For a very long time, communities have depended on the municipal water supply as the main source of drinking water. But, these water supplies for the community is contaminated with harmful agents and unknown sediments that result in turbidity in the water. Since then, it was advised to purify water before drinking to remove these pathogens.
Some pathogens that cause illnesses such as cholera and typhoid can actually be inhibited. What people used to do back then is to boil water until these pathogens are killed and sediments present in water are filtered out. It is through this, that distillation became a well-known process to clean water.
Distillation is one process for water purification. Is distilled water safe to drink or as favorable for you as the different sorts of water? The appropriate response relies upon a few various factors.
What is Distilled Water?
Distillation had been long used ever since World War I. Though it had been long discovered by ancient philosophers, distillation wasn’t used as much before compared today. When World War I began, the military had to find a way to keep their men hydrated during the war.
Since nobody can drink water directly from the sea, they found a way to supply themselves with clean water. They used seawater as the main source, and that is by using the distillation process. Since then, water distillation had been popularly used.
Distilled water can be found in stores and labs. Here's a clarification of what refined water is and how it's made.
Distilled water is any water that has been filtered utilizing distillation. There are numerous kinds of distillation, yet all of them rely upon isolating parts of a mixture from the different boiling points.
More or less, water is heated to its boiling point. The water is purified by boiling the water and gathering the steam. Chemicals found in the water that boils at low temperature are gathered and disposed of. Likewise, any substances that remain after the water has evaporated, they are also disposed of. The water that is collected in this way has is much cleaner than the first liquid. The distillation process expels most polluting contaminants, so it is a reasonable method for water treatment.
Brief History of Water Distillation
Distilled water is the water that has been boiled in a container and condensed once again in the liquid state. Then, it is poured in a separate container. Impurities which are available in the original water and has not boiled will remain in the raw water.
Since at least around AD 200, drinking water has been distilled and it is from seawater. This process was first introduced and described by Alexander of Aphrodisias. In Aristotle’s Meteorologica, they have referred this process as the distillation of water. Meanwhile, Captain Israel described in his journal how he improvised water distillation in 1797.
In World War II, distilling seawater to produce fresh water was expensive and time-consuming. After the war, Dr. R. V. Kleinschmidt created a compression still to convert seawater into freshwater. During the war, this equipment has become a standard among the trailer mounts and Allied ships for the armies. During the latter half of the century, this method has been used in portable water units and ships. Today, modern ships use flash-type evaporators to boil the seawater. They heat it around 70 to 90 degree Celsius and they evaporate the water through a vacuum. Then, they collect the water via condensation before storing it.
The Process of Water Distillation
The distilling machine can put the tap water to boiling point. Thereafter, it can eliminate viruses and bacteria. The unit will create steam which goes up and leaves the impurities at the place. The steam will go inside the condensing coils until it cools down and gets back into its liquid state.
The produced distilled water will now enter into a storage container. Indeed, the distillation process can produce pure water without any chemical treatment. The water produced is free of salts and minerals. As such, you can experience a flat taste because of the minerals that were removed.
In the process of distillation, it can remove up to 99.9% of dissolved minerals in the water. However, there might be semi-volatile and volatile compounds which were not eliminated through distillation. Whenever the boiling point of the said materials is close to the boiling point of water, it can be difficult to separate it via distillation. They must be removed before distillation if the contaminants are still present in the water. If not removed, they can be carried in the steam to the condensed water and contaminate once again the purified water.
In biological and chemical laboratories, deionized water is preferred more than the distilled water. But they still use distilled water especially if the alternatives are not pure enough. If the laboratory requires high purity water, then they use the double-distilled water.
If the water is non-purified, it can cause chemical reactions in the experiment. Furthermore, it can leave the mineral deposits in the water. But through distillation, it can remove impurities in the water and other liquid.
