If asked about types of water, I could probably name three. But there are 8 types of water with differing qualities.

Artesian Water, aka artesian well water. Water from a well that taps a confined aquifer, which is a water-bearing underground layer of rock or sand, where the water level stands at some height above the top of the aquifer. Usually this source of water is lower than regular well water, sometimes from the second water layer beneath the surface. Often considered cleaner than well water.

Well water. My parents had a well as they lived out of town where there were no public water systems. Their water had a slight sulphur smell as there were sulphur deposits in and around the area. This water quality was safe but didn't smell like it would be. Generally the lower the water table the better the water. A high water table would be subject to possible contamination.

Fluoridated and Tap water. It's the water piped right into your home. Tap water must meet the strict standards of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or other government regulatory bodies. Municipal tap water is generally free of illness causing pathogens and contaminants, but the use of fluoride and chlorine have brought about other concerns regarding the safety of those chemicals.

Spring Water. Water from an underground formation from which flows naturally to the surface. Qualified spring water can only be collected at the source, being the spring. It can have some type of collection process used, but the water must remained unchanged and contain all the same properties and quality of the free flowing water.

Purified Water, aka demineralized water. Water quality that has been produced by distillation, deionization, reverse osmosis, or other suitable processes. This means that the bacteria and dissolved solids have been removed from the water by some process, making it "purified." Can be labeled as purified drinking water but can also be labeled for the specific process used to produce it, for example, 'reverse osmosis drinking water' or 'distilled drinking water'. Many bottled water brands are actually purified drinking water.

Distilled Water. Water that has been vaporized into steam, then cooled to re-condense it back into water. The water's minerals are left behind, leaving only pure tasting steam-distilled water. Often used for pharmaceutical purposes.

Mineral Water. Water quality that has mineral and trace elements present, and contains no less than 250 parts per million (ppm) total dissolved solids. No additional minerals can be added to the water and this type of water comes from a protected underground water source.

Sterile Water. Water, also known as “sterilized water,” that meets the requirements under Sterility Tests, in the United States Pharmacopeia.

Sparkling Water? aka carbonated, soda, seitzer and tonic waters. Water treated with carbon dioxide and not considered a bottled water. These waters are regulated as a soft drink.

Author's Bio: 

Courtney Findlay is a professional soapmaker who creates natural soap and bath products and promotes healthy information and soap knowledge at her website, www.natural-soap-making.com.