Do you know that an adult cannot survive without distilled water, but can survive without food for several weeks, but only for a few days without water.About half to two-thirds of our body weight consists of water, which is essential for the functioning of nearly all the processes which occur in the body.
What is in our drinking distilled water?
As well as being non-hazardous to health, it is also important that our water tastes pleasant. By law, water companies must maintain a public register containing the results of their regulatory monitoring of each supply zone. You are entitled to inspect the register and to have a free copy of the information for your zone. A commentary of any breaches of the standard must be provided.
What about lead in our drinking water?
Consuming lead dissolved or suspended in water over an extended period can result in poisoning. Water companies must treat water to minimize lead content. The World
Health Organization recently announced a new guideline of 10µg per liter.
Increased interest in the importance of a healthy diet has lead to closer scrutiny of the quality of our drinking water by many people.
Distilled water companies test for lead levels at consumers’ taps. If lead is present, it probably comes from the domestic pipes. Although lead pipes were banned from new homes in the 1970s, about 60% of UK homes still have them. It is the responsibility of the householder to check for lead piping and to replace it. Soft water areas are also more likely to have a high lead content.
What about other contaminants?
Nitrates can filter into waterways from the artificial fertilizer and manure used in farming. High levels can cause a rare condition in babies which reduces oxygen flow to the brain and other tissues. The body converts nitrates into nitrosamines, some of which are suspected of causing cancer, although there is presently no conclusive evidence of this. Pesticides and herbicides used in farming may also seep into rivers and end up in the water supply. Aluminum is occasionally added to improve watercolor and remove suspended organic matter. The legal standard level for aluminum is 0.2mg per liter of water.
Research is continuing into whether such low concentrations may be a factor in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, which causes progressive dementia.
Chlorine is added to water to kill bacteria which can cause typhoid, gastroenteritis, and cholera. It can react with naturally occurring organic matter to form trihalomethanes, some of which are linked to cancer.
Legal Standard For Concentrations Of Chemicals In Drinking distilled water
The levels of chemicals in our water, such as nitrates, Pesticides and aluminum are all controlled by legislation to come within standard concentration levels. These levels are shown below in the chart in milligrams (mg) or micrograms (µg)” per liter. They reflect safety estimates for a lifetime of drinking water. However, occasional breaches of these limits are not necessarily dangerous to health.
*a µg is one 1000th of a milligram.
Chemical Per liter
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons 0.2µg
Pesticides 0.1 µg of any one pesticide per liter
(0.5µg total pesticides per liter)
Sales of bottled water have gone up in the last decade as concern has increased about the quality and taste of tap water.
Bottled waters may be classified as natural mineral water, or spring or spa waters, suggesting they are a healthy alternative.
Distilled water do not need a minimum mineral content to be classified as such, but’ they must meet the Natural Mineral Waters Regulations.
These require that the water is bottled at source, free from pollution and harmful bacteria, and safe to drink without treating it in any way which would change the mineral or microbiological content.
Other distilled water must also be fit for human consumption. Many bottled glasses of water are ground water which has filtered through the earth.
Where there is a rock fault, the water can surface and form a spring, or it can be collected by drilling bore holes.
Water from a shallow source may be a few days old, whereas deep sources contain water that fell long ago.
The minerals collected depend on how quickly they dissolve in water and how long the water has been in contact with the rocks. Continental waters tend to have a higher mineral content than British ones.
Tests have shown that still bottled distilled water can contain higher levels of bacteria than those found in tap water.
These bacteria are not necessarily harmful. Regulations set bacteria limits measured within half a day of bottling, but as many are consumed weeks or months after bottling, the bacteria can multiply.
Once opened, bottled water should be kept in a refrigerator and consumed within 48 hours.
What about distilled water?
Domestic water filters may remove impurities from tap water, but they have been criticized due to a potential risk of bacterial contamination.
Using a disposable filter and storing water in the fridge minimizes this risk.
If you have queries about. Or problems with your drinking distilled water, contact your local water company.
If you are not satisfied with the response, you can ask for an investigation by the environmental health officer of your local council, or through your local Customer Service Committee of the Office of Water Services.