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Classification of mineral water types and comparison with drinking water standardsAa, NGFM van der (Springer Verlag, 2003-05-16)In a study of 291 mineral waters from 41 different countries, 9-20% exceeded the Dutch drinking water standards for chloride, calcium, magnesium, kalium, sodium, sulphate and fluorine. The mineral water quality cannot be qualified as bad since the standards for these compounds with the exception of fluorine, are not based on health effects but on undesirable taste effects and possible negative effects on the water supply system. For the mineral water data set the amount of dissolved compounds, hardness and chloride content appear to be the most distinctive criteria. A mineral water type classification based on these criteria will offer consumers a tool for assessing the mineral water on the basis of the chemical composition data on the bottle label. In terms of the criteria mentioned, average Dutch tap water strongly resembles the Belgian and Dutch mineral waters. This similarity does not extend to the price, since Dutch tap water is about 500 times cheaper.