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Nem toda água engarrafada é mineral; a maioria é adicionada de sais, tendo menor qualidade (Foto: FABIO LIMA)

Mineral, Treated and Bottled Water: Know the Differences | etc.

Photo: Fabio Lima
Not all bottled water is mineral; Mostly added with salt, of lower quality

Water is the source of life, however, it can also be a source of disease and may even lead to death. Thus, it is absolutely necessary to know the properties of water that can benefit or harm our health.

New chemical and biological compounds appear every day, and therefore we must always be aware of their impact on human health. For this, we need science and technology to continue living and improve our quality of life,” explains Jose Cabello Neto, Professor at the Department of Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering at the Federal University of Ceará (UFC) and coordinator of the Water Quality Laboratory (Salaga).

According to the specialist, when studying or researching the water we consume, it is possible to understand how our activities affect the quality of the product, as well as to understand the path that the water takes until it reaches the consumer, being drinkable, at an acceptable cost and with less environmental impact. Many diseases [causadas por água contaminada] It is easily preventable but can cause serious harm to health, especially to children and the elderly,” he says.

“Life on Earth depends on water. Earth is made of water, and living things depend on it to live. Ecosystems depend on it. We humans are more dependent than a large part of terrestrial organisms. Our economy depends on the availability of water: it suffices to note that the areas with abundant Larger than water has a higher level or potential for higher development,” he adds.

What is the difference between mineral and natural water?

Anvisa Resolution – RDC 173 of 11/13/2006 describes the main differences between mineral and natural waters. The mineral is obtained directly from natural sources or by extracting groundwater. According to the standard, “it is distinguished by the specific and constant content of certain mineral salts, trace elements and other components that take into account natural fluctuations.” Specialist Jose Cabello Neto points out that there is no purification of mineral water, it must be potable and safe at the source.

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On the other hand, natural water comes from natural sources or by extraction of groundwater, and is characterized by “the specific and constant content of certain mineral salts, trace elements and other components, at levels below the minimum specified for natural mineral water”. According to the DRC, the content of the ingredients may have normal fluctuations.

“Therefore, both mineral and natural waters do not contain added salts, and the main difference may be, for example, the amount of salts higher in mineral water, or the temperature of the water at the source, which is greater than 25 ° C in mineral water. Mineral water has Its chemical composition, physicochemical or physicochemical properties differ from natural water,” explains the Selaqua coordinator.

Bottled Water and Treated Water: Which is Better?

Salt added water, most bottled water sold, is water that undergoes a treatment process (reverse osmosis) where salts are then added in an attempt to simulate mineral water. This is explained by Professor Jose Cabello Neto.

Treated water is natural water (dam, river, lake or groundwater) that has undergone several treatment processes. These processes can be more complex (conventional processing) or simpler (filtration).

According to Jose Cabello Neto, one of the most important points in water treatment is the addition of chlorine, a substance that ensures the safety of water against pathogenic microorganisms, that is, microbes that cause diseases.

The expert says that the best water for human consumption is the water that meets the requirements of Order No. 888/21 issued by the Ministry of Health. This determination establishes a water standard that does not pose risks to human health, as this water is safe to drink.

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According to the Ceará Water and Sewage Company (Cagece), the product that comes out of the Ceará faucet follows all the requirements of the ordinance. “On average, 36,347 water analyzes are performed per month at the company’s quality control laboratories, including samples from raw, treated and distributed water,” the agency said in a statement.

Tap water and the myth of pollution

Until the water reaches the consumer’s home, it goes through a rigorous treatment and quality control process. There are many professionals mobilized (chemists, biologists, engineers from various fields, etc.). It first undergoes coagulation, then a pre-oxidation process, direct-down filtration, fluoridation and chlorination. “Sufficient operations to fetch water [dos reservatórios] According to the drinkability standards required by the Ministry of Health and safe to drink”, explains Jose Cabello Neto.

According to Cagece, the pipes used to carry water to customers’ homes are mostly made of an inert material, that is, the probability of interaction between this material and water is very low. The type of material used in the manufacture of pipes has a long durability.

To perform the necessary maintenance, the network in question is isolated and released after service, without compromising the rest of the network. According to the company, the concern about pipes interfering with water quality is caused by a lack of knowledge of the treatment process and the distribution of treated water.

“Cagece water that comes out of the tap can be consumed normally, which requires only maintenance of the water boxes and pipes in the property by the customer, with a minimum of six months. Cagece guarantees the life of the water delivered to the water meter of the property, through a rigorous approved treatment process” , as highlighted in a note.

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Tips for identifying unsafe water and the dangers of consuming it

Not paying attention to the source and path of the water until it reaches our hands is very dangerous, so you need to be careful. Jose Cabello Neto points out some of the signs people can spot when they doubt the quality and origin of water:

1. Knowing the source of the water and whether it has been treated or is it natural. If it is surface natural water (dams, ponds or rivers), avoid consuming it. if it is natural and groundwater, then it is better to add a little chlorine to it in the recommended proportions;

2. In the case of treated water, some indicators can be used to get a preliminary idea of ​​its quality. First, turbidity and colour, i.e. if the water is turbid or coloured. Then the smell and taste. Only the taste and smell of chlorine is allowed in the water, it is used to disinfect water;

3. If the tap water does not contain chlorine, or if it is not noticeable, be careful even when showering.

Polluted water diseases:

Diarrhea due to Escherichia coli;
– amebiasis
– cholera
– Bacterial dysentery.
– hepatitis A;
Typhoid fever.