Water Resources

ArtesianSpringWaters.com offers consumers valuable information on the source, provenance, alkalinity and quality of available drinking water and bottled water brands.

What is Lurking in Your Tap Water?

Water is essential for life, and access to clean drinking water is critical for the health and well-being of individuals and communities. In developed countries, the municipal tap water is the primary source of drinking water for most people. While tap water is typically treated to remove contaminants and impurities, it still may contain harmful chemicals, bacteria, pathogens, and allergens that can pose a risk to human health. So, what are some of these toxins and contaminants and how can you avoid becoming sick?

Here is a list of chemicals, contaminants, toxins, pathogens and bacteria you need to look out for.

Chlorine and Chloramine

Chlorine and chloramine are commonly used to disinfect municipal tap water. Chlorine is effective at killing bacteria and viruses in the water, but it can react with organic matter in the water to form disinfection byproducts like trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs). THMs and HAAs have been linked to an increased risk of cancer and reproductive problems in animal studies and have been classified as possible human carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Chloramine, a combination of chlorine and ammonia, is also used to disinfect water, but it can cause skin irritation, respiratory problems, and digestive issues.


Lead is a toxic heavy metal that can leach into tap water from a number of sources, including old plumbing systems, service lines and illegal toxic waste dumping. Lead exposure can cause developmental delays in children, high blood pressure, kidney damage, and reproductive problems. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set a maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 15 parts per billion (ppb) for lead in tap water, but even low levels of lead exposure can be harmful, especially for pregnant women and children.

Pesticides and Herbicides

Pesticides and herbicides are chemicals that are used to control insects and weeds in agriculture. These chemicals can leach into groundwater and contaminate drinking water supplies. Exposure to pesticides and herbicides has been linked to cancer, reproductive problems, and developmental delays in children. The EPA regulates the use of pesticides and herbicides in agriculture, but there are still concerns about the safety of these chemicals in tap water.


Pharmaceuticals and personal care products containing antibiotics, hormones, and antidepressants, can also be found in your tap water. These chemicals can enter the water supply through human and animal waste, runoff from hospitals and pharmaceutical manufacturing plants and facilities. While the levels of these types of chemicals are generally low in tap water, there is concern about the long-term health effects of exposure to them, especially for vulnerable populations such as pregnant women and children.

E. Coli

E. coli is a type of bacteria that can cause serious illness if ingested. It is commonly found in the intestines of humans and animals and can enter the water supply through sewage leaks or agricultural runoff. Symptoms of E. coli infection include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever.


Legionella is a type of bacteria that can cause Legionnaires' disease, a severe form of pneumonia. Legionella can be found in stagnant water, such as hot tubs, cooling towers, and plumbing systems. Inhalation of contaminated water droplets can cause respiratory problems and fever.


Cryptosporidium is a microscopic parasite that can cause gastrointestinal illness. It is resistant to chlorine and can survive in water for long periods. Cryptosporidium can enter the water supply through sewage leaks and animal waste. Symptoms of Cryptosporidium infection include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and dehydration.


Fluoride is added to municipal water supplies in many countries to help prevent tooth decay. However, excessive exposure to fluoride can cause a range of health problems, including skeletal fluorosis, a condition that affects the bones and joints. Skeletal fluorosis can cause pain, stiffness, and deformity of the bones, and can lead to permanent disability.


Salmonella is a type of bacteria that can cause food poisoning. It is commonly found in contaminated food and water, and can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting and worse.

The first step to staying healthy by drinking clean, uncontaminated water is to test your tap water. These tests are inexpensive and are available online and at local hardware stores.

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The Health Benefits of Alkaline Water

You have no doubt read about some of the potential health benefits of drinking high alkaline water. Believers say it helps slow down the aging process, reduce acid in the body by regulating the body’s pH, and even prevent cancer and other chronic diseases. But how much truth to these claims is there, and what exactly qualifies as high pH alkaline water?

