What is Natural Mineral Water?
Natural mineral water; spring water; bottled water; tap water. The options are manifold, but what exactly is the difference? After all, it’s just water. Right? Well, yes and no. There are some very important differences, which are strictly regulated.
Straight from the Source
The European Union has laid down specific rules for natural mineral and spring waters, which clearly set them apart from drinking water (bottled or otherwise) and tap water. You can’t just label any water ‘natural mineral water’; it has to be officially recognised by the Ministry of Health and meet a number of strict criteria.
Natural mineral water comes from a single underground source. Bottled on site, it is as pure when it reaches your dinner table as it is at the source. Naturally filtered during its journey into the ground, it is enriched with minerals from deep in the Earth’s crust. This means the water’s purity is safeguarded from outside contaminants, and its mineral balance is stable at all times. As it is microbiologically safe at the source, it doesn’t need any kind of treatment or processing. In fact, this is strictly prohibited for natural mineral water . The EU asks that natural mineral water meets the following criteria:
- Natural mineral water is 100% underground,
- It has an original purity that comes from nature itself,
- The source is protected against any risk of contamination,
- It should not be chemically treated,
- It has a stable and unique mineral composition,
- It may claim health benefits (e.g. Spa Reine for the feeding of infants)
Not only is the source itself protected, but the catchment area around it is too. Lack of industry, farming or even residential sites means there is no risk of any kind of pollutants accidentally filtering into the ground. We take this so seriously that in winter we spread sand on the roads instead of salt to ensure the purity of our waters. This also means that biodiversity is exceptionally high around our natural mineral water sources. Wildflowers, butterflies, bees… even black grouse help keep the environment at its natural best and our waters pure.
Spring and Tap
In contrast, spring water can come from multiple underground sources around the same area, but the surrounding catchment area may be built up. This can lead to minor fluctuations in taste throughout the year, but it still remains naturally pure and generally doesn’t need any kind of processing before it is bottled. Tap water too comes from different sources, often need filtering and microbiological or chemical processing before it is considered safe to drink.
Never before has the importance of microbiologically safe and naturally pure food and beverages been more clear than today, with the world at the mercy of COVID-19. To get our natural mineral waters to you, we need packaging. Food safety and safeguarding the purity of our waters is our number one priority, which is why we place such high demands on our packaging.
We are aware that packaging equals an environmental footprint and are consistently looking at ways in which to lower this footprint without compromising on quality and safety. It is what we are addressing with the Source of Change packaging commitments.