WFFT Water Purity and Safety
Columbus’ Drinking Water Quality and Monitoring
Columbus has been a leader in water quality since the 1900s when the Hoover brothers researched water treatment methods to reduce typhoid which was prevalent during that time. As a result of their research, Columbus gained national prominance in the water industry.
Columbus continues to ensure water safety and quality. Visit the City of Columbus' Public Utilities Department to read more on water quality and protection: https://www.columbus.gov/utilities/water-protection/wqal/Drinking-Water-Quality-and-Monitoring/
Here is the direct link to Columbus' Drinking Water Consumer Confidence Report: https://www.columbus.gov/utilities/water-protection/CCR/
To learn more about water quality and safety at the federal level visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Drinking Water homepage: https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/drinking-water-faq.html
What are the differences in bottle water and where they are sourced?
FDA describes bottled water as water that’s intended for human consumption and sealed in bottles or other containers with no added ingredients, except that it may contain a safe and suitable antimicrobial agent (Fluoride may also be added within the limits set by FDA).1
The agency classifies some bottled water by its origin. Here are four of those classifications:1
- Artesian well water. This water is collected from a well that taps an aquifer—layers of porous rock, sand, and earth that contain water—which is under pressure from surrounding upper layers of rock or clay. When tapped, the pressure in the aquifer, commonly called artesian pressure, pushes the water above the level of the aquifer, sometimes to the surface. Other means may be used to help bring the water to the surface.
- Mineral water. This water comes from an underground source and contains at least 250 parts per million total dissolved solids. Minerals and trace elements must come from the source of the underground water. They cannot be added later.
- Spring water. Derived from an underground formation from which water flows naturally to the surface, this water must be collected only at the spring or through a borehole that taps the underground formation feeding the spring. If some external force is used to collect the water through a borehole, the water must have the same composition and quality as the water that naturally flows to the surface.
- Well water. This is water from a hole bored or drilled into the ground, which taps into an aquifer.
Bottled water may be used as an ingredient in beverages, such as diluted juices or flavored bottled waters. However, beverages labeled as containing “sparkling water,” “seltzer water,” “soda water,” “tonic water,” or “club soda” aren’t included as bottled water under FDA’s regulations. These beverages are instead considered to be soft drinks.1
It May Be Tap Water
Some bottled water also comes from municipal sources—in other words, the tap. Municipal water is usually treated before it is bottled. Examples of water treatments include:1
- Distillation. Water is turned into a vapor, leaving minerals behind. Vapors are then condensed into water again.
- Reverse osmosis. Water is forced through membranes to remove minerals.
- Absolute 1 micron filtration. Water flows through filters that remove particles larger than one micron—.00004 inches—in size. These particles include Cryptosporidium, a parasitic pathogen that can cause gastrointestinal illness.
- Ozonation. Bottlers of all types of waters typically use ozone gas, an antimicrobial agent, instead of chlorine to disinfect the water. (Chlorine can add residual taste and odor to the water.)
Bottled water that has been treated by distillation, reverse osmosis, or another suitable process may meet standards that allow it to be labeled as “purified water.”1
Using water filters
Additional resources on water purity and safety
- U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Bottled Water Everywhere: Keeping It Safe. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/bottled-water-everywhere-keeping-it-safe. Web accessed March 2, 2022.