Alkaline Water vs Spring Water (The Definitive Comparison)

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What makes alkaline water different from spring water?

In this guide, we’ve looked at the qualities and properties of these water types, and discussed the differences between them.

📌 Key Takeaways:

  • Alkaline water is water that has an alkaline pH (8+).
  • Spring water is water that has been sourced from a spring.
  • Both water sources are similar, and spring water is often naturally alkaline – but there’s no guarantee that alkaline water comes from a spring.

🆚 What’s The Difference Between Alkaline Water and Spring Water?

The main difference between alkaline water and spring water is that alkaline water has a high pH and comes from any source, while spring water is exclusively sourced from a spring and isn’t guaranteed to be alkaline.

🚿 What is Alkaline Water?

Alkaline water is water with an alkaline pH (usually 8 or 9).

Water’s pH level refers to its alkalinity. The higher the pH, the more alkaline the water.

Most tap water supplies have a pH of around 7, making them neutral. Alkaline drinking water has a higher pH, which increases its alkalinity.

Alkaline water is either sourced from water bodies that are naturally alkaline or artificially treated to increase its alkalinity (usually with the addition of minerals).

Alkaline water

Pros And Cons Of Alkaline Water

Here’s a quick overview of the benefits of alkaline water, followed by the setbacks:


  • Better water taste
  • Improve hydration
  • Antioxidant properties
  • Possible alkaline-related health benefits


  • Benefits backed by limited scientific evidence
  • Often more expensive due to increased pH
  • Varies in quality & doesn’t guarantee natural alkalinity

🗻 What is Spring Water?

Spring water is a type of water that comes from a spring (i.e. the point at which groundwater emerges out of the earth). There are hundreds of thousands of springs located all around the world, with water that varies in quality depending on several factors (including the location and local geology, and how long water travels before emerging from the ground).

Some spring waters are treated before bottling, while others are bottled at the source without treatment.

You might see spring bottled water labeled as such, even if it comes from an underground aquifer, such as a well. It doesn’t have to come from a literal spring.

Many types of spring water are naturally alkaline because of mineral leaching from rocks in the underground water system.

Water from natural spring

Pros And Cons Of Spring Water

Here’s a quick overview of the pros and cons of spring-sourced water:


  • Tends to be purer and cleaner than surface water
  • Often contains naturally occurring minerals that improve water taste & alkalinity
  • Minimally processed
  • Different spring waters have different compositions & benefits


  • More expensive due to sought-after water source
  • Quality of spring water varies widely
  • High carbon footprint due to transportation from springs to consumers

⚖️ Main Differences Between Alkaline And Spring Water

Now we know the basics about these two water types, let’s examine the key differences between alkaline and spring water:

Water Source

Alkaline and spring water often have different water sources.

Alkaline drinking water can come from any water source, including springs, wells, lakes, rivers, and streams. The only defining feature of this water is that it has an alkaline pH. Water doesn’t have to come from a spring to be alkaline, especially since there are treatment methods (like mineralization) that increase water’s pH and alkalinity after it has been sourced.

Spring water, as the name suggests, comes predominantly from a spring. The water travels for months, years, or even decades through an underground formation before emerging at a spring. This water is then bottled, often without treatment or purification methods because it’s already naturally filtered.

pH & Alkalinity

pH and alkalinity are rarely the same in spring water and alkaline waters.

Spring water often has a naturally high pH level because it flows through mineral-rich rocks, picking up alkaline minerals along the way. However, not all spring water is alkaline. Some spring waters are sourced from locations where the mineral levels in the ground are naturally low, so the water has a neutral pH.

Alkaline water is guaranteed to have a higher pH level. Usually, alkaline drinking water has a pH level of around 8-9 – possibly even higher. The alkalinity of the water is determined by the source and the treatment methods used. Some waters are naturally alkaline, while others are treated with processes that increase their pH levels.

Taking water ph reading with handheld ph meter

Health Benefits & Setbacks

Spring water and alkaline water have different potential health benefits and setbacks.

