Filtered or Purified Water
Is it filtered? Is it purified?
What's the difference? Isn't it the same?
How do I know if the water I'm drinking is clean?
I heard tap water is just as clean as bottled water, is that true?
Are plastic bottles safe to drink from?
With so many questions circling around the purity of the water of the water we drink it's probably best to clarify what defines the methods used to make our water potable (drinkable).
In this post we will discuss the differences between filtered water and purified water.
Understanding the methods used for providing clean drinking water will help you make informed choices about the water you and your family choose to drink at home and on the road.
Technically pure water only contains hydrogen and oxygen, however, "pure" water does not naturally occur in the world because all water contains some impurities. These impurities such as minerals and other elements are known to pass through rivers and streams where natural earthly sediments are found. Most municipal systems collect from ground water and this source may contain a variety of pesticides, industrial waste, herbicides, viruses and many types of bacteria.
Pure water as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) means the water no longer contains any bacteria or viruses. A water purification system is purposed to remove bacteria and viruses but not undesirable chemicals and essential minerals. The purification process used by most municipal water systems involves the use of chlorine in a chlorination process that disinfects the water before it is shared with the public.
Keep in mind that, the chemicals such as iodine, chlorine and fluoride used to disinfect remain in the water and this may be of concern if high levels of these chemicals are consumed on a regular basis, because they can cause illness.
Another concern is that there are chlorine resistant parasites like giardia and cryptosporidium, that also might remain in the water after the purification process and this is where water filtration is required to complete the process of providing safe drinking water.
In order to provide clean filtered water for the home, we go a step further by taking the purified water and straining any remaining impurities from it.
The process of reverse osmosis is excellent for eliminating contaminants such as asbestos, lead, radium and can even remove radiological contaminants such as strontium and radioactive plutonium.
Activated carbon elements are commonly used in gravity fed containers, filtered water pitchers or other stand-alone devices and when it is used in conjunction with a reverse osmosis system can deliver the highest level of filtration.
The selection of more advanced filtered water devices are more readily available online and be aware that those you find in local retail stores only filter minimal levels of contamination.