What is the difference between spring water and mineral water?
Before 1994, “spring water” might mean anything from purified water, taken originally from the tap, or a fancy imported brand of “gourmet” bottled water from natural springs in Switzerland. The Food and Drug Administration put an end to the confusion by defining standards for bottled water and regulating how it can be labeled. Today, “spring water” indicates water that flows naturally to the surface from an underground spring or from a borehole into the source of that spring. “Mineral water” comes from protected underground sources, usually collected through a borehole. Many mineral water sites are geologically protected from contamination. You may also see “purified water,” which means any water that has been distilled, deionized, or passed through membranes to remove particles in a process called reverse osmosis. “Distilled water,” which some people recommend using in steam irons, is water that has been vaporized and then condensed to remove the minerals.