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MoonDragon's Health & Wellness
Nutrition Basics

Types of Water

"For Informational Use Only"
For more detailed information contact your health care provider
about options that may be available for your specific situation.

  • Introduction
  • Tap Water
  • Hard Versus Soft Water
  • Safety of Tap Water
  • Fluoridation
  • Water Analysis
  • Improving Tap Water
  • Bottled Water
  • Deionized Or Demineralized Water
  • Mineral Water
  • Natural Spring Water
  • Sparkling Water
  • Steam Distilled Water
  • Water-Related Products


    The human body is composed of approximately 70 percent water. In fact, the body's water supply is responsible for and involved in nearly every bodily process, including digestion, absorption, circulation, and excretion. Water is also the primary transporter of nutrients throughout the body and so is necessary for all building functions in the body. Water helps maintain normal body temperature and is essential for carrying waste material out of the body. Therefore, replacing the water that is continually being lost through sweating and elimination is very important. To keep the body functioning properly, it is essential to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of quality water each day. While the body cannot survive without food for about five weeks, the body cannot survive without water for longer than 5 days.

    Obtaining quality water would seem to be an easy matter. However, due to the numerous types of classifications water is given, the average consumer can easily be confused about what is available. This section is a guide to understanding what the most commonly used classifications of water mean and how these different kinds of water may help or harm the body.

    MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Water or Coke... Which should YOU Drink?


    Water that comes out of household taps or faucets is generally obtained either from surface water - water that has run off from ponds, creeks, streams, rivers, and lakes, and is collected in reservoirs - or from ground water - water that has filtered through the ground to the water table and is extracted by means of a well.


    Hard water, found in various parts of the country, contains relatively high concentrations of the minerals calcium and magnesium. The presence of these minerals prevents soap from lathering and results in filmy sediment being deposited on hair, clothing, pipes, dishes, washtubs, and anything else that comes into regular contact with the water. It also affects the taste. Hard water can be annoying, and though some studies have shown that deaths from heart disease may be lower in areas where the drinking water is hard, it is believed that the calcium found in hard water is not good for the heart, arteries, or bones. Hard water deposits its calcium and other minerals on the outside of these structures, while it is the calcium and magnesium found within these structures that are beneficial to the body.

    Soft water can be naturally soft or it may be hard water that has been treated to remove the calcium and magnesium. One potentially serious problem with artificially softened water is that it is more likely than hard water to dissolve the lining of the pipes. This poses an especially significant threat if pipes are made of lead. Another threat comes from certain plastic and galvanized pipes, which contain cadmium, a toxic heavy metal. These types of pipe are rarely used in construction today, but they may be present in older buildings that have not undergone extensive renovation. But leaching from pipes can be a problem with today's copper pipes as well. Dangerous levels of copper, iron, zinc, and arsenic can leach into softened water from copper pipes.


    Most people assume that when they turn on their kitchen tap, they are getting clean, safe, healthy drinking water. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. Regardless of the original source of tap water, it is vulnerable to a number of different types of impurities. Some undesirable substances found in water, including radon, fluoride, and arsenic, iron, lead, copper, and other heavy metals, can occur naturally. Other contaminants, such as fertilizers, asbestos, cyanides, herbicides, pesticides, and industrial chemicals, may leach into ground water through the soil, or into any tap water from plumbing pipes. Still other substances, including chlorine, carbon, lime, phosphates, soda ash, and aluminum sulfate, are intentionally added to public water supplies to kill bacteria, adjust pH, and eliminate cloudiness, among other things. In addition, water can contain biological contaminants, including viruses, bacteria, and parasites.

    A study conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council found that 18,500 of the nation's water systems (serving some 45 million Americans) violated safe drinking water laws at some point during 1994 or 1995. The council's report blamed contaminated water for some 900,000 illnesses a year, including 100 deaths. Even if the levels of individual substances in water are well within "allowable" limits, the total of all contaminants present may still be harmful to your health.

    The greatest concerns about water quality today focus on chlorine, pesticides, and parasites. Chlorine has long been added to public water supplies to kill disease-causing bacteria. However, the levels of chlorine in drinking water today can be quite high, and some byproducts of chlorine are known carcinogens. As a result, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering steps to reduce the level of chlorine in drinking water, but is facing opposition from industry groups.

