In Europe, ca. 1900 "mineral water" brands are officially registered and bottled for drinking. Bottled waters is groundwater and is in large parts of the continent rapidly developing into the main supply of drinking water for the general population.
This book is the first state of the art overview of the chemistry of groundwaters from 40 European countries from Portugal to Russia, measured on 1785 bottled water samples, equivalent to 1189 distinct bottled water brands from 1247 wells in 884 locations plus an additional 500 tap water samples acquired in 2008 by the network of EuroGeoSurveys experts all across Europe.
In contrast to previously available compilations, all chemical data (contained on the enclosed CD) were measured in a single laboratory, under strict quality control with high internal and external reproducibility, affording a single high quality, internally consistent dataset. More than 70 parameters were determined on every sample using state of the art analytical techniques with ultra low detection limits (ICPMS, ICPOES, IC) at a single hydrochemical lab facility.
Because of the wide geographical distribution of the water sources across 40 European countries, the bottled mineral, drinking and tap waters characterized herein may be used for obtaining a first estimate of "ground- water geochemistry" at the scale of the European Continent, previously unavailable in this completeness, quality and coverage.
The data published here allow for the first time to present a comprehensive internally consistent, overview of the natural distribution and variation of the determined chemical elements and additional state parameters of groundwater at the European scale.
Most elements show a very wide range – usually 3 to 4 but up to 7 orders of magnitude – of natural variation of their concentration.
Data are interpreted in terms of their origin, considering hydrochemical parameters, such as the influence of soil, vegetation cover and mixing with deep waters, as well as other factors (bottling effects, leaching from bottles). A chapter is devoted to comparing the results from the bottled waters with those of European tap waters and previously published datasets.
The authors also provide an overview of the legal framework, that any bottled water sold in the European Union must comply with. It provides a comprehensive compilation of current drinking water action levels in European countries, limiting values of the European Drinking/Mineral/Natural Mineral Water directives (1998/83/EC, 2003/40/EC, 2009/54/EC) and legislation in effect in 26 individual European Countries, and for comparison those of the FAO and in effect in the US (EPA, maximum contaminant levels [MCA]).
The accompanying CD contains the extensive data sets, sample data (of 1189 different brands) and two previously published European water chemistry data sets.