distilled vs purified water

What is purified water? How does it differ from distilled water? What are the benefits or differences between purified and distilled water?

Unfortunately, the topic of clean drinking water continues to hit the news. Although municipal or tap water varies by state and community, every household should understand the quality of their home water.

What is purified water?

Purified water means a lack of any impurities in the water. From a legal and regulatory perspective, water impurities must be removed or reduced to extremely low levels. For example, truly purified water implies the amount of impurities or dissolved solids does not exceed 10 parts-per-million. As a result, purified water meets a very high threshold.

Interestingly, purified water originates from the same sources as all of our household water. The source water, which generally come from spring water, surface water or groundwater, does not matter.


The water purification process removes virtually all impurities, which means the quality of the original source does not make a difference.

However, to provide more peace of mind, homeowners should note that water purification starts with source water that meets the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards. As a water treatment expert notes:

“A properly designed and functioning purification system produces extremely high purity water every time, regardless of variations in the source water quality. This is not true of spring water, tap water, or filtered water. For this reason, purified water is viewed as the objective benchmark against which the purity of other waters is judged.”

What is distilled water?

Distilled water undergoes the process of distillation, which boils contaminants out of pure water. Many of the natural contaminants founds in water require extremely high melting and boiling points. In fact, the melting points of natural elements is much higher than the standard water boiling temperature (212 degrees Fahrenheit). As a result, during distillation, the water turns into steam, then captured and cooled, creating distilled water.

Basically, in the process of distillation, the pure H2O is boiled out of its contaminants. So, many of the contaminants found in water are inorganic minerals, metals etc. Those types of contaminants have very high melting points and even higher boiling points (way higher than the boiling point of water at 212 degrees F). So, as the water (with its contaminants) is boiled, the pure water turns into steam and is captured and cooled and thus becomes distilled water. The junk left behind is all of the contaminants.

Does distillation contain any drawbacks?

Although most of the contaminants boil off the water, distillation requires additional steps.


Water contains many volatile organic compounds, which contain various boiling points. Some of these boiling points, for some substances like pesticides or herbicides, are below pure water. Therefore, as heat is applied, the volatile compounds boil off, followed by the pure water. As a result, some of the compounds remain in the steam, which means another process must be applied to remove everything.

Additionally, distillation requires a lot of energy. In order to provide clean water for consumption (think about drinking, cooking and bathing), all of the water requires complete boiling. All of the water must turn into steam, then cool back to water prior to consumption.

However, distilled water remains safe. In fact, for some homes with high iron content, distillation may be the best solution. Distilled water removes iron, which reduces the impact of hard water. And there is nothing wrong with consumption.

How about filtered water?

Filtered water, which many people frequently confuse with purified water, does not include true purification. Although filtered water does improve and enhance the quality of municipal or well water, purified water provides an additional cleansing step. Water filters work and remove many contaminants. However, purified waters undergoes a scientific process such as reverse osmosis and produces significantly higher purity water.

How to obtain purified water?

Homeowners have a few options to obtain properly purified water in their homes. First, water purification includes distillation. Additionally, homeowners have a few other methods as well.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse Osmosis Systems removes common chemical contaminants, such as:

  • Sodium.
  • Chloride.
  • Copper.
  • Chromium.
  • Lead.

Reverse osmosis offers the most convenient and cost effective method to remove contaminants and provide safe water.

Ion Exchange

Ion exchange (or deionization) percolates water through a bead-like spheres made from resin. The ions swap (or exchange) with other ions that are fixed to the beads. Frequently, water softening devices rely on ion-exchange methods.

Deionization offers an important component as part of a total water purification system when used in combination with other methods, such as reverse osmosis and carbon adsorption. For example, deionization effectively removes ions. Yet, the process fails to effectively remove most organics or microorganisms. Microorganisms attach to the resins, which creates an environment for rapid bacterial growth and subsequent pyrogen generation.

Carbon Adsorption

Carbon adsorption removes many chemicals and gases, along with microorganisms (in certain cases). However, this method does not remove dissolved solids, minerals or metals. Plus, only a few carbon adsorption systems received proper certification for the removal of lead and asbestos. Carbon adsorption includes two types of systems:

  • Granular Activated Carbon
  • Solid Block Carbon

Typically, carbon adsorption provides a component of a complete water purification system. In designing a complete system, the placement of the carbon remains a critical consideration as well.

Ultraviolet Radiation

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation helps treat germs in water. For example, the adsorption of UV light by the DNA and proteins within microorganisms effectively sanitize water. Plus, with recent advances in UV technology creates some very high purity water.

What are the best home water purification options?

Purified water requires a combination of methods because every environments contains various contaminants. For truly purified water, then your home system needs the relevant methods that remove the unique contaminants contained in your water.

The most common in-home water purification system rely on a few different types of filters and options.

A point-of-use water filter focuses on lead removal. With a point-of-use water filtration system, the filter removes lead from water immediately prior to consumption. This is incredibly helpful in preventing lead from entering the body.

A countertop water filter focuses on safe drinking water. Countertop water filtration systems provide a steady source of clean, healthy water. As a result, families can avoid the costs and environmental waste associated with constantly drinking bottled water.

An under-the-sink-water filter is similar to the countertop water filter. This water filtration system saves valuable kitchen space because it is smaller in size and fits under the sink (as the name implies).

A whole-house water filter is a comprehensive solution to water contaminants. The whole-house water filtration system provides high quality water at every spot in your home. Therefore, this filter covers everything from faucets to toilets in the bathroom to the washing machine and dishwasher.

Additionally, at SolvIt, we offer water purification and filtration solutions for every need and budget. For example, each solution provides you with a steady supply of clean and fresh home water for drinking, cooking, washing and bathing. For more information, then contact our water specialists today for your free in-home water test!