For example, ions found in tap water can reduce the lifespan of lead-acid batteries in trucks and cars. These ions are not accepted in the vehicle’s cooling systems because it can erode the internal engine parts. Moreover, it can deplete the anti-corrosion or anti-freeze additives on it.
Various Types of Distilling Unit
Today, there are various types of distillers. There are round or small units that can distill less than one quart of the water for each hour. Moreover, there are larger units which can distill one-half gallon of drinking water for every hour.
Since the distillation units can only produce a small amount of water, they are usually installed in the kitchen faucets. They are not installed to treat all of the water sources inside the house.
Before you install a distillation system, make sure that the unit you are buying has been tested and certified by a third party.
Meanwhile, you have to take note that the distillers can be filled with water through a connection or manually. Permanently installed units have a drain opening that can eradicate the contaminated water. The faucets can facilitate the draining of the countertop water units.
You can store the distilled water in the storage containers. In some models, there are glass jars that are connected to the unit. On the other hand, some units have a metal tank wherein the condensed steam can drip. Finally, you can also store the distilled water on the plastic bottle.
The containers you choose must be able to hold one to fifteen gallons of water. In general, all types of containers are suitable for storing distilled water. But make sure that it is suitable and ask the manufacturer first on how to maintain it.
Some of the automatic features of the distillation unit include timers and reset switches. With this, the automatic operation can become possible. You can opt to have these features when you use distilled water continuously.
No matter how high-tech your equipment is, it will not perform on its best unless you have maintained it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Make sure to keep a logbook to note of the maintenance and repairs you have done in the past.
In the distillation unit, the boiling chamber can accumulate minerals over the years. As such, you have to clean this regularly. Frequency of cleaning will depend on the minerals accumulated plus the amount of water used.
In some units, the mineral buildup can be dissolved by using pure water. Meanwhile, in other cases, you have to dilute acid cleaners in a heated condition to dissolve the mineral buildup. In sum, you have to follow the cleaning recommendation of the manufacturer.
Other Things to Consider
You have to make sure that the system you installed is operated according to the instruction of the manufacturer. Retest both the treated and raw water after installation. You can ask a certified laboratory to do the test to make sure that everything works fine and it removes the contaminants.
Continue testing the quality of the raw and treated water per year to see if there are still contaminants in the raw water. With frequent testing, you can determine how good your system works. Also, you can determine with this if the replacement of some parts is needed.
Questions to Consider Before Buying a Unit
Before you buy a water distilling unit, make sure that you test your water at a laboratory certified by the state. With this, you can determine what types of contaminants are present in the water. Moreover, this will help you decide if indeed distillation is the best treatment method at your home.
The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) International is a non-profit organization that creates performance standards to be used in various water treatment tools. Since the manufacturers can make their statements regarding the effectiveness of their products, the buyers must evaluate the test results of the units to know if indeed the claims are legit.
Products that have been evaluated or tested by NSF and meet their requirements are required to put the NSF mark. This sticker can be used to advertise that indeed their product is compliant to the requirements of NSF. Moreover, models and manufacturers that meet the standards of NSF are included in the listing which is published by the organization twice per year.
Can You Drink Distilled Water?
Commonly, the answer to this question is yes, you can drink distilled water. When drinking water is purified using distillation, the next water would be cleaner and purer than the previous one. The water is then safe to drink. The disadvantage of drinking this water is that a greater part of the essential minerals in the water would no longer exist.
Minerals are unstable, so when the water boils off, they are freed. Whenever these minerals are wanted (e.g., calcium, magnesium, press), the distilled water may be viewed as lesser compared to mineral water or spring water. Then again, if the source water contained traces of some amounts of harmful toxic organic compounds or heavy metals, you might need to drink distilled water instead of the source water.
In most cases, distilled water that you find at a supermarket was produced using drinking water, so it is fine to drink. Still, distilled water from different sources may not be safe to drink. For instance, if you take non-potable water from an industrial source and then distill it, the distilled water may contain enough pollutants that are hazardous for human usage.
