A Review 5 Different Types of Drinking Water Sources

We review 5 different types of drinking water sources because more and more people are concerned about what might be in their drinking water. We review different types of water most Americans are choosing to use for their drinking water. This U.S. drinking water review will look at 5 of the most common choices. The results will shock you but keep reading until the end, so you can learn about some of the myths which may be the base of your choice.

Why are We Concerned about our Drinking Water?

About 21 billion pounds of toxic chemicals are released each year – just from the industry.

That does not include Agriculture and other sources. There is a growing concern about the water supply. In this article, we look at the different types of water we use for our drinking water.

In 2014 it was reported, only 90 water contaminants were regulated 

Under the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). The SDWA does nothing to eliminate the contaminants, just to set safe limits.

9/22/1980 Time Magazine Cover story was, “The Poisoning of America.”

“Last week, sounding the most authoritative warning yet, Julius Richmond, the Surgeon General of the U.S., declared that throughout the 1980s the nation will “confront a series of environmental emergencies” posed by toxic chemicals that “are adding to the disease burden in a significant, although as yet not precisely defined, way.” ~ The Poisoning of America By Ed Magnuson

RoundUp – 2015 Report

The herbicide glyphosate stood at 185 million pounds in 2007 as a reflection of the rising popularity of Monsanto’s Roundup. [source] A recent latest U.S. Geological Survey study showed 75% of air, and water samples now contain Roundup toxic samples. [Reported 2015] [source]

Is Our Drinking Water Healthy?

We all know it’s not, but we want to keep our families safe. The problem is complex and perplexing to consumers. Labeling laws seem more friendly to companies and profits than to public health safety add to the problem.

But These dates Are so Old!


Yes, those dates are old. Time Magazine warned of the poisoning of America 40 years ago, and we responded with some positive actions such as the Clean Air and Water Acts and the Environmental Protection Agency.

But those standards have been left in the dust. Any research at all shows air water and toxicity threats are getting worse every day. Indeed our life expectancy has been declining in recent years.

So, it’s not about how old the dates are, but are things getting better or worse.

Is There a Healthy Safe Clean Drinking water?

The answer to that question looks grim the deeper we look. So BeHealthyBeMore.com decided to look pretty deep into the US different drinking water supply sources.

This article looks at the five most popular drinking water choices from different types of water is Part One of a three-part series. Odds are you will see your choice in these five water types, and you will probably see things you may not want to see.

Part Two of this series we try to re-frame the conversation about what water should be, to be healthy drinking water. The current discussion does not look at a definition of water should be, so much of the conversation is a choice between two or more unhealthy options.

Part 2 – Healthy Drinking Water The Best Water to Drink

Part Three of this series ties all we found in parts one and two and tries to tie a bow on the question, “what is the healthiest water to drink”? BeHealthyBeMore.com gives you their favorite choice, but there may be others you choose. We know you will be tempted to skip to part 3 to get the answer, but this is one of those journey things you may want to take.

Part 3 – Drinking Filtered Water – What’s in Your Water

The journey starts looking at the 5 different types of water sources and will be enlightening.

The Tap Water Choice

The first water type in our review of 5 different water types of water sources is tap water. Tap water is getting a bad rap nowadays. But guess what? You will be surprised by the final rankings. Municipal Water, a Source of the Best Drinking Water?.

5 Different Types of Drinking Water


Tap water, many times called Municipal water. It’s what comes out of your tap if you live in a municipality in the US. It is considered free, but most of us pay water fees, so saying it’s free is 100% not true.

The water quality has to meet standards and is monitored hourly [in most cases] to make sure to meet the standard.

Most Tap Water in the US treated by a series of steps.

Coagulation is the process that removes dirt and other particles suspended in the water. Alum and other chemicals are added to attract the dirt particles and settle out in the Sedimentation process. The water is then passed through a filter customarily made up of layers of Sand, Gravel, and Charcoal to remove some smaller particles.

Chlorine is added as a disinfectant to kill bacteria and microorganisms. The water is stored in a closed tank or reservoir as it awaits distribution through a pipe network to homes and businesses. Source

The problem and growing concern is the distribution system reaches up to a thousand miles in length. In 2001 the US EPA Infrastructure Needs Survey estimated investment of $150.9 billion would be needed over 20 years to keep at 2001 standards. That was 14 years ago.

