Not All WATER Packages Are The Same
[NOTE: this article was compiled from a number of resources. For an in depth study on the subject here is the link to “Bottled and Packaged Water”: https://www.sciencedirect.com/book/9780128152720/bottled-and-packaged-water]
When considering the topic of WATER there are several aspects to consider:
- Type or Source of water
- Packaging of the water
- Storage of the water.
A. The industry breaks down bottled water into four (4) basic categories:
Some of the more common types of bottled water are:
- Artesian water – this is water that originates from a confined aquifer that has been tapped and in which the water level stands at some height above the top of the aquifer.
- Fluoridated – this type of water contains added fluoride. This category includes water classified as “For Infants” or “Nursery.”
- Groundwater – this type of water is from an underground source that is under a pressure equal to or greater than atmospheric pressure.
- Mineral water – water from a mineral spring that contains various minerals, such as salts and sulfur compounds. It comes from a source tapped at one or more bore holes or spring, and originates from a geologically and physically protected underground water source. No minerals may be added to this water.
- Purified water – this type of water has been produced by distillation, deionization, reverse osmosis, or other suitable processes. Purified water may also be referred to as “demineralized water”.
- Sparkling water – Sparkling water contains the same amount of carbon dioxide that it had at emergence from the source. The carbon dioxide may be removed and replenished after treatment.
- Spring water – this type of water comes from an underground formation from which water flows naturally to the Earth’s surface.
- Sterile water – this type of water meets sterilization requirements, for example, those specified under “sterility tests” in the United States Pharmacopoeia.
- Well water – well water is taken from a hole tapping, etc. This hole may be bored, drilled, or otherwise constructed in the ground.
B. Packaging of water has several options based on container construction and size. Containers designed for individual use are most often made from PET (polyethylene tetraphyte) or rPET (recycled polyethylene tetraphyte) or polycarbonate. However the growing concern of plastic pollution; PET containers only capable of being recycled a small number of times; and discovery of micro-plastics being found in PET bottled water in a surprising number of brands, other container types are becoming more popular.
Although there are newer technologies being applied to bottled water containers including reduced plastic, wood-based and plant-based formulas, the primary containers for individual use are:
- Plastic #1, PETE – Most plastic water ‘bottles’ (the kind you get in the 24-pack flats, etc.), and the plastic of soda and juice containers, are made from #1 PETE. They are apparently BPA-free nowadays (based on online information about this subject). #1 plastic water bottle containers are thinner than #2 plastic. In fact today’s #1 bottled water is even thinner than it used to be! They are basically designed for one use. That makes it less than ideal for long term water storage. In addition, I#1 containers will more readily leach a ‘plastic’ taste into the water if it’s heated up in any way – especially over time. For example, if you leave a plastic water bottle in your hot car, then drink it after it has been sitting there for a time, chances are you will taste a bit of plastic. This can’t be good over the long term.
- Plastic #2, HDPE – Most gallon jugs of water or milk, etc. that you see in the grocery store are made of #2 plastic and are Food Safe. Blue colored water containers, jugs, and barrels that are specifically manufactured ‘Food Safe’ are made of #2 plastic. Not all ‘Food Safe’ water containers are blue, but many are (for quick identification). #2 BPA-free Food Grade, Rugged Design, Refresh water 6 – 12 months. #2 Food Grade BPA-free, is a good choice (if using plastic) for drinking water storage. The thicker the better (resistance to scraping, damage, leaking). Use 55-gallon plastic drums for long term storage, but refresh the water once each year as a precaution.
- Plastic #4, LDPE – #4 plastic is used for things like plastic bags.
- Plastic #5, PP – #5 plastic is used for things like Rubbermaid type food storage containers, etc.
- Plastic #7, polycarbonate – Polycarbonates have been under scrutiny lately because of the presence of bisphenol-A (BPA) that can leach into the bottle’s content.
- Aluminum – Aluminum water bottles are resistant and lighter than steel bottles. Because aluminum can leach into liquids, a liner has to be applied inside the bottle. In some cases that liner can be a resin that has been shown to contain BPA. Example: Blue Can Water in aluminum cans are BPA Free and guarantee a 50-Year Shelf Life even in heat up to 150ºF. Aluminum is a sustainable metal and can be recycled over and over again.
- Glass – Glass is stable at a wide range of temperatures, and will not leak chemicals into your water. Glass is easily recyclable. The main drawback of glass is, of course, that it can shatter when dropped.
C. Storage of water provides some options as well. Drinking water is packaged in various sizes usually up to one gallon containers as well as individual packets, Depending on how the water is to be used determines the type of container and how best to store it.
Storing water long term for eventual use (preparing for loss of water supply) differs from storing water for use in a disaster or emergency. Eventual use storage may benefit by using large (55 gallon +) containers made from Plastic #2 HDPE or stainless steel. Water storage for disaster / emergency use might be better served by using individual sized bottles or water pouches.
Water bottle v/s water pouches? Having a prepackaged emergency water supply may seem unnecessary if you have a plastic water bottle, but here’s the deal: plastic water bottles are not meant to withstand heat. You will be taking in unnecessary chemicals. As well, if you have the pouches you won’t use them until you really need them. The metallized sachets of an emergency water pouch are easy to dispense and easy to store. Unlike bottled water which must be rotated and replaced every six months, these water packets last for years!