— Starkey Stories —

Bottled Water: What’s What

Spring. Alkaline. Single Source. Geothermal.

You’ve likely heard these bottled water descriptors, and you may even sort of know what they mean. But you might not know that some waters can be more than one of the above, and that some of these terms have legal definitions that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates. The FDA is responsible for the safety and quality of food sold in the United States, and bottled water is one of the most extensively regulated packaged food products. This oversight provides consumers with multiple layers of safety assurance, from source to shelf.

Here’s a quick rundown of what these terms really mean:

Spring Water: The FDA defines spring water as “water derived from an underground formation from which water flows naturally to the surface of the Earth.” Spring water must be collected only at the spring, so it is naturally free of chemicals or contaminants, but may still be filtered some to remove unwanted natural particles. Though this is a regulated term, some water companies have misrepresented their product as “spring water.” (Takeaway: Know and trust the company you’re buying from!)

Alkaline Water: Alkalinity is a measure of the substances in water that have the ability to neutralize acid, meaning that they react with and lower acidity (thereby increasing PH). Drinking water usually has a neutral pH of about 7. Anything above that is considered alkaline. There are two ways water becomes alkaline: naturally, by coming into contact with mineral rock, either through streams or springs; or through treatment with an appliance called an ionizer, which separates the acidic and alkaline components of the water by electrolysis. There are many health benefits attributed to alkaline — everything from faster hydration to curing cancer — but none have been scientifically proven. However, a natural higher alkaline content is often the result of light minerals in the water, which means high alkaline water will have additional nutritive value, as well as a distinctively pleasant taste.

Single Source: This designation has a very simple meaning. Some water companies take advantage of multiple sources, then filter and bottle them under one label. “Single source,” by contrast, means that the water is sourced from one designated spring. That sounds wonderful, but the truth is, the environmental responsibility of single source water can be murky, because it depends on where that source is, and who’s buying it. For example, the natural resources required to ship water from exotic tropical or Swiss mountain springs to the United States leave a significant carbon footprint per bottle.

Geothermal: A geothermal spring is produced by the emergence of geothermally heated groundwater that rises from the Earth’s crust. The interaction of heat and rock naturally imparts light minerals and electrolytes into the water.

All of the above
What if we were to tell you that Starkey Spring Water is all of these things in one (glass or plastic — your choice!) bottle? Starkey Spring Water is single source water from a protected geothermal spring in the Idaho Mountains. The spring rises from more than two miles deep in the Earth, through fractures and fissures in the Imnaha Basalt, a volcanic rock formation where the water’s quality has been protected for more than 11,000 years. The interaction of the naturally heated water with the basalt imparts a gently alkaline pH and a deliciously refreshing flavor on the water. And because the Starkey Spring is located in Idaho, in the heart of the United States, the bottling and shipping process creates a much smaller carbon footprint than single source waters imported from Europe or faraway tropical islands. Just four more good reasons to buy and enjoy our wonderfully replenishing, naturally delicious water!