I will not be surprised if you cannot distinguish the difference between distilled versus purified water. These are terminologies we commonly encounter, especially in the home appliance world. To be able to identify what you need, you first need to know your options and we are here to help you.
Distillation is the process wherein untreated water is boiled until it turns into vapor and condensed immediately after to transform it back to liquid state. The boiling process eradicates impurities.
You can definitely distill water in the comfort of your own home. There are a couple of distillation types:
This type of distiller works like a coffee maker. An initial water chamber is available and this is where tap water is placed. Upon starting the process, a heating element turns water into steam and this steam finds its way through the chamber exit. A collection carafe then captures and collects the steam to turn it back into its liquid state, only cleaner this time.
Take note that this utilizes electricity which limits the places and events you can use it. The key is to assess your needs!
Non-electric water distillers
This type also needs a heating element, possibly in the forms of stoves or open fire. This is especially useful if you need it for your camping trips where electricity may not be readily available. There are specialized non-electric distillers in the market which house self-contained units with several compartments to your disposal.
Advantages of distilled water
Prevents waterborne diseases
Since the distillation process eradicates contaminants, you will have cleaner and healthier water to consume. Additionally, you can have a water supply that’s free of toxic elements, especially known carcinogenic ones.
Distilled water helps the kidney clean out metabolic wastes by the means of urination. Water is known to be the best detoxifying fluid.
Good for immunocompromised individuals
There are a lot of pathogens that can linger in untreated water. Thus, if anyone in your household is immunocompromised, make sure to provide them with distilled water to decrease the chances of infection.
Since distillers take away excessive and harmful minerals, you will have some fresh and clean water to drink without any unpleasant taste.
Eradicates chlorine and pesticides
A distiller can effectively remove even the contaminants filters can’t.
Disadvantages of distilled water
Since the distillation process eradicates the minerals out, this means that even the healthy ones will be gone. This will not hurt you if you eat a balanced diet though! If you get the nutrients you need in the food you eat, not having any good minerals in your water should be just fine.
Due to the lack of minerals, your water will taste bland. However, this is better than having an awful tasting supply.
It takes around 5 to 6 hours for a gallon of water to be distilled. This is especially painful if you have a handful of household members that constantly drinks water.
Can be pricey
Water distillers are definitely more expensive than filtration systems.
The purification process is when untreated water passes through a mechanical filter to filter out contaminants. There are different means to purify your water such as carbon filtering, distillation, UV oxidation, reverse osmosis, capacitive deionization, and ultrafiltration. To make your water ultra clean, you can even combine more than one method.
This filters the water with the use of a semipermeable membrane to eradicate impurities and salt.
As discussed, this process brings the water to a boil and then immediately condense the steam to take it back to liquid form.
As the term implies, deionization removes mineral ions from water.
Ultraviolet light kills harmful pathogens, thus, disinfecting your water.
Carbon filters remove chlorine and other contaminants, depending on the model. This largely improves the taste and smell of your supply. You can find carbon filters in water pitchers which make them inexpensive and easy to use.
Impurities and contaminants
Here’s a quick list of the contaminants that can be eradicated via the purification process:
- Chemical pollutants
- Certain metals such as lead and copper
Public water purification
There are countries that purify water for public consumption. The various methods utilized to do so are:
Coagulation and flocculation
Floc is formed when positively charged chemicals are combined with water to bind with negatively charged ions. This is then filtered out.
Floc is large in size so it naturally settles to the bottom of the water supply while clean water rises above it.
The relatively clean water on top goes through several filtration systems to furtherly purify the supply.
This is when chemical disinfectants, such as chlorine, are put into the supply to kill remaining pathogens.
Advantages of purified water
The purification process eliminates harmful contaminants and impurities making your water safe for consumption.
Hydration in itself helps keep skin healthy and supple. This is even more so if you consume clean and pure water to nourish your skin even more!
For obvious reasons, consuming purified water will help keep your digestive system functioning efficiently. Some substances found in untreated water, such as copper and lead, are hazardous to health and may even induce stomach irritation.
Great tasting water
It’s a no brainer that great tasting water will keep you going back for more!
Disadvantages of purified water
The filtration or purification system you have should be cleaned regularly to promote its longevity and so you can ensure that it’s doing its job well.
The cost of buying, installing, and maintaining home-based purification systems may be on the pricier side.
Plastic bottles add up to wastes
Buying plastic bottles is not only expensive in the long run but it also poses some hazard for our environment.
Purified versus distilled water
Uses of distilled water
- Steam iron for pressing clothes
- Scientific experiments
- Low volume humidifiers
- Watering plants
- Medical devices
- Car cooling systems
Uses of purified water
- Laboratory experiments
- Commercial beverages
- Lead-acid batteries
- Laser cutting
- Pharmaceutical industry
The two methods are actually closely associated because the distillation process is actually a type of purification. In other words, there are various ways to purify water and that includes the distillation process.
The distillation process produces bland tasting water. Other purification methods produce water with better taste.
Distillation and purification both come at higher prices. Distilled water costs around two to ten dollars per gallon while installing and maintaining purification filtration systems holds a high investment value. However, take note that deionization and reverse osmosis are more affordable than distillation.
The safer option
Distilled water lacks healthy minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and fluoride. The absence of these minerals can promote dehydration. To conclude, purified water is far more superior when it comes to safety and health benefits.
Things to consider
Type of water supply
Is your supply from a well or is it from the city’s reservoir? You may also want to check if it runs through old lead pipes. You might also want to have it tested to know what type of contaminants are present. By knowing these, you’ll find out which type of water is best for you.
Set the budget you’re comfortable with and look for options that make the cut.
Are you a stay-home type of guy or do you travel a lot? Of course if you travel a lot, you have to consider portability so you can enjoy the fruit of your investment even on your days away from home.
Now that you’ve learned about distilled and purified water, it’s now time to know what you need and to weigh your options. Use our buyer’s guide to help you narrow down your choices! Happy shopping!