So, where does that leave us in our Quest for the different types of water?

  • One city in California had NO source water protection
  • Many cities in the US use pre-World War 1 water delivery systems and treatment technology

Tap water tested positive for a vast array of contaminants: 

  • Lead
  • Pathogens of all kinds
  • byproducts of chlorine treatment including trihalomethane
  • halo-acetic acids, 
  • arsenic
  • radon
  • perchlorate
  • a general term for toxic chemicals.

Right-to-Know Reports

  • Many cites try hard, but still had toxins in their drinking water. The standards are old, outdated by 40 years.
  • Many cities just outright lied on their reports
  • Many cities did not translate the effect on human health source

We believe we better stand why the public source o Tap Water if falling out of favor. There are too many facts coming to the public. The job keeping drinking quality water steady, with the tools we have, is just getting too large and hard to manage. The priority of deep environmental wisdom is losing to short-term profit and economic gain.

Local Variances in Source Water Quality

Regional variances in source water quality based on seasons, and other environmental factors, allow time-to-correct deviations from the standard. However, deviations can become a two-sided coin as officials balance health concerns with disruption of economics and daily human life if water service is cut off.

For example, there is a city to the south of the BeHealthyBeMore.com offices. A very recent Environmental Work Group nationwide water survey showed the city with consistent issues lasting over some time.

Those issues are caused by a saltwater intrusion into their drinking water source. It is an environmental issue beyond the scope of the city. So what to do? It is hard to blame the city for a regional problem. There is good news. Sound filtration systems can restore water quality at the home level. 

 A key takeaway? Most of the time, it is a personal responsibility issue for families; we need to protect ourselves and not wait for someone to fix it.

Tap Water Quality Tied to Source Water Quality

Many times tap water quality is tied to source water quality. As municipal water sources shrink or suffer a quality loss due to local toxic pressure from industry, agriculture, animal husbandry, prescriptions, fracking, drought, etc. Unfortunately, there is a nationwide decreasing trend of water source quality.

Your Local Drinking Water Source is a Precious Commodity

One thing to remember, your local drinking water source is a precious commodity. It should not be sold to bottlers or allowed to become polluted. It should be treated as an invaluable part of life. 

Get involved and make sure your regulators and officials understand the need for proper water for humans.

For the lousy rap tap water is getting nowadays, we find it interesting that tap water is the base for most other water types. 

Most impressive is one tiny fact: Only one of the following common choices for drinking water, Well Water, does not start with tap water.

The Case FOR Tap Water as

The Best Drinking Water

  • Tightly regulated [ a good thing]
  • Treated – Chorine [good news, it can be Filter out at the family level]
  • Bad news, most filters don’t filter out the Chorine and its byproducts
  • It’s Free, but not, however, the cost is meager
  • It is regulated and monitored to meet a national standard
  • Probably better for you than bottled water
  • Public control, controlled for the public good and not for profit motivation
  • Many problems with tap water can be fixed at the family level of use

The Case AGAINST Tap Water as The Best Drinking Water

  • Treated – Chorine, and sometimes, lots of it [a bad thing it not filtered, but necessary to kill living things in the water]
  • Hot Showers means you are breathing Chlorine Gas and absorbing chlorine through your skin lungs
  • “Showering [and hot baths] are suspected as the primary cause of elevated levels of chloroform in nearly every home because of the chlorine in the water.”
  • Dr. Lance Wallace of the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Sources vary and may need regional intervention for safeguarding
  • What is in the aging pipes delivering it to your faucet? [ some times up to 1000 miles of pipe delivery in larger cities]
  • Filtered? Probably not
  • Public Image – People dislike tap water more as the bottled water industry cranks up the popularity of us carrying tap water around in an unhealthy plastic bottle

Of the 5 different types of water review, tap water is probably the most used in the U.S.  While it is some of the best tap water in the world, it may not be the best source of drinking water.

The Bottled Water Choice

Is Bottled Water Just Tap Water?

Most consumers don’t or realize that most of the bottled water is tap water shipped over a state line. About 85% of the time, bottled water is unhealthy water with leached BPS, and BPA leached from the bottle.

5 Different Types of Drinking Water

Many household families choose to use bottled water rather than drinking from the tap, but guess what? 

