Mineral water
Overview
 
Mineral water is water
Water
Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. A water molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. Water is a liquid at ambient conditions, but it often co-exists on Earth with its solid state, ice, and gaseous state . Water also exists in a...

 containing mineral
Mineral
A mineral is a naturally occurring solid chemical substance formed through biogeochemical processes, having characteristic chemical composition, highly ordered atomic structure, and specific physical properties. By comparison, a rock is an aggregate of minerals and/or mineraloids and does not...

s or other dissolved substances that alter its taste or give it therapeutic value, generally obtained from a naturally occurring mineral spring
Mineral spring
Mineral springs are naturally occurring springs that produce water containing minerals, or other dissolved substances, that alter its taste or give it a purported therapeutic value...

 or source. Dissolved substances in the water may include various salt
Salt
In chemistry, salts are ionic compounds that result from the neutralization reaction of an acid and a base. They are composed of cations and anions so that the product is electrically neutral...

s and sulfur
Sulfur
Sulfur or sulphur is the chemical element with atomic number 16. In the periodic table it is represented by the symbol S. It is an abundant, multivalent non-metal. Under normal conditions, sulfur atoms form cyclic octatomic molecules with chemical formula S8. Elemental sulfur is a bright yellow...

 compounds. Mineral water can be sparkling (with effervescence
Effervescence (chemistry)
Effervescence is the escape of gas from an aqueous solution and the foaming or fizzing that results from a release of the gas. The word effervescence is derived from the Latin verb fervere preceded by the adverb ex, which means to boil...

), or still (without effervescence).

Traditionally, mineral waters were used or consumed at their source, often referred to as "taking the waters" or "taking the cure," at sites such as spa
Spa
The term spa is associated with water treatment which is also known as balneotherapy. Spa towns or spa resorts typically offer various health treatments. The belief in the curative powers of mineral waters goes back to prehistoric times. Such practices have been popular worldwide, but are...

s, baths
Public bathing
Public baths originated from a communal need for cleanliness. The term public may confuse some people, as some types of public baths are restricted depending on membership, gender, religious affiliation, or other reasons. As societies have changed, public baths have been replaced as private bathing...

 or well
Water well
A water well is an excavation or structure created in the ground by digging, driving, boring or drilling to access groundwater in underground aquifers. The well water is drawn by an electric submersible pump, a trash pump, a vertical turbine pump, a handpump or a mechanical pump...

s.
Encyclopedia
Mineral water is water
Water
Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. A water molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. Water is a liquid at ambient conditions, but it often co-exists on Earth with its solid state, ice, and gaseous state . Water also exists in a...

 containing mineral
Mineral
A mineral is a naturally occurring solid chemical substance formed through biogeochemical processes, having characteristic chemical composition, highly ordered atomic structure, and specific physical properties. By comparison, a rock is an aggregate of minerals and/or mineraloids and does not...

s or other dissolved substances that alter its taste or give it therapeutic value, generally obtained from a naturally occurring mineral spring
Mineral spring
Mineral springs are naturally occurring springs that produce water containing minerals, or other dissolved substances, that alter its taste or give it a purported therapeutic value...

 or source. Dissolved substances in the water may include various salt
Salt
In chemistry, salts are ionic compounds that result from the neutralization reaction of an acid and a base. They are composed of cations and anions so that the product is electrically neutral...

s and sulfur
Sulfur
Sulfur or sulphur is the chemical element with atomic number 16. In the periodic table it is represented by the symbol S. It is an abundant, multivalent non-metal. Under normal conditions, sulfur atoms form cyclic octatomic molecules with chemical formula S8. Elemental sulfur is a bright yellow...

 compounds. Mineral water can be sparkling (with effervescence
Effervescence (chemistry)
Effervescence is the escape of gas from an aqueous solution and the foaming or fizzing that results from a release of the gas. The word effervescence is derived from the Latin verb fervere preceded by the adverb ex, which means to boil...

), or still (without effervescence).

Traditionally, mineral waters were used or consumed at their source, often referred to as "taking the waters" or "taking the cure," at sites such as spa
Spa
The term spa is associated with water treatment which is also known as balneotherapy. Spa towns or spa resorts typically offer various health treatments. The belief in the curative powers of mineral waters goes back to prehistoric times. Such practices have been popular worldwide, but are...

s, baths
Public bathing
Public baths originated from a communal need for cleanliness. The term public may confuse some people, as some types of public baths are restricted depending on membership, gender, religious affiliation, or other reasons. As societies have changed, public baths have been replaced as private bathing...

 or well
Water well
A water well is an excavation or structure created in the ground by digging, driving, boring or drilling to access groundwater in underground aquifers. The well water is drawn by an electric submersible pump, a trash pump, a vertical turbine pump, a handpump or a mechanical pump...

s. The term spa was used for a place where the water was consumed and bathed in; bath where the water was used primarily for bathing, therapeutics, or recreation; and well where the water was to be consumed. Active tourist
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

 centres have grown up around many mineral water sites since ancient times, such as Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

, Hisarya (Bulgaria), Vichy (France)
Vichy
Vichy is a commune in the department of Allier in Auvergne in central France. It belongs to the historic province of Bourbonnais.It is known as a spa and resort town and was the de facto capital of Vichy France during the World War II Nazi German occupation from 1940 to 1944.The town's inhabitants...

