Distilled water is generally safe to drink. It results from the distillation process that removes 99.9% of harmful dissolved solids. The process heats the water at high temperatures and eliminates pathogens and microbes. Simply put, microorganisms cannot survive distillation.

The effectiveness of the distillation process, however, also introduces some concerns. Distilled water may be purer than spring and mineral water, but it can also present health problems if it’s the only water you consume. The process removes all the dissolved minerals. This affects the PH and electrolyte balance in the body system.

Drinking Distilled Water

Risks and Effects

Distilled water lacks essential minerals such as magnesium and calcium. Drinking waters that lack essential nutrients can cause negative health effects on certain groups of people. Some of the standout risks involved in drinking distilled water include:

Failure to Maintain Mineral Balance After Excretion

During sweating or in urine, we lose essential minerals such as sodium. Drinking water is one way to replace these essential minerals.

Sustained intake of distilled water will result in mineral deficiencies in the body. This is because distilling water eliminates any minerals in the water. Such a scenario would pose health risks.

Changes to the Mineral Balance of the Body System

Continuously drinking distilled water for long periods may result in a condition known as acidosis. Although the condition is rare, it happens when a person is not getting any other nutrients from another source.

The condition results from an imbalance in the PH and electrolytes in the human body. Sustained drinking of distilled water causes the body’s PH to fall to 7.35. The human body reacts by retaining water, cramping, high blood pressure, fatigue, and headaches.

Environmental Effects

Distilling water leaves behind hard water and highly salinated water. This raises an environmental problem in the surrounding ecosystem, the water source, and supply.

Benefits

Drinking distilled water comes with several benefits. Here are some that stand out:

Elimination of Harmful Contaminants

Distilling water guarantees the elimination of heavy metals, pesticides, and other harmful contaminants. The level of contaminants in public water sources that supply tap water to households depends on the local regulations. It is important to do a water analysis to determine your water quality. If the level of contaminants is high, you may need to purify the water for drinking.

Consuming harmful chemicals through water is more dangerous to those that have compromised immunities. Distilling water is a sure way of water purification for such groups.

Tap water from the utility companies is chlorinated. Distilling water will remove the chlorine making your drinking water safer. There is also no extra sodium in the water.

Distillation Reduces the Risk of Getting Diseases

This is especially true in private wells or rural areas where the water contains high levels of pathogens.

Drinking distilled water is a sure way to cleanse your bloodstream with pure water. The blood acts as a transport fluid transporting minerals and oxygen throughout your body while eliminating waste like carbon dioxide. Although there is not much supporting data, some people believe in the cleansing properties of pure water.

Ways to Make Distilled Water

The distillation process is much like the earth’s hydrological cycle. This is a natural process where water evaporates in the atmosphere condenses, and falls back as precipitation. It involves removing contaminants, inorganic minerals, and harmful chemicals.

Distillation Process

When done properly and under the right condition, distillation arguably provides one of the best methods to purify water. First, water is heated until it evaporates, forming water vapor. This steam is then cooled in a separate chamber and stored. Proper storage is necessary to avoid leaching toxic content back into the water.

A simpler way of achieving this is using a water distiller. Home distillation units are also available and can provide you with distilled drinking water.

Water Distillers

Water distillation is best for water that has excessive mineral content and high levels of harmful contaminants. A water distiller works to eliminate all dissolved minerals in the water. As water moves from the water supply to your faucets, there might be an unwanted buildup of minerals in the pipes. It will eliminate heavy metals like lead and arsenic from the water. Pathogens and microbes will also be removed.

When combined with a carbon postfilter, the distiller can completely eliminate volatile organic compounds. Water distillers can eliminate up to 99.9% of dissolved mineral substances and convert seawater, making it possible to consume.

Compared to the set maximum level of contaminants set by the environmental protection agency, a distillery can fulfill these regulations.

Many homes use distilleries as a form of water treatment due to deal with any chemical leaching in old pipes.

Some other contaminants removed by distillers include fluoride, chlorine, arsenic, viruses, nitrates, and rust. Electrolytes removed include phosphate, sodium, and chloride.

Alternatives to Distillation

Water filters are great alternatives to distillation. They remove unwanted chemicals and microorganisms from water and make it safe to drink.

Some feel, that filtered water has a better taste than distilled water. This can be a result of mineral content retained in filtered water.

Different filters work on different contaminants. Filtering water through a whole-house water filtration system is the most common method of cleaning contaminated water in households.

You can also buy filtered water in plastic bottles. Manufacturers filter water and package it in plastic bottles, and distribute it as bottled water.

Carbon Filters

Like distillers, carbon filters are capable of removing contaminants, including chlorine. If there are only trace amounts of dissolved minerals in your water, you may not need a water distiller.

Distillation may be a better option for water purification, where the water supply carries higher degrees of viruses, bacteria, and algae.

Essential minerals are retained in carbon filtration systems. For precise elimination of contaminants and retention of mineral salts, the use of activated carbon.

Ultrafiltration(UV) System

The main difference between a water distiller and a UV system is the retention of dissolved minerals. Both systems process the water removing all levels of contaminants and unwanted chemicals.

Reverse Osmosis (RO) System

A reverse osmosis system is the most effective method of purifying water. Water is passed through extremely thin membranes, which trap most contaminants. That is considered purified water.

Distillation removes total dissolved solids (TDS). It is considered a method of purifying water, with the only difference in the absolute elimination of mineral content in the water.

safe drinking water with ro system

Reverse osmosis systems also do remove some level of minerals dissolved in the water. If you wish to prevent this, combine the RO system with a re-mineralizer.

Summary

Distilled water is safe to drink, however, the risk of drinking only distilled water is that you may not get enough healthy minerals such as calcium and magnesium.

The water distillation process guarantees the removal of microbial contaminants, organic compounds, radioactive contaminants, and pesticides from your water.

Compared to local tap water and bottled water, distilled water comes out on top as the purest form of water. However, it needs to be conserved in food-grade containers that ensure no leaching occurs.

Due to the imbalance between the water particles and requisite minerals for our bodies to operate, we recommend that you mix distilled water with other nutrient sources.

About the Author

Lucas Greer

Lucas vs. Wild - Lucas is a true nature lover and survivalist. When he's not teaching science at school, he can be found in nature, hiking, climbing, camping, and rafting. He knows all the tricks and DIYs for making unclean water drinkable with simple means in an emergency. At school, his students love him for his exciting water filtration projects.

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