Most consumers don’t or realize that most of the bottled water is tap water shipped over a state line. About 85% of the time, bottled water is unhealthy water with leached BPS, and BPA leached from the bottle.

Wait, bottled water ( in 2009) is 50% of the time tap water shipped over a state line in a toxic plastic bottle? Yes. And that trend is suspected to be increasing? Yes. source

Advertising Words Do Not Change the Fact

Even commercial adjectives like’ mountain stream,’ ‘fresh,’ ‘clean’ ‘natural,’ and ‘bottled at the source,’ do not change the fact we still no idea what’s in the water. The source is not verified or monitored. Those just advertising words printed on bottled tap water. So why do we may think it is fantastic and the best source of water, we do not know that for a fact. Decide for yourself if you feel if their words are real or more likely profit-motivated hype.

This lack of care hardly justifies the prices that these companies charge for their product. More than that, if drinking the unregulated expensive water stops you from finding a validated source of healthy water, then it may be causing a lot of harm to your loved ones.

Bottled water Costs more than Gas?

Bottled water can cost you more than gasoline. Over a few years, for one family, that could add up to anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000. It can be a pretty scary thought when you take the time to sit back and look at the cost of unregulated drinking water vs. regulated water.

The real cost of Bottled Water

  • The US spends over $100,000,000,000 (100 billion dollars) a year on bottled water (2012 -2103)
  • 50,000,000,000 (50 billion toxic plastic bottles) which most are not recycled
  • 16,000,000 (16 million) barrels of oil are consumed making the plastic bottles
  • 17,000,000 (17 million) barrels of oil are consumed transporting the bottled water
  • BPA and BPS leach from the bottles into the water, especially in warmer temperatures.
  • Even in 2010, National Geographic published an article linking BPA to heart disease. source
  • Much more has come out about the health costs since 2010.

The Case FOR Bottled Water as The Best Drinking Water

  • Convenient, but then so are harder no-toxic plastic water bottles
  • Water in a pinch – disasters, this water easily transportable and essential water better than options when choices are scarce to nothing

The Case AGAINST Bottled Water as The Best Drinking Water

  • Expensive
  • No regulation – other than those laws that apply to the source
  • Sourced for profit, not common good
  • High probability of repackaged tap water
  • Chance it’s worse for you than tap water
  • The plastic bottle is linked to health concerns
  • There is an Environment, and social cost of transportation is high
  • There are Environment, and social price of bottle creation/manufacture is high
  • There is an Environmental pollution cost with only 23% of bottles being recycled – leaving 38 billion bottles in landfills or the ocean, beaches, lakes, etc. source
  • Healthier less costly options available
Of the 5 different types of water review, bottled water used a the primary drinking water is on the rise. We suspect because of packaging braning and marketing. However, The facts to do not support bottled water as a good source of a primary drinking water.

The Reverse Osmosis Water Choice

Reverse Osmosis (RO) water is a hot topic on the internet. The process is probably the best water filtration on the market. If filtration were the only thing that makes a healthy best drinking water, it would win hands down. However, filtration is not the only issue, and RO water has its share of the other problems.

After talking to many people who have RO systems, we find them to be loyal to their investment. Most complain about some of the health conditions that are possible with the use of RO water.

RO Water and Health Conditions

In the Con’s section below we mention health issues, so we should describe them to help answer questions.

The base of the issues is caused by the RO process’s strength, excellent filtering. It is so good that everything is taken out of the water, leaving a ‘dead’ acidic water.


Reverse Osmosis water usually is 5.0 to 6.0 on the pH scale. Water is considered to be a natural pH of 7.0. The pH scale is logarithmic like the earthquake Richter scale. So an RO water pH score of 5.0 is 100 times more acidic than normal 7.0 pH water, and 1000 times acidic than higher pH water of 8.0.

As a result, RO water can signal the body to take minerals from your bones to help raise the pH to a higher level. Long-term use of RO water can help lead or contribute to bone issues such as osteopenia and the more severe osteoporosis.

Minerals and Hydration

Minerals play a role in water, moving across cell membranes – hydration. In a sense, the more minerals, the better the hydration. The fewer the minerals, the more the body needs to correct the imbalance or eliminate to make the water more healthy.

