National Consumers League


NCL Food Issues

Glossary of bottled water terms

attention open in a new window

Here are some of the key terms consumers are likely to come across as they research bottled water.

An earth formation of rock, gravel, or sand, that contains groundwater and supplies it to wells or springs.


The process of purifying water by passing it though resins that remove most dissolved materials.

Process used to condense water into vapor. Once the vapor is free of most heavy, dissolved materials, it is collected and becomes water.

Reverse Osmosis
Process that dissolves minerals and removes them from water that is passed through membranes.

Where the water comes from. It can be either a protected underground spring or well or municipal supply.

Trace Elements
Small concentrations of substances, such as minerals, that may be found in water.