Bubbling secrets

Interesting facts about mineral water

Sotsass-Quelle von innen – Mineralwasserwege Scuol – Dominik Täuber
It is amazing how so many different mineral waters – which also all taste different – can emerge in such a small space. But how does water become mineral water? We are happy to reveal the secret here and provide further background information on mineral water straight away.
Treppenartiger Quelltuff der San Jon Dadaint Quelle – Mineralwasserweg Scuol

How is mineral water formed?

Meteoric water (rain and meltwater) can penetrate underground through fissures, cracks, pores and karst openings. The route the groundwater takes determines wheter the water reaches the surface as «ordinary» drinking water or as «highly mineralised» mineral water. The spring usually emerges at the lowest point where erosion has exposed the rock – usually near the bottom of a valley. The mineral water of Lower Engadin comes from Graubünden shale. Therfore, its degree of mineralisation depends on the following factors:

  • how long the water spent in the rock underground
  • the depth the water penetrated to
  • the pressure and temperature conditions resulting from this depth

If, at great depths, groundwater or fissure water meets carbon dioxide gas rising due to the activity of magma or carbon dioxide gas produced by rock metamorphosis, it becomes enriched with it, producing naturally carbonated water. The water dissolves various elements from the ground, such as sodium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, chloride or sulphate, depending on the rock through which it flows. It usually takes many years or decades for the water to become mineral water. The mineral springs in the area around Scuol come to the surface as cold springs (5 – 10°C). The water in the Carola, Vi, Sotsass and Lischana springs spends about five years underground. Meanwhile, the water in the Lucius, Emerita, Sfondraz and Bonifacius springs needs about 25 years to «mature».

Types of spring

The «healing springs» first mentioned in writing in 1369 and highly praised by Paracelsus in 1533 can be divided into groups based on their most important ingredients.

Overview of types of spring

Types of spring Springs
Naturally carbonated mineral water with calcium, hydrogen carbonate (and iron) Chalzina, Chalzina Sura, Clozza, Fuschna, Rablönch, Runà, Sotsass, Tulai, Vi
Water with calcium & sulphate Funtana Cotschna
Naturally carbonated mineral water with calcium, sodium, hydrogen carbonate & iron Bonifacius
Naturally carbonated mineral water with sodium, calcium, hydrogen carbonate, chloride (arsenic & iron) Carola, Sfondraz, Ulrich
Naturally carbonated mineral water with sodium, hydrogen carbonate, chloride & iron Emerita, Lucius
Naturally carbonated mineral water with sodium, magnesium, hydrogen carbonate, sulphate & iron Lischana
Types of spring
Naturally carbonated mineral water with calcium, hydrogen carbonate (and iron) Water with calcium & sulphate Naturally carbonated mineral water with calcium, sodium, hydrogen carbonate & iron Naturally carbonated mineral water with sodium, calcium, hydrogen carbonate, chloride (arsenic & iron) Naturally carbonated mineral water with sodium, hydrogen carbonate, chloride & iron Naturally carbonated mineral water with sodium, magnesium, hydrogen carbonate, sulphate & iron
Springs
Chalzina, Chalzina Sura, Clozza, Fuschna, Rablönch, Runà, Sotsass, Tulai, Vi Funtana Cotschna Bonifacius Carola, Sfondraz, Ulrich Emerita, Lucius Lischana
Quelltuff der Bonifacius-Quelle im Engadin © Dominik Täuber

Components

The captured mineral waters contain a wide variety of components that are indispensable for humans. The most important minerals are listed here with their characteristics.

Overview of the components

Mineral Characteristic
Chloride Chloride contributes to normal digestion through the formation of gastric acid.
Iron Iron in dissolved form contributes to the normal formation of red blood cells and haemoglobin and thus to normal oxygen transport in the body. It also contributes to the normal function of the immune system and to the reduction of fatigue. The average daily requirement of an adult is 14 milligrams.
Calcium Calcium is needed for the maintenance of normal bones and teeth. It contributes in dissolved form to normal energy metabolism, normal muscle function, blood clotting and signal transmission between nerve cells. The average daily requirement of an adult is 800 milligrams.
Magnesium Magnesium is needed for the maintenance of normal bones and teeth. In dissolved form, it contributes to normal muscle function, the nervous system and the reduction of fatigue. The average daily requirement of an adult is 375 milligrams.
Mineral
Chloride Iron Calcium Magnesium
Characteristic
Chloride contributes to normal digestion through the formation of gastric acid. Iron in dissolved form contributes to the normal formation of red blood cells and haemoglobin and thus to normal oxygen transport in the body. It also contributes to the normal function of the immune system and to the reduction of fatigue. The average daily requirement of an adult is 14 milligrams. Calcium is needed for the maintenance of normal bones and teeth. It contributes in dissolved form to normal energy metabolism, normal muscle function, blood clotting and signal transmission between nerve cells. The average daily requirement of an adult is 800 milligrams. Magnesium is needed for the maintenance of normal bones and teeth. In dissolved form, it contributes to normal muscle function, the nervous system and the reduction of fatigue. The average daily requirement of an adult is 375 milligrams.
Quellbrunnen der Carola-Quelle – Unterengadiner Mineralwasser © Dominik Täuber