Another instance that could pollute distilled water comes from using the contaminated equipment. Contaminants could be acquired from dish sets or tubings any time of the distillation process, permitting undesirable chemicals. This isn't a case for the commercial distillation of drinking water, yet it could apply to home distillation. Additionally, there might be unwanted chemicals in the container used to gather the water. Plastic monomers or filtering from glass are material for any type of bottled water.
Furthermore, water distillation dates back to the generation of Aristotle.
It has been utilized to desalinate ocean water since no less than 200 AD, as laid out by Alexander of Aphrodisias. In drinking water, one thing one must consider is distilling the water twice (double distilled) to guarantee high purity. For a few scientists, they are concerned that the water may cause medical issues since it doesn't contain essential minerals and particles that must be present in drinking water.
Effects of Drinking Distilled Water to the Body
You would believe that drinking water that meets Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirement would be healthy and safe, yet it's really one of your greatest health risks. Indeed "safe" water may contain "adequate" measures of lead, arsenic, mercury, radioactive particles, and an insignificant review of different toxic substances. To outline this point:
There are more than 75,000 chemical compounds utilized by industry and agriculture, with thousands more included every year—numerous are uncontrolled.
- 80% of these chemicals have never been tried for a long period, constant poisonous quality.
- It evaluated that 20 billion tons of chemicals, radioactive waste, and poisons are brought into the water every year, and the view is that a large portion of these poisonous chemicals, in the end, reach our water supply.
- In the United States, the EPA has assessed and set measures for just a little level of more than 700 chemicals found in drinking water supplies.
Before taking a look at the different side effects of drinking distilled water, one must understand other types of water sources or processes as well. This is to develop a wider knowledge of the subject to be seen when comparing them. Having knowledge about other kinds of processes might help you choose what is best for you and your loved ones. Particularly, when dealing and securing you and your loved ones' health, one should take this a closer look.
Distillation VS Rainwater VS Purification VS Filtration
Distillation is a process of purifying water through evaporation and condensation, just like how rainwater is produced by the clouds. But unlike rainwater, distilled water isn’t beneficial at all.
Rainwater, naturally soft water, is rich in natural minerals that are essential to the body. It is not recommended for drinking but other uses like garden watering, car washing or other household use. On the other hand, distilled water is just basically clean water that quenches your thirst and keeps you hydrated.
The process of distillation is not that hard to understand. As water evaporates and turns into gas, usually with the presence of heat, it creates a moisture which then condenses into clean water. Though it is clean and drinkable, it isn’t beneficial to the body.
During the distillation process, as seawater evaporates, the minerals naturally present in seawater just remains. This is coming from the water source, as evaporation and condensation occur and then produces clean water.
Unlike filtration and purification, pathogens and sediments are being filtered out and removed from the water. Afterward, it is purified using different methods, depending on the public water facility’s protocol.
Yes indeed, distilled water does keep you hydrated, but what happens to your body when you drink distilled water? Due to the demineralization done during the evaporation process, when consumed, distilled water increases urine output. Furthermore, it eliminates essential electrolytes such as the potassium level which is critical in making the muscles function effectively.
Since essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, sodium, and fluoride are naturally present in water, these can aid the body in doing our daily chores. With proper techniques in water purification, these minerals can be conserved in drinking water.
Benefits of Drinking Distilled Water
That being stated, there are still a significant number of reasons why people drink distilled water. One of the advantages of choosing distilled water are the following:
It Helps Prevent Water-Borne Diseases
Unclean water can bear microorganisms and parasites which can start their life cycle in your body at the time of consumption. The best way to keep this from happening is to drink distilled water. Drinking unclean water can also cause other issues in your immunity. By drinking distilled water, you can avoid water-borne illnesses.
