a multi-step filtration process preceding reverse osmosis, a process whereby water is “forced” under high pressure through a series of membranes. The RO process is the most commercially accepted process regarding the purification of water on a large scale. Purified water may also be referred to as "demineralized water." It meets the definition of "purified water" in the United States Pharmacopoeia. The RO process typically produces a total dissolved solid (TDS) level, which is a measure of remaining solids within a liquid of 10 parts per million (PPM) or less
Distilled Water - Water that has been vaporized into steam, then cooled to re-condense it back into water. The water's minerals are left behind, leaving only pure tasting steam-distilled water. Distilled water is defined as a process by the FDA and not an end product. Creekside actually utilized RO purified water as a source for its distillation units. The distillation typically produces a product with a TDS of less than 10 parts per million and can produce a TDS of less than 1 ppm depending upon the distillation equipment and source water.
This type of water comes from an underground formation from which water flows naturally to the Earth's surface, which in the case of Creekside is our approved natural springs. This water must naturally flow to the surface of the surface and there are specific state by state regulations associated with both the development and use of spring water for public consumption. Both the TDS level and mix of inorganic compounds in spring water provide each spring a distinctive “taste’. These TDS components must be individually less than maximum detectible levels as dictated by the FDA to be permitted for public consumption. As each spring has a different “taste”, the source of spring water must be included on the product label.
Enhanced waters entail any still water, be it purified, distilled or spring, to which some ingredient or additive is added to the source water.
One of Creekside’s most popular enhanced water is fluoridated water. This type of water contains fluoride added within the limitations established in the FDA Code of Federal Regulations as well as guidance from the American Dental Association. This water is primarily marketed as "For Infants" or "Nursery" water.
Additionally, the majority of Creekside’s co-packing relates to the bottling of enhanced waters targeted to specific consumer groups. Current offerings include natural flavorings, electrolytes, minerals, and caffeine as additives for our various customers.