, Jermuk (Armenia)
Jermuk
Jermuk is a spa town in the southern Armenian province of Vayots Dzor, 53 km east of Yeghegnadzor, the capital of Vayots Dzor. It was a popular destination during the Soviet era and nowadays is still famous for its hot springs and its brand of mineral water that is bottled in the vicinity...

, Yessentuki (Russia), Spa (Belgium)
Spa, Belgium
Spa is a municipality of Belgium. It lies in the country's Walloon Region and Province of Liège. It is situated in a valley in the Ardennes mountain chain, some southeast of Liège, and southwest of Aachen. As of 1 January 2006, Spa had a total population of 10,543...

, Krynica-Zdrój (Poland), Sulphur Baths (Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia)
Old Tbilisi
Old Tbilisi is an administrative district in Tbilisi, capital of Georgia. Although the term "Old Tbilisi" has long been used to denote a historical part of the city, it was only in 2007 that it became a distinct administrative entity to incorporate several historical neighborhoods formerly...

, Bath (England), or Karlovy Vary(Czech Republic)
Karlovy Vary
Karlovy Vary is a spa city situated in western Bohemia, Czech Republic, on the confluence of the rivers Ohře and Teplá, approximately west of Prague . It is named after King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, who founded the city in 1370...

. In Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

, a country enjoying a privileged position as home to over one-third of the European mineral and thermal springs, resorts developed since antiquity in places such as Băile Herculane
Baile Herculane
Băile Herculane is a town in Romanian Banat, in Caraş-Severin County, situated in the valley of the Cerna River, between the Mehedinţi Mountains to the east and the Cerna Mountains to the west, elevation 168 meters. Its current population is approximately 6,000...

, Geoagiu
Geoagiu
Geoagiu is a town in Hunedoara County, Romania, located on the Mureş river at an altitude of 217 meters over the sea level. The river with the same name flows in this place into the Mureş. The town has a population of about 6,500...

 or Slănic
Slănic
Slănic is one of the 14 towns of Prahova County, Romania, historically and currently known as a salt extraction center, as well as a spa town, with salt lakes...

. Tourist development resulted in spa town
Spa town
A spa town is a town situated around a mineral spa . Patrons resorted to spas to "take the waters" for their purported health benefits. The word comes from the Belgian town Spa. In continental Europe a spa was known as a ville d'eau...

s and hydropathic hotels (often shortened to "hydros").

In modern times, it is far more common for mineral waters to be bottled
Bottled water
Bottled water is drinking water packaged in plastic or glass water bottles. Bottled water may be carbonated or not...

 at the source for distributed consumption. Travelling to the mineral water site for direct access to the water is now uncommon, and in many cases not possible (because of exclusive commercial ownership rights). There are more than 3,000 brands of mineral water commercially available worldwide. The more calcium plus magnesium ions are dissolved in water, the harder
Hard water
Hard water is water that has high mineral content . Hard water has high concentrations of Ca2+ and Mg2+ ions. Hard water is generally not harmful to one's health but can pose serious problems in industrial settings, where water hardness is monitored to avoid costly breakdowns in boilers, cooling...

it is said to be; water with few dissolved calcium plus magnesium ions is described as being soft.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Food and Drug Administration
The Food and Drug Administration is an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, one of the United States federal executive departments...

 classifies mineral water as water containing at least 250 parts per million total dissolved solids
Total dissolved solids
Total Dissolved Solids is a measure of the combined content of all inorganic and organic substances contained in a liquid in: molecular, ionized or micro-granular suspended form. Generally the operational definition is that the solids must be small enough to survive filtration through a sieve...

 (TDS), originating from a geologically and physically protected underground water source. No minerals may be added to this water.

However, in many places, the term "mineral water" is colloquially used to mean any bottled carbonated water
Carbonated water
Carbonated water is water into which carbon dioxide gas under pressure has been dissolved, a process that causes the water to become effervescent....

 or soda water, as opposed to tap water
Tap water
Tap water is a principal component of "indoor plumbing", which became available in urban areas of the developed world during the last quarter of the 19th century, and common during the mid-20th century...

.

See also

  • Bottled water
    Bottled water
    Bottled water is drinking water packaged in plastic or glass water bottles. Bottled water may be carbonated or not...

  • Mineral spa
    Mineral spa
    Mineral spas are resorts developed around naturally occurring mineral spring locales.- Origins :Spas grew in reputation in the nineteenth century on into the late middle-twentieth century for their purported healing or healthful benefits to those wealthy enough to partake of their waters...

  • Lithia water
    Lithia water
    Lithia water is mineral water containing lithium salts.Lithia water can occur naturally in spring form. One example can be found in Ashland, Oregon's Lithia Park...

  • Water quality
    Water quality
    Water quality is the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of water. It is a measure of the condition of water relative to the requirements of one or more biotic species and or to any human need or purpose. It is most frequently used by reference to a set of standards against which...


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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