After sharing with many people my concern on over-chlorination in our drinking water, quite a few people have asked me which water distiller I use. I use the Purwa Water Distiller.
Firstly, what is distillation? Distillation is nature’s way of cleaning water. Water evaporates from the earth’s surface after rain, leaving impurities behind, and re-condenses into clouds to produce rain. Distillation process replicates this same mechanism.
“Distillation is a water purification process that uses a heat source to vaporize water and separate it from contaminants and other undesirable elements commonly found in ground and surface water. Distillation heats raw (untreated) water until the water reaches its boiling point and begins to vaporize. The heat is then kept at a constant temperature to maintain water vaporization while prohibiting other undesirable elements from vaporizing. Water has a lower boiling point than salt and other mineral sediments. This process also separates the water molecules from microscopic, disease-causing organisms. Once all of the water has vaporized, the vapor is led into a condenser, where, upon cooling, the water reverts to the liquid form and runs into a receiving container. The remaining elements, whose boiling point was too high to permit vaporization, remain in the original container and constitute the sediment” — http://www.historyofwaterfilters.com/
- Removes up to 99.9% of most tap water contaminants
- Relatively inexpensive (SGD$518) compared to other water filtration systems I checked out which were >$2000+
- Convenient small counter-top set – people even bring it for travel!
- Automatic shut off when gallon water has been distilled
- Comes with carbon filter which prevents distilled water from turning acidic in the air
- Not linked to tap. Have to manually refill water to distill
- Can make kitchen feel warm due to heating and condensation process
- Takes 5 hours to produce 5L of distilled water. This is the same speed across all distillers which make the process slower than filtered water.
Another common question I get from friends and readers is – Why didn’t you get an alkaline water machine? After much research, my personal belief is that alkaline water may affect digestion in the long run. Our stomach pH is ~2.5 and it is meant to be that acidic to digest food. As it is, some people already become hypochlorhydric with age, meaning they can no longer produce enough stomach acid for production. By constantly drinking alkaline water which neutralizes stomach acid, one can experience hypochlorhydric onset even earlier on.
Also, alkaline water does not necessary alkalize one’s body. Lemons, which are very acidic when consumed, are considered alkaline foods because they release an abundance of alkalizing minerals when digested. While alkaline water can sometimes increase urine pH, it is not an indicator that the body’s pH is balanced because alkaline water does not release alkalizing minerals upon digestion. If you are looking to alkalize your body, raw food and green juices are much more effective!
Another common concern raised against distilled water is the lack of minerals compared to filtered or tap water. It is true that distilled water is stripped of its mineral content. However, we should be getting our mineral content from our foods, such as sodium from celery. Even in natural spring water, the amount of minerals per liter of spring water may be less than the equivalent in a few nuts. I would personally try to get alternative sources of minerals than drinking impure water that my body has to then process to get rid of.
Another concern about distilled water is that it turns acidic in the air. Purwa distillation units comes with carbon filters and as the distilled water filters through the carbon it picks up carbon. This means the distilled water now contains dissolved carbon solids, and will no longer take up
carbon dioxide. Hence, whatever distillation unit you buy, it is important that it comes with a carbon filter. We also add lemons to our distilled water so that we are having an alkalizing drink with every sip!
I bought the Purwa Water Distiller unit from Fit for Life Centre. There are 2 versions of the Purwa Distiller:
1) Purwa Water Distiller with the glass container – SGD$568
2) Purwa Water Distiller (BPA free) with the plastic container (BPA free) – SGD$518.
Only for you readers, quote #Eatprayflying when you purchase the Purwa Water Distiller, and get a complimentary gift – THE CHOICE IS CLEAR by Dr. Allen E. Banik worth $6 which expounds on the importance of good clean drinking water.
FIT FOR LIFE CENTRE, Singapore
Address: Blk 462, Crawford Lane, Unit 02-55, Singapore 190462
Tel: (65) 6291 8080
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday – 9 am to 6 pm
I put my water distiller to the stress test by using a chlorine meter:
On top of chlorine, these are the test results from using a Total Dissolved Solids Scanner (TDScan). “Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) are the compounds in the water that cannot be removed by a traditional filter. TDS are made up of salts or compounds which dissociate in water to form ions…Total Dissolved Solids are classified as a secondary contaminant by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and a suggested maximum is 500 ppm.” – (5)
Tap Water – 350ppm
Filtered Water – 340ppm
Distilled Water – 000ppm
To reveal what unseen metals/impurities may be in the tap water we are drinking, we used a water electrolyzer. How it works is that when we pass an electric current through a solution, ions (charged particles) migrate towards the electrode of the opposite charge. For explanation sake, assume there is a salt in the water, and the dominant species of ions are sodium (Na+) and chloride (Cl-). So when we apply a current to the solution using electrodes, the chloride ions (Cl-), termed anions, will move towards the positive electrode (the anode), whilst the positively-charged sodium ions (the cations) will migrate towards the negative electrode (the cathode). The migrating ions carry charge through the solution and hence help to complete the circuit. At the anode, 2 chloride ions (Cl-) will each surrender an electron to the anode to form a molecule of chlorine gas to form bubbles: 2Cl-(aq) -> Cl2(g) + 2e-. At the same time, the any solution metals will also try to donate electrons e.g. if there is copper in the tap water, Cu(s) -> 2e- + Cu2+(aq), forming copper ion (Cu2+) which then goes into solution, turning the water bluish green.
In this case, we do not know what metals are in the water but there are many substances turning the tap water a smelt gross brown/green mix after electrolysis, while the distilled water stayed clear till the end of the experiment.
Having traveled to developing countries where I couldn’t even get clean tap water to bathe in, I am really thankful for the relatively clean water we have that most of us can drink from the tap and not have a stomachache immeditely! But since distillers are relatively affordable (I got my distiller for SGD$518) and lasts a long time, I have added this additional regimen of distilling the water so my family can have the benefit of having water free from bacteria and viruses (killed by the chlorine), and we then remove any impurities (via distillation).