From a body burden standpoint, the RO water you drink makes your body respond to the low mineral and pH to use it for the collection. If used long-term, you are adding the body list of things it has to take care of, a body burden we discuss later in this 3 part series. So your body spends more time, energy, and resources correcting the body’s imbalances and less time trying to keep you healthy.


Reverse Osmosis water takes 3-4 gallons of water to make one gallon of usable water. This fact brings up sustainability issues, primarily as world sources of water are being used faster, then the water can be replaced. Water use is becoming a hot social and political topic in the state of California due to the years of drought in that state.

Cost of Reverse Osmosis Systems

RO systems have a high investment cost when installed. The highest of any of the other water types we are mentioning, except for Well water. The cost of the wastewater should also be factored in. The cost of usable water would be at least four times as expensive from any other of the best drinking water options. Finally, there is a filter cost involved. That cost is much higher than the price associated with standard filter systems.

The Case FOR Reverse Osmosis Water as The Best Drinking Water

  • Excellent Filtration
  • For concise term use, it is water.
  • Ahhh…

The Case FOR Reverse Osmosis Water is NOT The Best Drinking Water

  • Expensive – high investment cost
  • Expensive – high use costs
  • Not sustainable
  • Dead water, no minerals – can help cause health is
  • Very acidic – pH 5 -6 can help cause health issues
  • Relies on electric power, it will not function in a power outage
Of the 5 different types of water review, we do not consider the RO option as  a viable primary drinking source.

The Filtered Water Choice

Most families are drinking ‘filtered’ water because they think it is more healthy than tap water. So, What is the Problem?

The Problem? When is a Filter Not a Filter?

The problem? The filtration is of such a low level it does nothing to keep us healthy. But worse yet, advertising for those filter products suggest ‘fresh’ ‘natural’ ‘from the source’ ‘spring’ water, and we think we have found an excellent healthy solution. (Similar circumstances as with Bottle Water.)

All filters are NOT created or tested equally.

Most people trust Refrigerator and countertop pitcher types of filtration. Those types of filters only make the water look and taste better and do little to help your body’s health. 

Refrigeration and Pitcher Filtration

Refrigerator and pitcher filtration do nothing to filter out major the toxic health stuff. 

They are a lower class of filters for the NFS Standard 42 aesthetic standards designed to make the water look and taste better. They are only concerned about taking out larger particles and “free chlorine ” for looks and taste. Thereby leaving all the toxins still in the water, so you are drinking good tasting polluted water.

Filtered water is an excellent way to go. Still, the buyer must navigate through the marketing material to make sure the health claims are not implied, or the filters get rid of just a few of the easier toxins.

What To Look for As REAL Filtration

Look for standards NSF 42, NSF 53, and NSF 273 [low lead] filtration standards. You may have to look a lot, but if you do not see certifications for those three standards, the product you are looking at won’t have them. We know of only one product that claims to meet or exceed filtration for all three NSF Standards. We will discuss this in Part 3 of this series.

Filtering tap water keeps down the cost of your water while taking advantage of the municipal monitoring and treatment of drinking water. The excellent news is that NSF 53 Standard takes out the chlorine. NSF 42 Standard does not take out the chlorine, with associated VOC’s and host of other lousy stuff. So when filtering with NSF 53, we can get the benefits of using chlorine as a water treatment without adverse health effects. And that is a win-win

The Case FOR Filtered Water as The Best Drinking Water

  • Uses cheap [almost free] tap water
  • There is the availability of water source
  • There is the availability of Filters
  • NSF Standard 53 and 273 [low lead] Standards are designed to make water healthy-IF you find the right unit
  • Cost of filters can vary, but typically are inexpensive
  • Filtration is usually the best economic option
  • Purifies water after pipe delivery of tap water, so water out of the purifier is not contaminated by pipes
  • The right filters help to take out the toxic variables from local water
  • Properly filtered water makes a massive difference to the health of your family IF, you have the right filtration

The Case FOR Filtered Water NOT being The Best Drinking Water

  • Cost of changing Filters
  • Need to change filters, so the “dam” effect of filtering out toxins do not get released back into the water
  • Watch out for small-sized filters; they need to be changed much more often
  • Marketing Hype can confuse buyers into making bad decisions thereby not receiving any of the filtered advantages
  • Most filters do very little for your health

Of the 5 different types of water review, filtered water has potential, especially when tap water is properly filtered.

