Does all water taste the same?


TDS in Nestlé Waters' Brands

At Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA), we’re proud to offer a variety of hydration options that fit different consumers’ needs and preferences. While most people think all water tastes the same, many don’t realize there are noticeable differences in taste, even among our unflavored still water brands. Why? Because of something called Total Dissolved Solids (TDS).

What Are TDS in Water?

TDS generally refers to the amount of dissolved mineral content in groundwater. This dissolved mineral content is derived from the water moving through the Earth, meaning all groundwater has some level of TDS. This also means all NWNA natural spring water includes dissolved substances and minerals and therefore, some level of TDS.

How Do TDS Levels Impact the Taste of Water?

Water with high TDS levels tends to have a softer taste, while water with lower levels of TDS generally has a neutral, crisp taste. This is why taste varies in brands like Arrowhead to Poland Spring to Zephyrhills. For most people, these differences are small, but in a side-by-side taste test, can be noticeable.

Because TDS is largely dependent on the geology of the region from which the water is sourced, people usually have a preference for the taste of the water that they grew up drinking. For example, Florida is rich in limestone, causing drinking water, on the whole, to have higher TDS levels. Subsequently, Floridians tend to prefer water with more minerals because it’s what they’re used to. When it comes to brands of bottled water, people often prefer brands that remind them of the taste of home.

Our Brands & TDS

In the United States, NWNA has six regional brands, offering something for just about every taste and TDS level!

Because our regional brands are 100% natural spring water, and we do not add or take out any minerals, the flavor varies region to region. The TDS of our regional spring waters reflect the nature of the geology associated with the regions of the country from where they are sourced from. Some rocks, like limestone, dissolve more readily and have higher mineral content. Other rocks like granite or quartz sandstone do not dissolve easily and will have lower TDS values (less mineral content).

For instance, our Arrowhead brand, sourced in Southern California, has a softer taste because it has high TDS levels, but our Poland Spring brand from Maine has very low TDS levels, giving it a crisper taste. For more, please visit our brand page here, where you can learn more about each of our brands, including their individual TDS levels.