The pH scale of acid and base runs from 0 to 14, with 0 being the highest in acidity and lowest in base, and 14 being the lowest in acidity and highest in base or alkalinity. So, the alkalinity in alkaline water refers to its pH level. Regular water generally comes in at a pH of 7, right in the middle of the scale. Not too acidic and not too alkaline. Because high pH water carries a higher level of alkalinity, water and health advocates claim it can help reduce the body's acid level, and lead to other health benefits both physical and mental. But high levels of pH isn’t enough for water to be considered alkaline. Alkaline water with pH levels above 7.7, must also contain minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium bicarbonate, which not only give the body much needed minerals, but also makes the water taste better.

Is It Better for You?

According to the Mayo Clinic, regular water is probably the only water most people need. They state that there is no scientific evidence that fully corroborates the claims made by supporters of alkaline water. But there are some studies that suggest that for some people, high alkaline water can have some health benefits, including inhibiting the enzyme pepsin, which is the main cause of heartburn and acid reflux. Others who have suffered from other ailments like chronic inflammation, arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol claim that high alkaline water has helped, but there is limited actual science to support these claims. Alkaline water proponents continue to swear by the benefits and add colon health, skin health, immune system support and cancer prevention to the list of health benefits.

What Are the Downsides?

In general, there aren't many downside to drinking too much water, including high pH alkaline water. But, as with just about anything, there is safety in moderation. But some of the reported negative side affects of drinking high-alkaline water are nausea, vomiting and muscle soreness. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should consult your doctor.

Natural vs Artificial Alkaline

Water that is high in naturally occurring alkaline  - ie, water that passes through Artesian springs with high levels of natural mineral like potassium and magnesium - is preferable to artificial alkaline or ionized water. Ionized water is water that is treated been through a chemical process called electrolysis, which strips out the healthy minerals. This process uses a machine called an ionizer to raise the pH of regular water, and is a popular marketing trick aimed at people looking to spend a lot of money on big machines in their kitchens. Makers of ionizers say that electricity is used to separate molecules in the water that are more acidic or more alkaline before removing the acidic water, but these techniques and claims have no science to back it up. Some scientists have supported the idea of using reverse-osmosis to accomplish the same thing, adding pH and while keeping the mineral - but more research is needed to verify that this actually works and is safe.

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What is Ionized Water?

Water brands and companies have seized on the alkaline water trends and have begun to artificially inflate pH counts in water for marketing purposes. Health influencers and personalities have long touted the potential health benefits of hydrating with alkaline water high in pH, but one of the key facts and important details about water high in pH is the trend of artificially adding pH to water during the bottling and packaging process. This water is not natural pH water or alkaline water, it is called ionized water.

What is Ionized Water

Just about all water found in nature acquires ions and bicarbonate and calcium as they come interact with rocks and sediments undergound. Even the purest rainwater contains some hydrogen- and bicarbonate ions that are formed when it collects carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. If you take regular water from the tap, and artificially add baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, the pH level will become elevated. But this artificially ionizing the water, and is quite different from water from aquifers with high mineral content that is naturally high in pH. The key to high pH water is the minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium and sodium bicarbonate that occur naturally in the water. Ionized water is simply water that measures elevated pH levels, and shouldn't be considered alkaline water.

Why it Matters

The minerals from alkaline water is what the body needs and wants. So what is the human body going to do with artificial pH? Because ionized water it is only an abundance of OH- and less H+, the human body cannot utilize these ions as if they were minerals. The process through which your drinking water has acquired a high alkaline and pH is more than important than simply having it. Natural alkaline water is rich in minerals, and while artificial alkaline water may contain some minerals, not all of the minerals found in natural mineral water are found in artificially enhance pH water. It only becomes alkaline due to the ionization process it goes through before being bottled. The human body can recognize alkalinity but it can’t recognize if there are any useful substances in the alkaline liquid. In other words, artificial alkaline water may dupe your body into thinking that it has received minerals like magnesium and calcium. By thinking the water being consumed is rich in minerals, it will start to deplete some of its own mineral reserves, which could potentially result in a mineral deficiency, which is not healthy. To the contrary, natural alkaline water is rich in calcium, magnesium and potassium, which you won't get with ionized water.

