Bottled water: mineral, spring or filtered?

mineral water filtered tap coca-cola Deep RiverRock

Think Before You Drink!

Bottled water: mineral, spring or tap?

Have you been duped? Have you ever been duped? Customers of Rodders and Del Boy, the protagonists in that great British comedy Only Fools and Horses, shouldn’t have been shocked when they discovered that the Peckham Spring Water they had bought was in fact tap water: it was neither mineral nor spring water.

In the episode called Mother Nature’s Son, Del markets the water as “Peckham Spring water, from a natural and ancient source.” When exposed, his defence was: ”Well it’s from the Thames, you can’t get more ancient and natural than that!”

Now compare Del Boy’s marketing language with that of Coca Cola, the company that produces Deep RiverRock water:

“Every bottle of our high-quality water flows with a character.”

“We’ve never been content to just go with the flow..”

“And because it’s all natural, it’s also naturally rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium.”
(Emphasis mine)

And so is my tap water rich in such minerals!

But isn’t Deep RiverRock water “mineral water”. meaning from a natural source, like an underground spring or clean, pure, subterranean stream? Not exactly. You see, from the information available – which the manufacturer has not denied – Deep RiverRock amounts to filtered tap water.

The ingredient, according to Coca Cola’s website (but not the Deep RiverRock website!) is:

Ingredients of the Water: Deep RiverRock Still Water

But what is “Deep RiverRock Still Water”? It must be a manufactured product, to be listed as a manufactured name, somewhat like Trebor Mints: mints come from nature, but Trebor Mints are a human-constructed variation of nature’s mints.

But how can the ingredient be the same as the final product? Surely it’s akin to McDonalds telling us the ingredients in their McDonalds burger is… McDonalds burger! A little confused? Maybe it’s meant to be confusing..?

Coca Cola bottling says the minerals “…such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium, all naturally occurring within the source.” Within the source! We are not told the source, although it is apparently in Co. Antrim – the location of a Coca Cola plant.  You’ll notice the mineral analysis is not available on the label!

Abuse of Language

“Natural” is one of the most abused words in the English language. I’ve seen adverts for “natural shampoo”: is shampoo natural? Does nature produce it? Hardly!

And you’ll notice the clever consumer psychology employing words like “flows”, “flow”, “deep”, “river”, “rock”, to create an impression of a natural water source.

What then justifies the claim that this water is “high quality”?

If you, like many consumers, have never thought about what you are throwing back your neck – at a high price for what it is – this is an explanation from the reliable Wikipedia:

Riverrock is the Irish version of Dasani: Dasani is a brand of bottled water from the Coca-Cola company, launched in 1999,[1] after the success of Aquafina (produced by Coca-Cola-rival PepsiCo). It is one of many brands of Coca-Cola bottled water sold around the world. The product is tap water, filtered and bottled. (

Leo, a contributor to, explains it thus:

If it’s not classified on the label as a ‘Natural Mineral Water’ or ‘Natural Spring Water’, then, it’s either filtered water from a standard well or from a public source (aka tap water).

So if you have been misled, don’t worry, people who should know better have been too, including Myles McWeeney in his taste test for the Irish Independent, was duped: “I described the seventh mineral water (sic), Deep River Rock (1.35, 1.5L), as…”.

Disclaimer: I have no vested interests in the soft drinks business and I may be wrong with my observations; it’s just that I don’t like people being deceived. 😇

So, think before you drink!

Emoji image: emojipedia

Posted in Diet & Lifestyle, Ethics and tagged , .