It is a Natural Purifying Method
The hydrological or water cycle is in charge of how water is carried and reused around the Earth. Distillation is a method for purification which is fundamentally the same as the water cycle. This procedure heats up the water first and converts it to steam while leaving undesirable minerals and chemicals behind. The steam is then changed over back to its liquid form utilizing condensation.
Contaminants are Safely Removed
Fluoride, a substance generally used as a component of swimming pools, is utilized to process tap water. Municipalities, for the most part, use this technique to treat water before they are distributed to homes. Thus, the tap water can damage your body when consumed. Distilled water, then again, contains no such chemicals, heavy metals, pesticides, or radioactive contaminants.
Aids Prevention of Diseases Caused by Unclean Water
Nitrate contamination in tap water is considered as a great supporter of childbirth defects, for example, missing limbs or cleft palate. Municipal water also normally contains Barium, which adds to heart issues. It has also been associated with hypertension. Another substance on drinking water – Copper – may trigger Alzheimer's disease. Indeed, even other nations expect water to pass the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) standard; there are districts where safe drinking water is limited. When you can't consume tap water, distilled water is a decent deal as it doesn't cause any illnesses.
You Obtain Most of the Required Minerals from Food
It is right that the consistent share of minerals that your body needs, originates from the food you eat. Despite the fact that distilled water does not give extra minerals that other common drinking water gives, they can be substituted by different sources. Along these lines, you can keep away from the dangerous effects of contaminants in different types of water while enjoying a balanced eating regimen and decent health.
Dangers of Drinking Distilled Water
Despite some claims that distilled water is healthy, there are a few disadvantages to drinking it. Here are some few things you might consider before totally changing to distilled water.
It May Not Protect Your Teeth from Decay Despite Claims
Dentists have found out that most children who are drinking bottled water are prone to tooth cavities. This is because distilled water does not contain fluoride which is responsible for strengthening the teeth.
However, other studies have shown that non-fluoridated water is not the main reason for tooth decay because consuming sugary foods and unhygienic is. Still, the fluoride in water can be a great factor in protecting the teeth. This is why most water supplies in the US fluoridate their water.
It Has Very Little Taste
Because distilled water has no vitamins or minerals, it also has almost no taste. This can be due to the taste of its container, usually a plastic bottle. Minerals in ordinary drinking water normally help in preserving the water's fresh taste. Some distilled water sellers have begun presenting their products in a glass container because of this reason.
Mineral Reduction of the Body
Our body stores natural nutrients which ensure a strong and healthy body. But, drinking distilled water can actually deprive the body of those essential nutrients. The common reason is that the water itself does not contain any source of nutrients or minerals. Furthermore, it does not do any good in the breaking down of food or digestion process.
It May Increase Body Acidity
Since distilled water consists of no minerals, it assimilates different components effortlessly. Therefore, when it interacts with the air, it takes in carbon monoxide. This will raise the acidity of the water, according to Dr. Zoltan Rona, an opposer of drinking distilled water. Acidic water isn't especially dangerous, yet Dr. Rona and others guarantee that water should be alkaline and that acidic water can only give numerous health dangers, including cancer and osteoporosis.
Distilled Water takes away all mineral and nutrients due to the process of distillation. Therefore, your body is forced to give electrolytes to the mineral and nutrient-free water. With this, your electrolytes level will slowly decrease and eventually cause electrolyte imbalance in your body. One important thing to note, electrolytes are important for the body because it helps you eliminate waste and function properly.
To sum up, if you drink distilled water consistently, you are putting your health at risk. One, it has no sufficient amount of minerals and nutrients that can protect your body against diseases and illnesses. Second, it can potentially lead to certain health problems such as bone deformities, digestive tract disorders, and even blood-related sickness.
This is due to the chemicals it obtains as it is stored in plastic bottles for a long period. Studies have shown that Bisphenol A (BPA) is an endocrine disruptor that is proven to be linked with cancer, neurological diseases and some women-related conditions such as early puberty, infertility, premature labor, etc. Lastly, as it is exposed to air, it attracts and traps carbon dioxide which would significantly affect the acidity of the body.
