Reverse osmosis or RO water has become a popular choice for purified water in many homes. But, some people recommend the drinking of distilled water because it’s pure and free from organic contaminants. Water distillation is a form of water purification that’s been in continuous use for a long time, but in a modern home, it’s a less efficient option. In this article, we will examine both water purification types in more detail.

Understanding Distilled Water

Distilled water is boiled for a long time, the steam generated from this process is captured and collected in a clean vessel. Essentially, a liquid is transformed into a gas and then returned back to a liquid state via condensation. In the past, this process required a huge effort, but modern units are automated which makes distillation easier.

Many contaminants are removed from the water, but distillation cannot remove every organic contaminant when used in isolation. Distillation is effective for the neutralization of Legionella, giardia, and other harmful microbes. It’s also a good way to remove dissolved solids, including salts and minerals that cause scaling and hard water problems. But, distillation cannot remove chemicals that have a boiling point close to that of water and additional filtration is needed. Distilled water is also the best choice for certain types of domestic devices, such as electric irons, specific batteries, steam mops, and more.

There are a few disadvantages to consider when you compare distillation with RO filtration systems. First, they use a lot of energy which makes them inefficient and your energy bills will be higher. Another drawback is that distilled water must be created in advance and then decanted into another container that you store in the refrigerator. The biggest drawback may be the taste. Distilled water has no dissolved salts or mineral content which can make it taste bland and unappetizing.

Understanding Reverse Osmosis (RO) Water

The RO process is purely mechanical, no chemicals are added and boiling is not needed which makes this an energy efficient purification method. The incoming water is placed under pressure and forced through a semi-permeable membrane. The membrane pores are tiny. They only allow water molecules to pass through and this makes RO very clean and pure. In fact, RO is even used as part of the desalination process that can turn seawater into potable water that’s fit to drink.

The RO filtration process is extremely effective at removing or reducing a large number of waterborne contaminants, including salt, minerals, microbes, and more. This process takes time, the purified water is stored in a clean tank that’s usually located under the kitchen sink. Most RO water systems are installed as a point-of-use or POU option with a dedicated faucet in the kitchen. The RO system typically has a pre-filter to remove larger contaminants and sediment and a post-filter with granulated activated carbon or GAC to give the water a “final polish” for an  improved taste. The result is a pure and fresh tasting water that you can use for drinking, cooking, baking, and other kitchen tasks.

Which is Better?

Both types of water purification use no chemicals and they do produce a significant volume of wastewater. Contaminants that are removed must be flushed away to keep the system clean and ready to use. But, RO water is clearly superior and the process doesn’t drive up your energy bills. If you want to install a RO filtration system in your home, contact your local water treatment specialist today.

By EcoWater Systems.
EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is the largest water treatment company in the state and is a member of Water Quality Association.