Most of the general population rarely drink tap water or the municipality water directly from the tap.
The tap water in almost all countries is filled with harsh contaminants like nuclear waste, arsenic, and lead. The possibility of contaminants increases if you live in an industrial area or a country.
This is why water filters are a lifesaver!
The water filter facilitates healthy water, free from contaminants and disease-causing microorganisms. Some water filters add minerals to the water, making it more beneficial. There are a variety of water filters in the market.
Reverse osmosis and distilled water are among the most common and effective methods. But do you know the difference between these types of water? Which one is much healthier to consume?
This article will look at the differences and similarities between both purification processes. This will make your decision much more accessible and better.
Table of Contents
What is Reverse Osmosis (RO)?
This kind of filtration is considered the most efficient as well as the most cost-effective water treatment. It can be done on an industrial scale or a small scale like homes.
This filtration system consists of several delicate membranes (generally 4 to 5 membranes) through which the water passes. This system also has a mineral filter that adds essential minerals to the water, making it healthy for drinking. When the mineral is added to the water, it enhances the taste of the water, as well.
The other membranes are responsible for removing the impurities and contaminants from the water, even at a microscopic level. The majority of the water filter equipment generally consists of 4 types of membranes:
- A pre-filter
- An activated carbon filter
- A reverse osmosis membrane
- A post-filter
Apart from drinking, it is also used in the agricultural sector by filtering salt water.
The membranes of the water filter control the nutrients and mineral contents that provide essential nutrients to the soil. The water is converted into freshwater and mineral-rich water, thus directly speeding up the growth of plants and enhancing the soil quality.
The pharmaceutical products, beverage, and food industry is also using this kind of water filtration to enhance or maintain the quality of their products.
What is Distilled Water?
Did you know that distilled water is typically used in the chemistry lab?
You must have used it during your school days, right?
The distilled water filtration process is a controlled process where steams of boiling water are collected and transformed into liquid. This ensures the water is highly purified and free of micro contaminants.
The distillation process is used to prepare the distilled water.
In this process, the water is boiled, which turns into steam. After this, the impurities and the other contaminants settle down in the distillation system, and this steam is collected in the condenser. When the steam cools down, or when the temperature of the condenser gets down, these streams start turning into liquid and are collected in the jar drop by drop.
Sometimes, the steam also undergoes carbon filtration, which removes the remaining chemicals and contaminants. This way, we get highly purified water with a very minute or no chance of contaminants.
Some research has shown that distilled water can be suitable for drinking as it detoxifies the body and enhances the person’s overall health.
But at the same time, other research has shown that distilled water removes the essential minerals from the body, significantly impacting a person’s health.
The people who have consumed distilled water state that it has less taste than bottled water or tap water, as the water has undergone a very restricted and complicated process.
What is The Difference Between Distilled Water And Reverse Osmosis?
People use the filtration techniques like the distillation process and the reverse osmosis system to get contaminant-free water for drinking.
They both can eliminate micro contaminants and provide environmental advantages, especially when compared to bottled water. But they also have a few differences like:
1. Nutrition Content
The first difference between reverse osmosis and distilled water is the number of nutrients.
Reverse osmosis provides a very high level of filtration. It has an activated carbon filter that automatically removes the chlorine (the municipality department of your country might have added), organic chemicals, and organic compounds.
It has a nutrient layer that adds the nutrients to the water, making it much healthier and better than tap water or municipal water.
In the case of the distillation process or distilled water, the process does not use any filters. It simply collects the steam and turns it into water, leaving the contaminants in the boiling chamber.
The distillation process also removes the elements and metals, contributing to the water’s hardness. It eliminates the chances of viruses or bacteria in the water and also provides a very bland taste.
The main disadvantage is that this process highly impacts water taste and nutritional value.
2. The Taste
The second difference is the taste. The reverse osmosis system adds minerals to the water to enhance its taste. However, the distillation process takes away all the taste of the water and only provides a flat and bland taste.
This means the distillation process, or distilled water, is tasteless and lacks healthy nutrients. Now, choosing distilled water or RO water is a choice depending on the number of nutrients and the quality of water requirement.
3. The Requirement of Costly Equipment
The characteristics or brand of the water filter can highly impact the performance of the RO system.
The materials used to construct the equipment or membranes, floor space availability, the required instrumentation, and the volume of the purified water are the variables of the RO system.
The reverse osmosis system can be implanted for industrial use, which requires considerable space, but it can also be used in a residential system in the kitchen. The residential system does not occupy a vast area, thus making it much easier to use.
The distillation process is one of the ancient processes, but the process needs better equipment and time to collect the steam from the water. It requires a large instrument and cannot be workable for use for residential purposes. The distillation system equipment can be easily seen in the research labs.
4. The Microplastics
As mentioned earlier, reverse osmosis adds nutrients that enhance the quality of the water, while distilled water generally pulls out all the minerals and essential nutrients.
While doing so, the distilled water can easily pull out the microplastics of the equipment in which the process is being done.
So it is essential to use a better quality of equipment. In contrast, it is not the same in the reverse case of the osmosis system. The reverse osmosis system adds minerals and has no chance of microplastics in the water.
5. The Cost
The RO system is expensive, and the price ranges from one piece of equipment to another.
The reverse osmosis system has to be cleaned over time, depending on the brand and equipment size. It requires regular maintenance or services, which automatically increases the cost of the equipment.
The distillation system does not require any maintenance, but the price varies.
6. The Feasibility
We can easily connect the RO System with the central water or primary water supply system, thus making it much more workable. One doesn’t have to worry about the filtration process, as it will occur automatically, and one can get it by using the tap of the RO.
Distilled water takes a very long time, about 4 to 6 hours, to produce a one-gallon batch of distilled water.
So the distillation process is the time taking approach, and for residential use, the system has to be refilled repeatedly to get fresh water continuously.
What Should You Choose: Reverse Osmosis Or Distilled Water
Both water types are free from any contaminant or disease-causing microorganisms. But the reverse osmosis system has the additional benefit of adding minerals to the water.
If a person prefers distilled water over reverse osmosis filtered water, then the person has to compensate for the nutrient deficiency in the form of food.
Well, as with RO filtered water, one does not have to worry about the essential nutrients and minerals. Meanwhile, adding minerals automatically enhances the taste, so if you prefer a taste in water, go for the RO filtered water.
The distillation process does not eliminate volatile chemicals like chloramines.
But the explosive elements or chemicals are easily removed in the reverse osmosis process because of multiple membranes.
Reverse osmosis is expensive but is a better solution to get purified water for the long term. It is a kind of long-term investment, while it is not the same as the case of distilled water.
Healthy water drinking and a purification water system are a need of today’s households. As we live in a developing industrial world, it is useless to depend entirely on municipal or tap water.
The systems are not highly regulated, and people prefer the water system or filters to drink purified and healthier water.
The distillation or RO system is highly preferred, as it is a common way of water purification. These filters can easily be installed in the household or the residential area to get water free of contaminants and disease-causing microorganisms.
They also do not cause any harm to the environment, thus making them much more helpful for drinking and the agricultural sector.
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