Water is essential for life and is necessary for many different processes of the human body. While most drinking water in the US is considered to be safe, not all water is created “equal”.
In some instances, tap water can contain a range of contaminants like heavy metals and other chemicals that can pose serious health risks if consumed over time. This is where purified water comes in.
There are many different options for drinking water available so it can be challenging to determine what’s best for you.
In this post, we will discuss what purified water is, the benefits and drawbacks, dive into the various types of water purification methods available and review how you can purify your water at home.
📌 Key Takeaways
- Purified water is water that has been filtered or processed to remove impurities and contaminants.
- Purified water offers benefits such as improved taste, quality, safety, and health properties.
- Potential drawbacks of drinking purified water include cost and maintenance, removal of beneficial minerals, and potential health risks from over-purification
Table of Contents
🤔 What is Purified Water?
Purified water is essentially water that has been filtered or processed to remove different impurities and contaminants.
Purified water can be defined as water that had had all minerals, salts, metals, chemicals and other contaminants removed. This also includes bacteria.
Specific common contaminants that are removed through water purification include the following:
- Heavy metals (lead, copper, etc.)
- Viruses, parasites & pathologic bacteria
- Pesticides & herbicides
As mentioned earlier, tap water in the US is considered safe to drink. Your local water municipality is required to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Standards.
Some people may choose to purify there water for a variety of reasons including improved taste, quality, safety or other health properties.
⚗️ Types of Water Purification Methods
When you think of purified water, this can be achieved through a variety of methods. Some water purification methods include:
- Filtration: A home water filtration system can remove a range of contaminants, including lead, chlorine, and sediment, depending on the type of filter used. There are many different types of home water filters available, including pitcher filters, faucet-mounted filters, and whole-house filtration systems.
- Distillation: Distillation involves heating water to create steam, which is then condensed back into water. This process removes impurities, including minerals and bacteria, leaving behind clean, purified water. Distillation can be achieved using a home distillation unit or by heating water in a pot with a lid and collecting the condensed water in a separate container.
- Reverse osmosis: Reverse osmosis systems involve pushing water through a semi-permeable membrane to remove impurities, including minerals, chemicals, and bacteria. Reverse osmosis units are available for home use, but they can be expensive and require professional installation.
As mentioned above, the main goal of these water purification methods is to produce water that is “pure” and free of harmful chemicals, bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants.
Additionally, one of the most simple “at home” ways to purify your water is through boiling the water. Boiling your water will remove all viruses and bacteria, making it safe to drink.
👨🔧 To read more details on the various water purification methods, check out this article.
✅ Benefits of Drinking Purified Water
Even though tap water in the US is considered safe to drink, there still may be some trace contaminants in your local drinking water. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established legal limits for over 90 contaminants in drinking water, which are considered safe for consumers.
However, individual states are allowed to regulate their own drinking water standards as long as they meet the EPA’s minimum requirements or “set limits” for contaminants. Consequently, some states may have more rigorous drinking water regulations than others.
Despite efforts to ensure the safety of public drinking water, it may still contain small amounts of contaminants that could be harmful to health particularly if consumed for long amounts of time.
For example, heavy metals such as lead and copper, which can cause stomach problems and brain damage if ingested over time, can leach into drinking water, even in countries with closely monitored public water sources.
Guaranteed Safe Drinking Water
When you use water purification systems such as home water filters or drink purified bottled water, another level of purification is achieved. Depending on the type of purification system used, it will remove metals, chemicals, and other contaminants as listed earlier.
Tap water is typically treated with chlorine to kill unwanted pathogens. Some water purification systems will fully eliminate the chlorine added.
Some studies have shown that chlorinated water may increase risk for certain types of cancer such as colorectal cancers.
Taste and Odor
Furthermore, water purification also eliminates unpleasant flavors or odor associated with chemical treatments like chlorine or metal plumbing, providing fresh and pure-tasting drinking water.
When you have regular access to purified drinking water at home this can eliminate the need to purchase bottled water regularly which can be costly and contribute to excess plastic waste.
Drinking purified water can reduce the use of plastic if you enjoy drinking purified bottled water.
⛔️ Potential Drawbacks of Drinking Purified Water
While purified water may have some benefits, like all things there are some drawbacks. In this section we will discuss some of the disadvantages of drinking purified water.
Cost and Maintenance
If you opt to purchase a water purification system for your home this can be costly. This is because it requires the purchase of additional items compared to drinking tap water.
Additionally, paying to install certain purification systems can cost hundreds of dollars. Aside from the initial costs, maintenance can also be expensive.
Removes Beneficial Minerals
Depending on the purification process you use, some systems may remove dissolved minerals as well. This includes minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium.
These minerals are beneficial for over all health and could be detrimental to remove from drinking water. Examples of purification methods that may remove these minerals are reverse osmosis or distillation systems.
🩺 Is Purified Water Safe to Drink?
Now that you have read a little more on purified water, you’re probably wondering is it safe to drink? The answer to that question is, yes.
Purified water is considered safe to drink because it can remove many contaminants like bacteria or metal from your tap water.
As mentioned in the previous paragraph, some purification systems will also remove beneficial minerals. However, not all purification systems do this. Some water filters keep the beneficial minerals in place.
In conclusion, while tap water in the US is considered safe to drink, purified water can offer additional benefits by removing impurities and contaminants, improving taste and odor, and reducing plastic waste.
Various water purification methods, including filtration, distillation, and reverse osmosis, can be used to achieve purified water. However, there are also potential drawbacks to consider, such as the cost of installation and maintenance, and the removal of beneficial minerals during the purification process.
Ultimately, the decision to drink purified water is a personal one, based on individual preferences and circumstances.
❔ Frequently Asked Questions
Is it Safe to Drink Purified Water?
Yes, it is safe to drink purified water. Purified water has undergone a process to remove contaminants and impurities, which makes it safe for consumption.
Some purification systems are different than others, so it’s important to pick a purification process that works best for you and your personal preferences.
There are some methods of water purification that may remove beneficial minerals from the water so it’s important to make sure you have variety of foods in your diet so you are getting these nutrients from other sources in your diet other than water.
Overall, drinking purified water is a safe and healthy choice for most people.
Is it Good to Drink Purified Water Everyday?
Drinking purified water is considered to be safe to drink. Drinking plenty of water daily is essential for human health. However, it is important to note that drinking too much purified water can lead to mineral deficiencies since it sometimes lacks essential minerals.
Overall, drinking purified water is a good choice for most people, especially if your tap water has been found to contain harmful contaminants. However, it is important to maintain a balance and ensure that you are getting enough minerals and nutrients from other sources in your diet.
Is it Better to Drink Purified Water or Spring Water?
There are many differences between purified water and spring water. However, there’s no definitive “better” option between. This is because it is up to personal preferences. The biggest thing to keep in mind is that you want to make sure you stay hydrated.
If you would prefer water with a good amount of minerals, than spring water is probably the best fit for you.
Is Purified Water the Healthiest?
No, purified water is not the “healthiest” water to drink. There are many different kinds of water available, however at the end of the day the most important thing is that you stay adequately hydrated.
The recommended amount of water daily is a minimum of 8 cups. However, depending on where you live and your individual body you may need more.