Pros And Cons Of Distillation As A Water Treatment

Construction & Contractors Blog

Whether you have heavy metals, bacteria, or other contaminants in your well water or whether you have city water and simply want to remove the standard additives before drinking the water, distillation may be a possible treatment. It has a lot of good points to recommend it, such as its effectiveness and versatility. But before selecting distillation you'll want to hear both sides of the issue. Here are the pros and cons of distillation as a water treatment option. 


Very effective at particle removal

Because the process involves causing the water to evaporate, which means leaving behind every particle that's not pure water, distillation is very good at getting the offending particles out of your water. The CDC rates its effectiveness as "very high" for every type of particle it removes.

Can remove multiple types of contaminants simultaneously

Some types of water treatment only remove one contaminant (like arsenic ion replacement systems, which only remove arsenic from your water supply) or only neutralize one type of contaminant (such as ultraviolet treatments, which can kill bacteria and viruses but don't eliminate heavy metals). Distillation, because it involves boiling and evaporating the water, will kill some bacteria during boiling and leave others behind during evaporation. 

Doesn't require as much upkeep as other systems

High-quality distillation units combine distillation with carbon filtration to catch the one main type of contaminants that the distillation process doesn't remove: chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides. This carbon filter will occasionally require replacement, but unlike other types of water treatments, distillation doesn't require a semi-permeable membrane (like reverse osmosis does) or bags of salt for recharging (like ion exchange systems do).


Removes beneficial minerals as well as harmful ones

Some people worry about whether they'll get enough beneficial minerals in their diet if they use distillation, because distillation removes all minerals indiscriminately. This is unlikely to be a problem if you're consuming an otherwise normal diet, but if you're concerned about it, you can easily remedy the lack of minerals by getting mineral packs from a health food store and adding them in recommended concentrations to you drinking water after it's been distilled.

Causes water to become very plain

Some people find that their water simply tastes boring after it's been distilled, or even that it easily takes on the flavor of whatever container it's stored in. Once again, you can use mineral packs to add minerals back to the water. And if you don't like the flavor it acquires when stored in plastic, simply use glass containers instead.

These pros and cons will help you weigh distillation's strong points against its shortcomings and compare it more easily with other water treatment systems you may be considering.  


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