    Pesticides pose a risk in any area where the tap water is extracted from an underground source. These chemicals are suspected of causing, or at least contributing to, an increased incidence of cancer, especially breast cancer. Some scientists believe that this may be because certain pesticides can mimic the action of the female sex hormone estrogen in the body. Others point to the fact that toxins in the body tend to accumulate in fatty tissues, and the human breast is composed largely of fatty tissue. The pesticide problem is a particular concern in areas where agriculture is (or was) a major part of the economy. These chemicals are persistent. Residues from pesticides used decades ago may still be present in water coming out of the tap today, and may pose a risk to health.

    Long considered a problem limited to poor, developing countries, the presence of bacteria and parasites in drinking water - especially a parasite called cryptosporidium - is becoming a serious problem in the United States today. In 1993, the residents of one of Wisconsin's largest cities were forced to boil their tap water after it was discovered to contain "unacceptable" levels of cryptosporidium, most likely from agricultural runoff. This outbreak was suspected of causing six deaths in the area. The same organism has created controversy over the safety of the water in New York City; many people with weakened immune systems have charged that cryptosporidium in the city water has made them sick, even though local officials insist that the water is safe to drink. For people with HIV or AIDS, cryptosporidium can be lethal. The chlorine added to water to kill bacteria is not effective at killing these parasites.

    Whatever the source of your water, it is important to know some warning signs of bad water. Watch for cloudiness or murkiness in water. Chlorination causes some cloudiness that usually clears if the water is left to stand, but bacterial or sedimentary cloudiness will remain. Foaming may be caused by bacterial contamination, by floating particles of sediment, or by soaps or detergents. Bacteria can be destroyed by boiling water for at least five minutes, while sediment should settle out if you let the water stand for several hours. Strange smells or tastes in water that was previously fine could mean chemical contamination. However, many toxic hazards that work their way into water do not change its taste, smell, or appearance.


    For many years now, controversy has raged over whether fluoride should be added to drinking water. As early as 1961, as recorded in the Congressional Record, fluoride was exposed as a lethal poison in our nation's water supply. Proponents say that fluoride occurs naturally and helps develop and maintain strong bones and teeth. Opponents to fluoridation contend that when fluoridated water is consumed regularly, toxic levels of fluorine, the poisonous substance from which fluoride is derived, build up in the body, causing irreparable harm to the immune system. The Delaney Congressional Investigation Committee, the government body charged with monitoring additives and other substances in the food supply, has stated that "fluoridation is mass medication without parallel in the history of medicine."

    Meanwhile, no convincing scientific proof has ever been generated that fluoridated water makes for stronger bones and teeth. It is known, however, that chronic fluoride use results in numerous health problems, including osteoporosis and osteomalacia, and also damages teeth, and leaves them mottled. The salts used to fluoridate our nation's water supply, sodium fluoride and fluorosalicic acid, are industrial byproducts that are never found in nature. They are also notoriously toxic compounds, so much so that they are used in rat poison and insecticides. The naturally occurring form of fluoride, calcium fluoride, is not toxic - but this form of fluoride is not used to fluoridate water.

    Today, more than half the cities in the United States fluoridate their water supplies. In many states, it is required. Although many ailments and disorders - including Down syndrome, mottled teeth, and cancer - have been linked to fluoridated water, fluoridation has become the standard rather than the exception.

    The fluoride added to tap water can be a problem. Individuals have different levels of tolerance for toxins such as fluoride. In addition, many water sources have levels of fluoride higher than one part per million, the level generally recognized as safe and originally set as the acceptable limit by the EPA. After the EPA learned that water in many towns had natural fluoride levels much higher than this, the permissible fluoride was raised - quadrupled, in fact - to four parts per million. And this is in addition to fluoride encountered from other sources. Fluoride is the 13th most widely distributed element on earth, so it can turn up just about anywhere - in vegetables and meats, for example. Since so many local water supplies are fluoridated, there is a good chance that virtually any packaged food product made with water, such as soft drinks and reconstituted juices, contains fluoride. Additional fluorides are widely used in toothpaste products, so it is easy to see how many Americans may be ingesting excessive amounts of this potentially toxic substance.

    If your tap water contains fluoride, and you wish to remove it, you can use a reverse osmosis, distillation, or activated alumina filtration system to eliminate almost all of the fluoride from your water.


