Natural Mineral Water is the statutory name for a specific type of water. Natural mineral water must be officially recognised through a local authority after a qualifying period of two years, during which time it is repeatedly analysed. It must also be registered with the Food Standards Agency. It must come from a specified groundwater source which is protected from all kinds of pollution.
The water may not be treated in any way to alter its original chemical and microbiological composition. In addition, natural mineral water must provide certain information on their labels such as the typical mineral analysis.
Spring Water is the statutory name for water which comes from a single non-polluted groundwater source. Unlike natural mineral water, there is no formal recognition process required although it must still be registered with the local authority.
Many natural mineral waters begin their lives as spring waters trading as such during the two year testing period. Unlike natural mineral waters, spring waters may undergo permitted treatments but like natural mineral waters must comply with the Drinking Water Regulations
Table Water is the trade name applied to other bottled drinking waters. It applies to water which may come from more than one source and may include the public water supply. Treatment is permitted which results in the water achieving the compositional/microbiological requirements of the regulations. Some companies may also add mineral salts to their waters to replace those minerals lost during treatments or to enhance those which already exist.