Changing pH Balance of Blood and Tissues
The distilled water’s pH level is 7.0, and the blood’s pH level must remain between 7.35 and 7.45. If the level drops lower than that, acidosis may happen- the excessive acid condition of the blood or tissues. Significant changes to the pH, electrolyte and mineral balance may lead to nutrient deficiencies, fatigue, fluid retention, muscle cramps, impaired heart rate, headache, and other severe health conditions.
The World Health Organization (WHO) found out that the waters demineralized through the same methods have the same health effects as the process used by distilled water (unless they are remineralized). This includes desalination, reverse osmosis, nano-filtered, and/or deionization.
Research in Environmental Research also shows that drinking demineralized water through desalination methods can have risks for a pro-carcinogenic effect.
The Difference in the Water You Drink
Distillation is an easy and inexpensive way to acquire clean water. The downside of distilled water is, it’s not that helpful to the body since it’s actually losing the needed electrolytes in the body.
Since filtration is the only way to conserve these essential minerals in the water, it is the best option to use as a source of drinking water. Everyone knows that water is a necessity. Thus, different types of water are treated in different ways then produced and supplied in bottles. Distributed by pharmacies and stores, drinking water is made to be alkaline, distilled, and rich in minerals, and even taste like spring water.
The only benefit of distilled water, aside from being inexpensive, is it doesn’t use any additives in purifying water. Since some public water facilities use chemicals to purify water, others use ionization and oxidation to remove microscopic substances out of the water.
With the advancing technology today, there are a lot of portable water filters available in the market. This water filters help in purifying drinking water at the comfort of your home. Although some water filters purify water and remove essential elements, there are a few water filters that aid in conserving essential minerals in drinking water.
Things to Consider Before Drinking Distilled Water
When choosing drinking water, you may want to consider the following factors:
- taste preference
- cost point
- the quality of the local tap water
- quality of vitamins and minerals in the diet
- availability of other drinking water
Taking Advantage of Water
Now that you are aware of the benefits found in water, wouldn’t you want to take advantage of that? All this time, the minerals such as calcium, magnesium, sodium, and fluoride are just lurking there waiting to be consumed. How does distilled water provide these beneficial elements? How can you filter water without the use of any chemicals and other tricky methods?
There are a lot of water filters and available in stores, you just need to make sure that you purchase the one that gives you the quality of drinking water that you’ve been looking for. Your water filter of choice must give you the satisfaction you need. And that it can both conserve the minerals in your drinking water and at keep it free from harmful pathogens.
By conserving minerals and purifying your drinking water, it will be hard to make pure and clean drinking water. How can you get the satisfaction and the promising quality from all the water filters nowadays?
Only a few people achieve assurance. There are many choices in the market, but it cannot ever be enough.
One of the best water filters you can find is the Berkey Water Filter. It filters out different kinds of contaminants. It can filter out pathogens like parasites, bacteria, and viruses. It can also remove dangerous chemicals such as pesticides, fluorine, chlorine, lead, mercury, and all other heavy metal contaminants. Not only that these toxic materials are removed from the water, but also its sediments and turbidity. This is done while still keeping the essential minerals found in water.
Laboratory test results of the Berkey Water Filter show the various contaminants with the corresponding percentage. The State and EPA accredited laboratories tested and approved it to be effective in removing 99.9% of bacteria and viruses. It even exceeded the NSF/ANSI Standard 53.
It is scientifically tested and proven. Its filter has microfilaments that can filter out the sediments and clean its turbidity which is caused by disease-causing microorganisms and chemicals. Other than that, its retained minerals make the water tastes good. It doesn’t need electricity and can be a complete standalone water filter system. Very convenient and easy to use with a single switch, you can have the guarantee that you’re getting the benefits of drinking water.