The BGS has carried out a survey of the inorganic chemistry of bottled natural mineral waters and spring waters from across the British Isles.
We analysed 85 samples from 67 groundwater sources from a diverse range of aquifer rock types.
Analyses included the major ions and a wide range of trace elements.
Try to find out the chemistry of mains water supplied to your home tap and the chances are you will come across a comprehensive list of analytes, at least in summary form, on the web.
The chemistry of bottled water is less easy to find and although most manufacturers supply representative major-ion data on the labels, trace elements are not commonly included.
We set about analysing the major ions and a range of trace elements in a selection of still British bottled waters, available from retail outlets across the British Isles.
Results of the study showed that:
Results suggest that although for the most part the major ions in the bottled waters appear representative of the groundwater in their host aquifers, many of the trace elements appear to have been modified significantly from natural compositions underground as a result of processing.
Smedley, P, L. 2010. A survey of the inorganic chemistry of bottled mineral waters from the British Isles. Applied Geochemistry, 25, 1872–1888.
Contact Dr Pauline Smedley for further information