    Not all drinking water contains significant amounts of toxic substances. Some places rate higher in water safety than others. In addition, not all cities and towns process their water supplies the same way. Some do nothing at all to their water. Others add chemicals to the water to kill bacteria. Still others filter their water. It is up to the water to kill bacteria. Still others filter their water. It is up to the individual to find out how local drinking water is treated and to determine how safe the water coming out of the tap is.

    The EPA has defined pure water as "bacteriologically safe" water, and it recommends - but does not require - that tap water have a pH between 6.5 and 8.5. This allows for a great deal of leeway in what passes as acceptable water. If you are concerned about the safety of the water coming out of your tap (or your well, if you have one), you can contact your local water officials or local health department, which may test your tap water free of charge. In some cases, you may have to contact your state's water supply or health department. Typically, however, these agencies test the water only for bacteria levels, not for toxic substances. Therefore, you might want to contact a commercial laboratory or local state university laboratory to test your water for its chemical content. If you find that your tap water is unacceptable either because of its taste or because of its toxic chemical content, you may choose to use one of the alternative water supplies described in this section.

    The Water Quality Association is prepared to answer questions about the various types of water and methods of water treatment.
      Water Quality Association
      International Headquarters & Laboratory
      4151 Naperville Road
      Lisle, IL 60532-1088
      Phone: 630-505-0160
      Fax: 630-505-9637


    Tap water can be improved in several ways. Heating tap water to a rolling boil and keeping it there for 3 to 5 minutes will kill bacteria and parasites. However, most people find boiling their drinking water too impractical and time-consuming. In addition, this procedure has the effect of concentrating whatever lead is present in the water, and the water must then be refrigerated if it is to be used for drinking. The taste of chlorinated tap water can be improved by keeping the water in an uncovered pitcher for several hours to allow the chlorine taste and odor to dissipate. Water can be aerated in a blender to remove chlorine and other chemicals. Nevertheless, neither of these last two methods will improve the quality of the water, only the taste.

    Filtration is a means by which contaminants in water are removed, rendering the water cleaner and better tasting. There are many different ways in which water can be filtered. Nature filters water as the water runs through streams and as it seeps down through the soil and rocks to the water table. As water passes through the earth or over the rocks in a stream, the bacterial in the water leech into the rocks and are replaced with minerals such as calcium and magnesium.

    There are also man-made ways of filtering water. There are three basic types of filters available: absorbent types, which use materials such as carbon to pick up impurities; microfiltration systems, which run water through filters with tiny pores to catch and eliminate contaminants (the filter may be made of any of a number of different materials); and special media like ion-exchange resins that are designed to remove heavy metals. Water filtration systems vary in effectiveness. Two types that are considered good are reverse osmosis and ceramic filtration systems. However, no filter can remove all contaminants. Each pore of even the finest filter is large enough for some viruses to permeate. To remove parasites such as cryptosporidium, the EPA and CDC recommend purchasing a filter that has a National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) rating for parasite reduction and that has an absolute pore size of 1 micron or smaller.

    National Sanitation Foundation (NSF)


    Because of concerns over the safety and health effects of tap water, many people today are turning to bottled water. Bottled water is usually classified by its source (spring, spa, geyser, public water supply, etc.), by its mineral content (containing at least 500 parts per million of dissolved solids), and/or by the type of treatment it has undergone (deionized, steam-distilled, etc.). Because there is a lot of overlapping among these criteria, some water fits more than one classification. In addition, most states have no rules governing appropriate labeling, so some bottled water claims may be misleading or incorrect.


    When the electric charge of a molecule of water has been neutralized by the addition or removal of electrons, the resulting water is called deionized or demineralized. The deionization process removes nitrates and the minerals calcium and magnesium, in addition to the heavy metals cadmium, barium, lead, and some forms of radium. Deionized water is often used in medical or scientific laboratories for use with experiments and clinical testing so that these impurities will not interfere with test results.


    Mineral water is natural spring water, usually from Europe or Canada. To be considered mineral water, in addition to containing minerals, the water must flow freely from its source, cannot be pumped or forced from the ground, and must be bottled directly at the source. Depending on where the source is, the minerals contained will vary. If you are suffering from a deficiency of certain minerals and are drinking mineral water for therapeutic reasons, you must be aware of which minerals are in the particular brand of water you drink. If you are drinking mineral water containing minerals that you do not lack, you could be doing yourself more harm than good.

