What is distilled water?
Distilled water (also called steam-distilled water) is water which has been heated to the boiling point (sea level Boiling Point = 212 degrees Fahrenheit or 100 degrees Centigrade). Steam is then cooled and condensed back into liquid form as pure water. The impurities remain as residue (scale and sediment) in the boiling vessel (to be removed during periodic maintenance). Distillation kills biological contaminants such as bacteria, parasites, cysts, and viruses, and removes organic and inorganic chemicals, heavy metals, volatile gases, and other contaminants. The water produced is pure and contains no solids, minerals, or trace elements. Steam distillation is the only water purification method that removes virtually ALL contaminants.
Distillation takes out all the beneficial minerals . . . Are not some of the minerals removed by distillation needed for health?
This is a statement used countless times,
Distillation will kill and remove bacteria, viruses, cysts, as well as, heavy metals, radionuclides, organics, inorganics, and particulates.
Yes, it will remove minerals, which fall under inorganic contaminants. And yes, your body needs calcium, for instance, and distillation removes this mineral and all others. However, your body does not obtain the calcium it needs from water.
Minerals in water are not nearly as biologically acceptable to the human body as the organic forms of minerals found in all foods and high quality vitamin/mineral supplements.
Your body obtains minerals more easily from foods than from the water you consume.
All of our minerals are derived from our food: fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, grains, nuts, and dairy products. The minerals in water are so scant,
one would have to drink 676 8-ounce glasses of tap water to obtain the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of calcium. That person would have to drink 1,848 8-ounce glasses to get RDA of magnesium, 848 8-ounce glasses to get RDA of iron, and 168,960 8-ounce glasses to obtain the RDA of phosphorus. It seems insane to even think about drinking that much water. Most people can't even drink the recommended 8 glasses of water a day that is widely touted by health experts.
When you think of pure water what definition comes to your mind? It should be just H20, and that's it. It's not H20 with minerals and fluoride, because
that doesn't fit the description of pure water. For all intent and purposes, distilled water comes the closest to the definition of pure drinking water. The process of distillation removes the broadest range of contaminants over any other point of use (POU) system.
Excess minerals can interfere or compete with the taste of foods and beverages.
Many bottled beverages (beer, soft drinks) are made with purified water for the best possible flavor.
The national best-selling health and diet book, : "Fit for Life II: Living Health" by Harvey & Marilyn Diamond, answers this question. The following is an excerpt:
"Distilled water has an inherent quality. Acting almost like a magnet, it picks up rejected, discarded, and unusable minerals and, assisted by the blood and the lymph, carries
them to the lungs and kidneys for elimination from the body. The statement that distilled water leaches minerals from the body has no basis in fact. It doesn't leach out minerals that have become part of the cell structure. It can't and won't. It collects only minerals that have already been rejected or excreted by the cells...To suggest that distilled water takes up minerals from foods so that the body derives no benefit from them is absurd."
Does fluoride removed by distillation? Is fluoride necessary for your dental health?
Yes, distillation removes fluoride from water. Fluoride is sometimes added to the municipal water supply because it helps prevent tooth decay. However, there is controversy surrounding fluoridation:
After childhood, fluoridation is not as effective in preventing tooth decay.
Fluoride tablets are much more cost effective, allowing administration of fluoride to only those that desire it.
There is controversy concerning health problems that could be caused by fluoride.
Again, since less than 2% of the water used by a household is used for drinking, fluoridation of the entire water supply is expensive and wasteful.
Will distillation remove impurities?
The distillation process removes virtually all impurities from water. Properly equipped distillers are highly efficient at removing nitrates (fertilizer residuals), bacteria, cysts, viruses, sodium, dissolved solids, most organic compounds (solvents, herbicides, and pesticides), heavy metals including lead and arsenic, and radionucleides from water. Distillers remove about 99.5 percent of the impurities from the raw water.
What impurities are not removed by distillation?
Distillers can actually allow a tiny percentage of impurities to pass over into the storage container during distillation. Volatile organic contaminants (VOC's), including some pesticides and solvents, boil at temperatures below or very close to water (207-218 degrees Fahrenheit). Distillation alone might not be enough to remove VOC's. Distillers equipped to remove these substances are vented and/or have carbon post treatment filters (ACF's).
What are VOC's? How they removed by distillation?
VOC stands for "Volatile Organic Carbon". VOC's are carbon-based substances that have low boiling temperatures.
Typically, most organic solvents fall into this category, as well as some herbicides and pesticides. Distillers can use gas vents method for VOC's removal. Gas vents allow VOC's to escape the distiller before they enter the cooling stage.
Distilled water is not effective against organic chemicals
VOC'S are organic chemicals that have lower boiling points than tap water, for e.g., benzene. When water is being boiled to 212 degrees Fahrenheit in the boiling tank, if VOC'S are present they will vaporize and rise up with the steam as a gas. Many distillers today utilize a volatile gas vent, to vent off any unwanted gases. If the VOC's do happen to escape this vent.
Why Distilled water has a bland taste?
Some people say that distilled water has a bland taste, because the dissolved minerals that give water the taste they are used to have been removed. For best taste, distilled water should be stored in the refrigerator in a clean, covered glass, poly carbonate, or stainless steel container. These containers are fairly inert and will not introduce any taste to the water. Serving suggestions include: drink it cold and give it a shake before drinking to reintroduce some air into the water.
Distillers are expensive to run
Home distillers take about 2 - 2.5 kilowatts to make 1 liter of distilled water. Compared to buying bottled distilled water from the store you can save about 75% on the cost of buying bottled distilled water.
Do some contaminants carry over with the steam in the distillation process?
Some contaminants that have boiling points lower than that of water could carry over, which is why these distillers are equipped with a safety feature: a volatile gas vent, a design feature which removes most of these contaminants.