History of bottled water in Portugal

Soon man verified the need to control water in order to allow civilization to evolve, process that began 10.000 years back  with the development of agriculture demanding the search, store and distribution of water. The Roman Empire conceived(implemented) an extensive aqueduct system , total of 11 aqueducts that served the city of Rome, project only renewed in the XX century.


In  the city of Rome  architects and thinkers  alluded  the healing properties of mineral waters.

The Arabs used extensively the mineral and thermal water.

This practice is widespread in the territory that is now Portugal as proven by numerous traces left by the Romans during their conquest.


D.Afonso Henriques, first Portuguese King recovered from a leg fracture in the “spa” of S.Pedro do Sul, D.João VI also acclimated as D.João I of the United Kingdom demonstrated a special attention to “Caldas das TAipas”immortalized by a tomstone, also this King built the first thermal hospital in Brasil at  Santo Amaro da Imperatriz in the year 1818, these facts do not proof that thermal, mineral and source water where  regularly used, since population did not have resources  to travel to these places.


It’s from the beginning of XVI century, water consuming for therapeutic and healing purposes intensifies in Portugal and around the world. This existing knowledge is replaced by scientific knowledge allowing an extensive knowledge of mineral and spring waters.

The first significant scientific study was performed by a doctor Francisco Fonseca in the year 1726 titled “Aquilégio Medicinal”, where an inventory was made of all the water sources with medicinal properties  in Portugal In 1758 another  Portuguese doctor Jacob de Castro Sarmento residing in London, made acknowledged the interest in water composition and its therapeutic action.


During this period at the University of Coimbra  water analysis are present in the work and lessons . A famous work of Vicente Coelho Seabra, being the first book written in the new chemistry language, in a period where Lavoisier’s law had not been widely accepted, published in two volumes(one in 1788 and another in 1790), which contains a chapter dedicated to mineral waters, classifying them based on dissolved substances and  in recommended analytical methods.

An important fact in the study of water development was the birth in 1719 of the  Sciences Academy in Lisbon  by D.Maria I  giving a very significant importance to this issue specially the one regarding chemistry.


In XIX century major interest in studying water is shown by other Universities and Polytechnics. The market for mineral water emerges   in hydrotherapy, mirroring the existing awareness of the health benefits and avoiding contamination and diseases.

In this XIX century there also have been major scientific advances in which to identify the harmful bacteria to human system influencing these advances to the success of the bottling industry.

Bottled water contained numerous advantages, water was analysed, filtered, protect and studied and suffered a bottling process by the springs which accounted for basic hygienic principles.


In Portugal the good results obtained by thermal waters used in treatment on various types of diseases led to the commercialization of these waters in bottles between late XIX and beginning of XX century. It was also from this point a permanent concern to maintain waters pure state, care in assuring the quality trough the use of adequate machinery in the wash, filling and corking bottles also an obligation of appropriate clothing by the employees involved in the process.

In the 60s already a significant number of companies were engaged in the bottling commercialization, with sales that surpassed the fifteen million litres.


70s this sector verifies a significant growth , in 1975 sale of mineral water and bottled source water already exceeded  60 million litres, implying  investments causing a multiply of surveys, drilling, constructions of new facilities and emerge of new laboratories.Also the intent to export .

In the 80s the arrival of plastic packaging PVC(vinyl polycarbonate)as an alternative to glass.

Sales growth remains maintains according to national consumption from 6.4 litres per capita in 1972 to 21.6liters in 1982 approaching in the same year to the European average consumption of 36.9 litres per capita.

This sector of activity was now under strict and specific European and National regulations.

With the accession of Portugal to the European Union, this sector continued to grow trough investments aiming development and innovation in this industry.


Nowadays are available in the market numerous varieties of water responding to all types of consumers, from the less to the most demanding looking for exceptional prestige and quality water, making the consumption of this ”liquido da vida”(liquide of life) as an authentic and unique moment.


Our bottled Premium Natural Mineral Water QUARTZO ® is per excellence high quality water making it almost unique water in the panorama of mineral waters in Portugal and Europe.