    Most mineral waters are carbonated. However, some sparkling waters, such as club soda, are called mineral waters only because the manufacturer added bicarbonates, citrates, and sodium phosphates to filtered or distilled tap water.


    The number of gallons of "natural spring water" flowing through water coolers and from bottles has more than doubled in the last few years. The word "natural" on the label doesn't tell you where the water came from, only that the mineral content of the water has not been altered. It may or may not have been filtered or otherwise treated. Similarly, because there is no legal definition of the word "spring" as it is used on bottled water labels, a bottle of "natural spring water" may not have come from a spring. However, most companies that sell bottled water willingly list their water source on the label.

    Spring water is water that rises naturally to the earth's surface from underground reservoirs. This water is unprocessed, and flavor or carbonation may be added.

    If you use a water cooler for bottled spring water, you should be sure to clean the cooler once a month to destroy bacteria. Run a 50-50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda through the reservoir and spigots, then remove the residue by rinsing the cooler with four or more gallons of tap water.


    Sparkling water is water that has been carbonated. It can be a healthful alternative to soda and alcoholic beverages, but if it is loaded with fructose and other sweeteners, it may be no better than soda pop. Read labels before you buy.

    Understanding where the carbonation in sparkling water comes from is not always easy. A "naturally sparkling water" must get its carbonation from the same source as the water. If a water is "carbonated natural water," that means the carbonation came from a source other than the one that supplied the water. That does not mean the water is of poor quality. It can still be called "natural" because its mineral content is the same as when it came from the ground, even though it has been carbonated from a separate source. People suffering from intestinal disorders or ulcers should avoid drinking carbonated water because it may be irritating to the gastrointestinal tract.


    Distillation involves vaporizing water by boiling it. The steam rises, leaving behind most of the bacteria, viruses, chemicals, minerals, and pollutants from the water. The steam is then moved into a condensing chamber, where it is cooled and condensed to becoming distilled water.

    Once consumed, steam-distilled water leaches inorganic minerals rejected by the cells and tissues out of the body. It is believed that only steam-distilled water should be consumed.

    Flavor can be added to distilled water by adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of raw Apple Cider Vinegar (obtained from a health food store) per gallon of distilled water. Vinegar is an excellent solvent and aids in digestion. Lemon juice is another good flavoring agent, and has cleansing properties as well. For added minerals, you can add mineral drops to steam-distilled water. Concentrace from Trace Minerals Research is a good product for this purpose. Add 2 tablespoons of mineral drops to every 5 gallons of water.

    For more nutritional information, return to index:

    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Nutrition Basics Index
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Guidelines Information Index


  • WHO: Bottled Drinking Water
  • NRDC: Bottled Water: Pure Drink or Pure Hype
  • NRDC: Drinking Water
  • EPA Water: Ground Water & Drinking Water
  • EPA Emergency Preparedness - Water & Drinking Water
  • Drinking Water Information & Web Resources
  • Your Drinking Water and Backflow Prevention


