News & Blog

Is All Bottled Water the Same?

Being in the water treatment business it always amazed me when people refer to “bottled water” as a commodity, a fixed entity, when I knew from years in this business that not all water in bottles is the same.   In fact as you will soon see it varies widely based on where the water comes from and what processing, if any, it receives.

Generally speaking bottled water is of two types, Reverse Osmosis Water which has been processed by, you guessed it, reverse osmosis and Spring Water which must be left exactly as it was removed from the ground to be called Spring Water.   Bottles E and N are Spring Water while A and our The Water Store water are Reverse Osmosis.

The following chart shows the comparison of 3 bottles of water purchased from a local convenience store and comparing their results to the Reverse Osmosis water we produce in our store and our local award winning town water from Midland, Ontario.


Brand                                                          E                                              A                                               N                     Water Store                        Tap        

Cost                                                       $1.99                                 $1.29                                $.89                                 $.06                                  $.01

Origin                                        French Alps     Mississauga       Aberfoyle             Midland                Midland

TDS – Actual                         235                                    007                                           389                                   001                                  241

TDS – Labelled                 na                                       under 10                       550                                    na                                       na

Hardness                                       221                                                  0                                       340                                     0                                      221


As you can see from the chart they have been arranged by price.   The most expensive being brand E and the cheapest being our town Tap water.  And as you would probably have guessed the most expensive comes from the most far away location, the French Alps, while again the cheapest of the five waters are local.  

Now this is where it gets interesting!   We measure purity in water by its total dissolved solids (TDS) content in parts per million.   Minerals like sodium, magnesium, iron, calcium and manganese contribute to this total.   This is the total of everything in the water that is not pure H2O.   You can see that the highest reading goes to bottle N with 389 ppm which is far better than what it”s labelled.   Its label states that it is less than 550 ppm which is quite a bit above the 500 ppm threshold advised by our local health unit!!   Anything above 500 ppm the Simcoe County Health Unit recommends you should not be drinking!   The other spring water, bottle E has  a TDS of 235 which is almost identical to Midlands tap water, while the two Reverse Osmosis waters have a far lower TDS with almost no parts per million of mineral content.   If we compare the last category, water hardness we again see that brand N has the highest hardness of all five waters but in fact brands E and N have hardness equal to or significantly above Midlands tap water which is considered very hard.

So if all you are concerned with is convenience, purchasing bottled water is very expensive and in terms of purity you do not get what you pay for.   I definitely recommend you consider purchasing bulk reverse Osmosis water from a store like The Water Store or having a home Reverse Osmosis system installed and filling your water bottle at home to take with you when you leave the house.   That way you will get the purest water and save money!

For more information about water from our store go to

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