Spring water doesn’t have specific benefits because its composition and quality can vary. However, if you drink spring water that contains natural minerals, you can enjoy the health benefits that these minerals provide, including improved blood viscosity, lower blood pressure, and relieved constipation symptoms.

Manufacturers of alkaline water claim that this water has all sorts of health benefits, including reduced acid reflux, a lower risk of cancer and heart disease, improved bone health, higher energy levels, and improved athletic performance, thanks to its ability to neutralize acid in the human body. Most of these benefits aren’t supported by enough evidence to be confirmed, and you could theoretically get the same results from an alkaline diet.

Drinking too much alkaline water may possibly result in digestive issues like stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting, and could affect the body’s natural pH balance.

There’s a health risk that bottled spring water and alkaline water both have in common due to being packaged in plastic bottles: there’s an increased risk of microplastics ingestion.

Treatment Processes

There are also a few differences in how spring water is treated compared to alkaline water.

More often than not, spring water is untreated before it’s bottled. The water is naturally pure, so it doesn’t need to be purified with water filters and other treatment methods to make it safe to drink.

Alkaline water may be artificially treated with mineralization processes to increase its placement on the pH scale. Depending on the water source, alkaline water might also be filtered to improve its taste and remove harmful contaminants, and overall water quality.

However, not all alkaline water is treated. Remember that some alkaline waters have naturally high pH levels, and some alkaline waters come from springs and are naturally filtered.

Alkaline water treatment


The cost of both alkaline and spring water varies from bottle to bottle.

Both water types are sold by bottled water manufacturers. The tap water that most people have access to is chlorinated surface water, so it’s neither alkaline or sourced from springs.

That means you’ll need to spend extra money on bottled water if you want to benefit from either of these water types.

The cost of alkaline or spring water depends on several factors, including where the water is sourced, how (if at all) it’s treated, and the popularity of the manufacturer.

Bottled water that’s marketed specifically for its high alkalinity or pH level is usually more expensive than spring water.

📑 Alkaline vs Spring Water: Which Is Better?

So, comparing alkaline vs spring water, which is best? There’s no definite answer – it depends on your personal preference.

For instance, if your priority is drinking water that comes from a natural source and has improved properties compared to tap water, spring water is best for you.

But if you like the sound of drinking alkaline water for its possible health and hydration benefits, your options are broader. You could choose to drink naturally alkaline spring water, for example, to benefit from both water types. Or you could opt for water that has been alkalized with artificial methods, which often means it has a higher pH level and has a mineral content that’s intentionally crafted for optimal health benefits.

In our opinion, neither of these water types is great because they both require you to spend money on bottled water. Ultimately, it’s better to filter regular water from your tap at home. There are many water treatment systems that allow you to produce alkalized, purified water without the expense and plastic waste of sustaining a bottled water habit.

Alkaline and spring water


Is alkaline water better than spring water?

No, alkaline water isn’t necessarily better than water that’s sourced from a spring. One water type might be better than the other for you depending on your preferences.

Is spring water more alkaline?

Yes, spring water is typically more alkaline than tap water because it flows through layers of mineral-rich rock, which leach into the water and increase its alkalinity. However, some spring waters are neutral or even slightly acidic – it depends on the local geology where the spring is located.

How much alkaline is in spring water?

The exact alkalinity of spring water depends on the water source. The general pH range for this water type is X. Some spring waters have higher or lower pH levels depending on where the water is sourced.

Is spring water the same as alkaline water?

No, spring water isn’t the same as alkaline water. While spring water is always sourced from a spring, alkaline water may be sourced from any location – its only defining factor is its high alkalinity.

  • Brian Campbell
    President & CEO, CWS, CWR

    Brian Campbell, a WQA Certified Water Specialist (CWS) and Certified Water Treatment Representative (CWR) with 5+ years of experience, helps homeowners navigate the world of water treatment. After honing his skills at Hach Company, he founded his business to empower homeowners with the knowledge and tools to achieve safe, healthy water. Brian's tested countless devices, from simple pitchers to complex systems, helping his readers find the perfect fit for their unique needs.

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