The Well Water Choice

While most well water users will brag about the water quality, there can be issues. The main problem with Well water is that people assume it better.

The Best Drinking Water Type?

Well water is considered by many to be some of the best water you can drink. The water is filtered by the earth and not treated with chlorine, so many see it as fantastic tap water. However, it is also true that local source water conditions vary so much, and with such an impact that well water can be very unhealthy.

Maybe Not the Best

The main problem with Well water is that people assume it better. It’s not tested or monitored, and if the water source is closer to the surface, the water quality can easily be determined by runoff conditions.

We know by experience that well water can degrade quickly depending on the condition of the well and the pipes that carry the water to the faucet.

What Runoff Conditions?

  • The higher the ground source water is to the surface, the more the groundwater is affected by runoff conditions.
  • Farm Animal Waste
  • Farm Crop chemical spraying of all types
  • Natural local soil conditions
  • Past Mining operations

The Case FOR Well Water as The Best Drinking Water

  • From an underground so assumed filtered
  • Normally very clear
  • Not treated with chlorine
  • Fewer if any Chlorine produced VOC’s typically found in drinking water
  • In many remote areas of the world, Well water is the best source

The Case FOR Well Water NOT being The Best Drinking Water

  • Not treated with chlorine
  • Not regulated
  • Probably not monitored
  • Subject to environmental circumstances around you
  • IE Agriculture chemical runoff
  • IE Agriculture livestock runoff
  • If historical mining, mining operations
  • Not tested, many assume it’s better
  • If privately verified, frequent testing needed adding to the expense
  • Testing will only give a list of what is in the water but does not pass judgment on the viability or health of the water
  • Contains all pollution in the local water source

Of the 5 different types of water review, well water is probably the best all-around source for drinking water, but it is not practical for most people.

The U.S. Water Supply Summary

The Truth About U.S. Drinking Water Supplies

The truth about the U.S. drinking water supplies? They are disappearing, getting more polluted, and delivered through an antiquated and aging pipe system.

Do not expect a lot of help in finding solutions or waiting for the government to fix the problem. The truth is your issue to decide on a choice and act on that choice. It is personal responsibility time.

It’s your future and your health. Take control of your choice by reading all Three Part3 of the A QUEST for THE BEST DRINKING WATER IN THE US

Why Does the Future of Drinking Water Supplies Look so Dim?

Why? The solutions to our drinking water problems butt head with powerful economic interests, even with the issues getting worse.

The U.S. Congress gave fracking companies a “no liability” clause for the condition of groundwater supplies where they frack. That means fracking companies can come and frack away, then leave without any regard to the local or regional water table they leave behind. Again, Congress was choosing jobs and profit over public health. So the oil fracking boom will come at a massive cost for specific areas of the country.

Is that statement a future prediction gleaned by spiritual forces? Nope, it just seems like a logical conclusion when we put short term economic energy interests above long-term environmental wisdom for the public well-being. I was once told, “you can’t sell from a burning barn.” It would seem we are setting fires to our barns.

The Best Drinking Water Choice Ranking?

If People use low NSF 42 level filters found refrigerator and pitcher type filter systems as of this article the ranking would be:

  • Well water – a good chance the water is pretty good
  • Filtered water – at least tap water tastes better
  • Tap Water – they are doing their best, but probably pretty bad
  • Bottled water – good chance its only tap water in a toxic plastic bottle
  • Reverse Osmosis Water – in our opinion, will always be last

If people waded through the advertising hype and found a system with the right filtering standard of NSF 42, 53 and 273, the ranking would be:

  • Filtered water – tap water tastes better and water filtered to a health standard – bad stuff gone other issues can be talked about but this is an excellent start
  • Well water – a good chance the water is pretty good
  • Tap Water – they are doing their best, but probably pretty bad
  • Bottled water – good chance its only tap water in a toxic plastic bottle
  • Reverse Osmosis Water – in our opinion, will always be last

There is an ANSWER!

But fear thou not, the sun is rising. There are options. There is one particular option that stands out from the crowd. That option goes way beyond purified, healthy filtration, so keep reading all three parts. We will find the Best Drinking Water in the U.S. and the world.

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