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October 2005

Last Updated September 2022

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Beverages

Different Types Of Water

Water Terms & Definitions

Page 1: Letters A ~ E

Consumers in the United States drink more bottled water every year: consumption of has risen from 18.7 gallons per capita in 2001 to 26.1 gallons in 2005, according to the Beverage Marketing Corp., which tracks beverage sales and trends. Americans now drink more bottled water than any other beverage except soft drinks.

It’s not “just a glass of water.” There’s a lot to know about that refreshing, life-abetting liquid you’re drinking. Here are the different types of water.

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An underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock, or permeable mixtures of unconsolidated materials like gravel, sand, silt, or clay.


An artesian aquifer is a confined aquifer whose water is pressurized. Water will thus flow out of an artesian well without pumping. Artesian wells are named after the former province of Artois in France, where the first one was drilled by Carthusian monks in 1126.


Well water from an artesian aquifer, is a water-bearing underground layer of rock or sand in which the water level stands above the top of the aquifer. Fiji is artesian water.


The treatment of illness by bathing and drinking water, including spa treatments such as hot baths, natural vapor baths, mud baths, and other applications. The benefit comes from the rich mineral content in particular spa waters that are present in high enough quantities to exert a therapeutic influence, such as arsenic, bromine, iodine, lithium, manganese, potassium, radium, selenium, silica, and sulfur, which can be absorbed through the skin.


Drinking water, usually spring water or mineral water but also distilled water, is sold in a sealed, portable bottle. The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) defines bottled water as water sealed in a sanitary container, to be sold for human consumption. This definition includes flavored, carbonated and non-carbonated waters. According to the Beverage Marketing Corporation, bottled water consumption in the U.S. has surpassed that of milk, coffee, and beer.


Carbonation occurs when carbon dioxide is dissolved in water. Water and gaseous carbon dioxide react to form a dilute solution of carbonic acid. This process generates the “fizz” in carbonated water and sparkling mineral water (also the head to beer and the cork pop and bubbles to champagne and sparkling wine). Carbonation occurs naturally, e.g. when underground carbon dioxide carbonates well water; or it can be done artificially, by dissolving carbon dioxide under pressure into water. Club soda and seltzer are forms of carbonated water made artificially from tap water. Effervescent (sparkling) mineral water is also carbonated water.


The combination of water and gaseous carbon dioxide generates effervescence in carbonated (sparkling) water.


Water is treated with carbon dioxide to make it bubbly. These are bottled tap waters that are enhanced by carbonation. In the U.S., carbonated water was known as soda water until after World War II, due to the sodium salts it contained. While today we think of “soda” as a carbonated beverage, the word originally refers to a chemical salt, also called carbonate of soda (sodium carbonate, sodium hydroxide, sodium monoxide). The salts were added as flavoring and acidity regulators, to mimic the taste of natural mineral water. After the war, terms such as sparkling water and seltzer water gained favor. Except for sparkling mineral water, all carbonated water/soda water is made from municipal water supplies (tap water). Carbonated water was invented in Leeds, England in 1767 by British chemist Joseph Priestley, who discovered how to infuse water with carbon dioxide by suspending a bowl of water above a beer vat at a local brewery. Carbonated water changed the way people drank liquor, which had been neat, providing a “mixer” to dilute the alcohol. Types of carbonated water:

  • Club Soda: Like the original carbonated water, club soda is enhanced with some sodium salts.
  • Fizzy Water: Another term for carbonated water.
  • Seltzer or Seltzer Water: Seltzer is carbonated water with no sodium salts added. The term derives from the town of Selters in central Germany, which is renowned for its mineral springs. The naturally carbonated water—which contains naturally dissolved salts—has been commercially bottled and shipped around the world since at least the 18th century.
  • Sparkling Water: Another term for carbonated water/soda water. It can also refer to sparkling mineral water, which is pumped from underground aquifers. Note that not all sparkling mineral waters are naturally effervescent. Many are actually carbonated from still mineral water. Some are lightly carbonated by nature but have extra carbonation added at bottling to meet consumer preferences.
  • Two Cents Plain: Another word for soda water, coined during the Great Depression, when plain soda water was the cheapest drink at the soda fountain.

Dinges is a Belgian slang word for waffle toppings. The English translation is “whatchamacallits.”


Pure water free from dissolved salts. Formerly made by distillation, now produced chemically by demineralization.


  Another term for sparkling water. Technically, effervescence is the escape of gas from a liquid solution.


The Environmental Protection Agency of the U.S. Issues National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWRs or primary standards), legally enforceable standards that apply to public water systems. Primary standards protect public health by limiting the levels of contaminants in drinking water. The EPA recommends secondary standards for water systems but does not require systems to comply.


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