How is Water Ionized

Water becomes ionized when it becomes 'charged' by a water ionizer machine. These machines uses electrical currents to break the water molecules into positive hydrogen atoms and negative hydroxide ions at a much higher rate than what is naturally and normally possible. This machine contains both a positively charged electrode and a negatively charged electrode in a bath of water. The process, while called ionization, is actually a form of electrolysis as electrons are essentially removed from the molecules to form the ions. The electrodes are made of an unreactive metal like platinum to prevent the metal from adding metal ions to the water. After breaking the water molecules apart, the water containing more hydroxide ions is then collected as alkaline water or 'reduced water'. And as a byproduct of the process, the water containing more positively charged hydrogen ions can also be collected as acidic water.

Does Ionized Water Have Health Benefits

While there are studies that suggest drinking artificially ionized water over long periods of time can have related health benefits, there is no universally accepted scientific data to support these claims. In general, when it some to drinking water, the less tinkering with Mother Nature the better. So it is recommended that consumers who are interested in high pH, alkaline water for health reasons, should consume only alkaline naturally high in pH.

Click here to learn more about what makes alkaline water tastes better than regular drinking water. And don't forget to visit us on Facebook.

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What Does 'Bottled at the Source' Mean?

Bottled water companies use lots of marketing language to try and get their brands to stand out against their competitors. After all, despite the availability of inexpensive home filtration solutions, Americans will spend over $7 Billion on bottled water in 2021. And the more we spend on bottled water, the more marketers will spend chasing after thirsty customers. But in doing so many of them bend the rules by making confusing claims about the origins of their water, trying to dupe consumers about where their water comes from. Some of the most common misinformation found in bottled water messaging is about source or origin. Brands will pull water from a tap in Florida and call it ‘spring water’ just because it came from the ground, or add in some calcium and call it ‘alkaline water’. Or, in more of the more egregious cases, filling giant containers with well water and shipping it from Hawaii on a freighter to a bottling plant in Long Beach and calling it ‘Spring water from Hawaii’. This corner cutting is deceptive and bad for a brand’s reputation. As part of a compliance settlement with the California Department of Public Health, the Waikea brand was forced to change the labeling on its bottles. This is a heavy price to pay for making false claims about the provenance of water that is available from the tap to Islanders living on the Big Island and then bottling it in California.

Why it Matters

Water that comes from artesian aquifers has a unique provenance that contributes to its naturally occurring pH and preferred taste. The organic minerals found in natural artesian spring water, like magnesium, calcium, potassium and sodium bicarbonate contribute to elevated levels of naturally occurring pH and make it taste better. So it holds that bottle water this special at the source where it comes out of the earth’s surface, preserves its high pH and great taste. This is why Fuji Water and Hawaiian Springs Water, which are both bottled at the source, taste so good. They come from natural artesian aquifers, which produce the cleanest, purest and best tasting water on earth. If you take water from an aquifer at the bottom of volcano and put it into a giant plastic container and ship it across the Pacific Ocean, the water will lose much of the characteristics that make it special. Changes in air pressure and temperature will adversely affect the taste and quality of the water, and the only reason to do it is to cut costs. The truth is, when you see ‘bottled at the source’ on the label of a mass produced bottled water brand, it only means it was bottled shortly after it was taken from the tap. But water bottled at a plant at the base of a volcano where the aquifer is, means something and you can taste the difference.

As consumers we have lots of choices, and this is especially true when it comes to drinking water. But the convenience of choice comes with the implied burden of educating ourselves about the choices we make. There is an endless supply of information about drinking water available on the internet, so why not use it?

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