It is very common to find a lot of people who take the act of drinking water for granted. This ought not to be so because water plays a very vital role in our daily existence. 70% of the human body is made up of water; it regulates the body temperature, aids in digestion and helps the kidneys function effectively.
It is also common knowledge that water undergoes various types of treatments before they are deemed safe for human consumption which leads us to the differences between distilled and drinking water but first a close examination of a water supply network as this will facilitate understanding of how water is generally treated.
What is in Your Water Supply
A typical water supply system consists of hydraulic engineered system that provides water supply to individual households. The components of this system include a drainage basin where raw water collected is first filtered through the processes of sedimentation and filtration. The water is further purified using various treatment processes and then transferred through huge pipes that are located underground to the water storage facilities like water towers or tanks are easily seen around. If a smaller system is in use then the use of cisterns or pressure vessels might be employed. It is also very common to find pumping stations that are usually located underground or above ground depending on the flow of gravity. They are used to pump the water from one location to another via the employment of a pipe network that will in turn distribute water to the end users for manufacturing, bathing, drinking, use on lawns etc. so the basic steps involved in the treatment of water before it gets to the consumer are clarification, filtration and disinfection.
Drinking water is your everyday water that comes from a metropolitan or public source and is intended for drinking. There is nothing harmful about it and it is perfectly safe for drinking because the amount of purifiers present in it are regulated so as not to exceed the recommended amount for safe consumption by end users. Drinking water also undergoes some processes like pre-chlorination, reverse osmosis, aeration, ion exchange, Ozonation, sand filtration, to ensure optimum safety. The Environmental Protection Agency also makes sure it regulates the distribution and safety of drinking water by conducting frequent pollutant-specific minimum testing of water meant for the public to make sure it is suitable for use in various households.
Although they try their very best to get the work done, it is still possible for the water to become contaminated through chemical reactions and biological processes-if the metal pipes used become corroded, then it causes the release of harmful mental into the water and this can cause adverse health issues. Other agents of contamination include accidentally broken pipes or the result of activities by animals and other foreign agents. Care is taken however to ensure that incidences like this are at the barest minimum hence the frequent checks by the Environmental protection Agency.
This is not to say that distilled water is better or worse than tap water; on the contrary, distilled water is still drinking water and is also safe for consumption. The major factor that differentiates, distilled water from normal drinking water is that it undergoes a meticulous and exhaustive filtration process to eliminate any form of contamination and any mineral that it may contain. As a result of this, it is considered one of the purest forms of water because it features the lowest amounts of chemicals and contaminants.
It is widely used in the manufacturing of cosmetics, preparation of food and also recommended for use in household appliance like steam irons because of the absence of any minerals that may be accumulated. Ironically, what makes it the purest forms of water might not necessarily make it the best option for humans because every natural mineral contained in it that seem beneficial to humans have been stripped off by the distilling process.
Process of Distilling Water
The process of distilling water involves channeling water from municipal sources which include but are not limited to reservoirs, wells, rivers and lakes. The water sourced is expected to meet the EPA minimum drinking water standards before it is then boiled at a temperature of 212 degrees Fahrenheit using special equipment and the steam collected after condensation. After the process of boiling, the minerals and other unacceptable pollutants are left at the bottom. This process is very effective for removing nitrates and heavy minerals. It also kills organic pollutants and microbes like fungi, viruses and bacteria.
However other chemicals that boil at a lower temperature than water like chlorine manage to still remain in the distilled water and have to be filtered out with charcoal. The water is then collected and bottled for end users. Distilled water leaves a flat taste in the mouth because of the series of processes it has been subjected to, it also has a tendency to leach plastic if it is stored for a very long time. The quantity of impurities of solids that have dissolved in the water after the distilling process is not expected to surpass 10 parts per million. The painstaking and long process of distilling water also makes it expensive because a lot of energy is being consumed in the process of turning water to steam.
In summary, it all boils down to an issue of personal choice and health requirements. Doctors usually advice patients with low immune systems to stick to distilled water but perfectly healthy individuals may continue to enjoy tap water as the natural minerals that are beneficial to the human body remain present.