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Facts that you always wanted
to know about water

What types of water exist

Water is not just water

What types of water are available?

Water is one of the most valuable resources of our planet, which occurs in different forms as tap water, table water, spring water, mineral water and healing water. There are considerable differences in the composition, quality criteria as well as in the legal basis for testing the chemical and bacteriological properties. Let's take a look at each of the types.

Tap Water

Tap water or drinking water is mainly obtained from surface

water (reservoirs, rivers and lakes) and near-surface groundwater. In order to comply with the strict quality requirements of the ordinance on the quality of water, it may be treated. A variety of methods and chemicals are permitted for this purpose, such as the use of chlorine or UV light to prevent the water from becoming contaminated. The drinking water supplier does check the water regularly, but only up to the transfer point at the house. After that, the homeowner is responsible for the quality of the water.

Table Water

This is treated drinking water or natural mineral water to which additives such as brine (highly saline spring water) are added. Accordingly, table water is generally not a natural product that comes from a natural source, but an industrially manufactured product made from various ingredients that is subject to the ordinance on the quality of water. Official recognition is not required. Table water may be produced and bottled anywhere, even in large containers. The quality requirements correspond to those of tap water.

Spring Water

Spring water originates from natural, underground deposits. The quality must meet the requirements of the ordinance on the quality of water. A consistent mineral composition as well as official recognition is not required. The high purity requirements that apply to mineral water are also not given. However, a minimum requirement for tap water is necessary. Like table water, spring water may be bottled in bulk.

Mineral Water

Mineral water originates from underground deposits protected from contamination after it has undergone a natural filtering and purification process through various layers of stones. The water must be microbiologically free and of original purity. The composition and temperature must remain unchanged. Unlike the above-mentioned types of water, mineral water is subject to official approval with over 200 individual tests. Bottling is only permitted at the source and in small containers. Mineral water may only be treated with a few exceptions, such as the removal of iron. In addition, the removal or adding of carbonic acid is permitted.

Healing Water

The same requirements apply to healing water as to mineral water. However, it is not a food product, but an over-the-counter pharmaceutical. Accordingly, it is subject to the German Medicines Act and the German Medicines Ordinance, which means that it must be registered with the German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM). The official approval is initially valid for five years. After that, a new analysis must be carried out. If approval is granted again, then it is valid indefinitely. In Germany, a healing water must be proven to have curative, relieving or preventive medical effects, such as stimulating digestion, normalizing blood pressure, and treating urinary tract infections. Side effects and contraindications must also be shown.

In summary, it can be said that mineral and healing waters are subject to significantly higher requirements than other types of water. The differences are summarized below.

If you have any questions about this topic, please feel free to contact me.

Many greetings

Timo Bausch

Certified Water Sommelier


About Timo Bausch

My fascination with mineral waters began in 2016 during my training as a Water Sommelier. Since then, I have been exploring the characteristics and diversity of water. In addition to pairing water with food, wine, coffee and other beverages, I offer the creation of water menus for restaurants and hotels. Furthermore, it is also important to me to draw attention to the importance of drinking water.


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