Q & A

What is a spring?
How do minerals get into spring water?
Why does it matter what minerals are in my water?
What is the difference between hard and soft water?
What is distilled water?
What is the source spring like for Big Spring Water?
What are these different minerals in the water?

 

What is a spring?
A spring is the point where an underground aquifer reaches the surface, becoming surface water that runs off in a stream. An aquifer is an area below the surface where water runs like an underground river through rock formations. The point where the aquifer reaches the surface is called a spring.

To be considered "spring water" by the FDA, the water must come from an underground formation that flows naturally to the surface. It can only be collected at the spring or underground in the formation feeding the spring, and not be exposed to air until bottled.

For more information, visit: USGS-The Water Cycle

 

How do minerals get into spring water?
The minerals in spring water come from the regional bedrock below the surface. When groundwater percolates through the bedrock, small amounts of minerals from those rocks are dissolved into the water. Think of a coffee maker, the water percolates through the coffee grounds dissolving some of grounds into the water. The coffee grounds flavor the water much like the bedrock flavors the spring water.

 

Why does it matter what minerals are in my water?
As described above, the minerals mostly affect the taste. The amounts of minerals present are in such small amounts they are not the same as a vitamin supplement. Most of the minerals your body needs will come from your food. Still drinking plenty of good, pure water everyday is healthy in itself. And Big Spring Water can give you part of your daily minerals as well as needed trace minerals as an added bonus!

 

What is the difference between hard and soft water?
Hard water is water with a high mineral content. It has more dissolved metal cations, like calcium (Ca2+) and magnesium (Mg2+), than soft water. Soft water only has sodium ions present. Rainwater starts out as soft water, but it picks up minerals by percolating through the ground.

There are no known health differences between drinking hard and soft water, but people often prefer hard water due to its superior flavor. Soft water can taste salty. Soft water is preferred for doing chores since it makes a nice, bubbly soap lather and does not leave spots on your pans.

 

What is distilled water?
Distilled water is a form of purified water. To make distilled water our spring water is boiled and the steam is trapped and condensed to create ultra-pure water, or distilled, water. Our distilled water does not contain any of the trace minerals found in the spring water making it useful for hospitals and scientific laboratories, which need pure water for experiments.

Distilled water is perfectly safe to drink. Due to its lack of minerals, though, you must be sure to get your needed minerals through your food and vitamin supplements. Some studies have shown that distilled water is even better for you if you suffer from certain diseases.

See the Distilled vs. Spring section of the Flood of Information for more information.

 

What is the source spring like for Big Spring Water?
Big Spring Water is a calcium bicarbonate spring emerging naturally from the Earth at 10°C (50°F). 90 million gallons emerges per day. Most of it goes into Big Spring Creek, but up to 20,000 gallons are bottled as Big Spring Water each day. The water has a pH of 7.8 and contains essential bulk and trace minerals for good health and excellent taste. The hard water quality makes it exceptional for drinking and the high amount of minerals (total dissolved solids are 271 mg/L) allows it to be classified as a mineral water AND a spring water.

 

What are these different minerals in the water?
HCO3-, Bicarbonates--Helps maintain acid balance in the stomach and intestines. Supports digestion.

SO42-, Sulfate--Sulfur is part of many enzymes, helps disinfect the blood, fight bacteria, and protects against toxins.

Ca2+,Calcium (1200-2000mg)**--Used to build strong teeth and bones, and to combat osteoporosis.

Mg2+, Magnesium (300-400mg)--Controls muscle contraction, protein metabolism, blood coagulation, and energy production. Magnesium deficiencies lead to cramps, high blood pressure, or osteoporosis.

SiO2, Silica--One of the natural water purifiers. Also helps build bones, cartilage, and connect body tissue.

Na+, Sodium (under 3000mg)--Transports nutrients though the body and helps balance fluid levels. Too much sodium leads to high blood pressure.

Cl-, Chloride (1700-5100mg)--Together with sodium it works to transport nutrients and aids in digestion.

K+, Potassium (3000-4000mg)--Regulates water in the cells, and is important to a healthy nervous system. Helps prevent dehydration or excess fluid retention. A deficiency may cause weak muscles, low blood pressure, constipation, or fatigue.

B-, Boron (3-6mg)--Used with calcium to build bones and teeth. Also enhances brain functions, alertness, and can helps prevent tooth decay. Can be toxic if more than 15mg/day is ingested.

Cr-, Chromide (150µg)--Helps maintain blood sugar levels, also may improve lifespan.

Cu2+, Copper (2-3mg)--Used to form hemoglobin and red blood cells. Also essential in forming collagen.

Li+, Lithium--Helps treat alcoholism, depression, and compulsive behavior.

Se, Selenium (200µg)--Protects the immune system and regulates thyroid hormone effects on fat metabolism.

V, Vanadium (up to 1.8mg)--Used in cell metabolism and to form bones and teeth. Also plays a role in reproduction.

Zn2+ (15mg)--Used to build DNA and promote a healthy immune system. Also helps heal wounds.

**Values in parenthesis are "Recommended Daily Intake" amounts from the USDA. If there is no value, the USDA has not made a ruling for that particular mineral.






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