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post : Your Water: Distillation Trumps Filtration Anyday

Your Water: Distillation Trumps Filtration Anyday

By Dr. Jerry Mixon July 21, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

In the past in talking about water fallacies, I’ve gone over alkalinity, ionization, and generally discussed why there really isn’t much you can do to improve your water besides cleaning it.

I prefer distillation because it cleans to the highest standard, which is practical with our current state of science and engineering. This is not to imply that filters don’t work; they do. A filter will remove some or most of the chlorine, most of the dirt, and most of the nasty critters that may be coming out of your tap. On the other hand, a good distiller will remove essentially all of it. A good illustration of the limitation of filters verses distillers is to try putting saltwater through a filter. Generally when you put saltwater through a filter what you get out the other side is salt water. Distill saltwater and you get a boiler encrusted with salt and a pitcher full of nice clean water.

You can think of a filter as essentially a large sieve. Liquid pours through the tiny holes capturing the dirt that’s too big to fit through. But what if the dirt or micro-organism is smaller than the holes in the filter?  What if the pollutant you want to remove is a liquid? Suddenly the filter is woefully inadequate.

Modern filters typically will contain a chemical agent like Carbon, Chlorgon, or KDF which are designed to act as reagents bonding to specific pollutants or converting them into harmless inert compounds. The problem with this sort of chemical filtration is that all these substances only react to a limited number of materials. Every reaction will actually consume some of the chemical filter making the filter less effective every time you use it. Basically, filters only work for a limited duration and are only effective for a limited number of pollutants. Finally, most filters will not help you at all against the smaller single-celled, chemical-resistant critters that may come after you like Cryptosporidium (small waterborne pathogen common to natural bodies of freshwater).

Fortunately, distillers work on the principle that every material has a different boiling point. That boiling point is based on the atomic weight of the molecule and is unique to every material and compound on earth. By heating the water, we can separate the heavier materials that boil at higher temperatures than water, leaving them behind. We can also vent off the lighter materials that boil to gas at lower temperatures than water. What we’re left with is just water and nothing else. Distillation will remove the chlorine, metals, liquid pollutants, and salt. I have yet to meet the microbe clever enough to get you after being boiled alive. 

Once again, I’m not knocking filters. Like any technology they have limitations. Within those limitations, they work very well. Given the choice between tap water and filtered water, I’ll take the filtered every time although filtering simply does not do a good enough job. If a filter is all you have or can afford, then by all means use it, and feel good about using it. Depending on its quality, it can substantially improve the quality of your drinking water. However, the optimal choice between distillers and filters is undeniably distillers.

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