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17

The Plain Talk Series - #56

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The Plain Talk Series - #56

Today's question: Is distilled water the "perfect" drinking water?

"Plain Talk" answer: No. Distillation involves boiling the water, so distilling removes harmful bacteria and viruses, Giardia cysts and Cryptosporidium oocysts, and many nuisance minerals, as well as harmful chemicals like lead, copper, nitrates, sodium, some organic contaminants and chlorine. But distillation also removes the water's natural minerals, leaving the water "flat" tasting. And, some organic contaminants like chloroform and cleaning fluid (solvents) may leave the water with the steam and end up in the final water when the steam is cooled, so most water distillers have added treatment to prevent any organics in the steam from ending up in the final product.

Many people keep a store-bought container of distilled water for use in steam irons and car batteries and for watering plants. And because most of the minerals are missing, using distilled water to make tea or coffee will avoid a buildup of white calcium-magnesium scale on the kettle or pot. A home water softener will also take care of this problem.

Except in special cases, such as removing salt from seawater to make drinking water, distilled water is too expensive for your public water supplier to treat large volumes of water, and it is really not necessary to treat your water to such an extent.

For more information on this and many other water-related topics, check out "Plain Talk About Drinking Water" by Dr. James M. Symons.

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