  • Apple Cider Vinegar Products
  • Trace Minerals Supplement Products

  • Water & Environment Products




    LEF: Only Trace Minerals, Mineral Booster, 90 VCaps


    HerbsPro: ConcentTrace Trace Mineral Drops, Trace Minerals, 0.5 oz. (112673)
    HerbsPro: ConcentTrace Trace Mineral Drops, Trace Minerals, 2 oz. (85062)
    ConcenTrace is extracted directly from a natural source that took thousands of years to create. Over these thousands of years, the minerals in ConcenTrace have been broken down to their most natural state where they have become naturally charged, living minerals that are bioavailable and soluble in water. In addition, the solution is in precisely the same proportion as healthy human fluids without synthetically produced compounds or deadly heavy metals. The ionic minerals in ConcenTrace also have the power to maintain and even improve the pH balance in your body. Its important to keep your bodys acid base balance because an acidic body is a breeding ground for disease. ConcenTrace is so essential to human health that youll find it in every one of our quality products. ConcenTrace is the perfect way to replenish your body with all the elements you need to plug in and recharge.
    HerbsPro: ConcentTrace Trace Mineral Drops, Trace Minerals, 4 oz. Glass (85063)
    HerbsPro: ConcentTrace Trace Mineral Drops, Trace Minerals, 4 oz. (85061)
    ConcenTrace is extracted directly from a natural source that took thousands of years to create. Over these thousands of years, the minerals in ConcenTrace have been broken down to their most natural state where they have become naturally charged, living minerals that are bioavailable and soluble in water. In addition, the solution is in precisely the same proportion as healthy human fluids without synthetically produced compounds or deadly heavy metals. The ionic minerals in ConcenTrace also have the power to maintain and even improve the pH balance in your body. Its important to keep your bodys acid base balance because an acidic body is a breeding ground for disease. ConcenTrace is so essential to human health that youll find it in every one of our quality products. ConcenTrace is the perfect way to replenish your body with all the elements you need to plug in and recharge.
    HerbsPro: ConcentTrace Trace Mineral Drops, Trace Minerals, 8 oz. (85060)
    ConcenTrace is extracted directly from a natural source that took thousands of years to create. Over these thousands of years, the minerals in ConcenTrace have been broken down to their most natural state where they have become naturally charged, living minerals that are bioavailable and soluble in water. In addition, the solution is in precisely the same proportion as healthy human fluids without synthetically produced compounds or deadly heavy metals. The ionic minerals in ConcenTrace also have the power to maintain and even improve the pH balance in your body. Its important to keep your bodys acid base balance because an acidic body is a breeding ground for disease. ConcenTrace is so essential to human health that youll find it in every one of our quality products. ConcenTrace is the perfect way to replenish your body with all the elements you need to plug in and recharge.
    HerbsPro: Coral Calcium With ConcentTrace, Trace Minerals, 60 Caps (85009)


    Kalyx: Ionized Trace Minerals, Tropical Oasis, 16 fl oz: HF
    Kalyx: Fulvex Liquid Trace Mineral Extract, Botanicare, Quart: A
    Kalyx: Humic Minerals, Vital Earth Minerals, 32 fl oz: HF
    Kalyx: Buried Treasure 70 Plus Plant Derived Minerals, Concord Grape, 32 fl oz: HF
    Kalyx: Buried Treasure 70 Plus Plant Derived Minerals, 32 fl oz: HF

    Amazon: Concentrace Mineral Supplement Products

  • Nutrition Basics: Multimineral Supplement Information



    HerbsPro: Your Water Your Health, Woodland Publishing, 32 Page Booklet (90259)


    Amazon: Bottled Purified Water Products
    Amazon: Water Purification Products
    Amazon: Water Testing Products
    Amazon: Water Filter Products
    Amazon: Distilled Water Products

    Amazon has many more water filter products and replacement filters available. To locate a specific product, click on one of the links and do a website search for the item.

    MoonDragon's Womens Health Index

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    Health & Wellness Index


    Allspice Leaf Oil
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    Citronella Oil
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    Dill Oil
    Eucalyptus Oil
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    Fir Needle Oil
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    Healing Baths For Colds
    Herbal Cleansers
    Using Essential Oils


    Almond, Sweet Oil
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    Shea Nut Oil
    Soybean Oil
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    Tamanu Oil
    Vitamin E Oil
    Wheat Germ Oil


  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Amino Acids Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Enzymes Information
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Herbs Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Homeopathics Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Hydrosols Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Minerals Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Mineral Introduction
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary & Cosmetic Supplements Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary Supplements Introduction
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Specialty Supplements
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Introduction


  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: 4 Basic Nutrients
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Foods That Contain Additives & Artificial Ingredients
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Is Aspartame A Safe Sugar Substitute?
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Guidelines For Selecting & Preparing Foods
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Destroy
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Heal
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: The Micronutrients: Vitamins & Minerals
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Overcooking Your Foods
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Phytochemicals
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Increase Your Consumption of Raw Produce
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Limit Your Use of Salt
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Use Proper Cooking Utensils
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Choosing The Best Water & Types of Water


  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Information Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Therapy Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Analysis Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Diet Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Recipe Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Therapy: Preparing Produce for Juicing
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Additives Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Safety Links
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Index
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Articles
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Back Pain
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  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Blending Chart
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Essential Oil Details
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Links
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Miscarriage
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Post Partum
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Childbearing
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Problems in Pregnancy & Birthing
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #1
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #2
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Tips
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Uses
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Index
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information Overview
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy Index
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Touch & Movement Therapies Index
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy: Touch & Movement: Aromatherapy
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Touch & Movement - Massage Therapy
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Therapeutic Massage
  • MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 1
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  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Nutrition Basics Index
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