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Purified water refers to all types of water from which chemicals are removed via a variety of different processes. The simplest of these processes are available to consumers with water filters that help sort out some of the chemical compounds found in tap water. Other more expensive filters use a reverse osmosis technique, which helps shunt chemicals in the water to the side while leaving the remaining water free of most commonly found chemicals. Distilled water and deionized water are also considered purified.
Distillation of water generally means boiling the water so that any chemicals present are separated in the process. As water steam or vapor rise from a boiling batch, it is captured in tubes and allowed to cool back down to liquid state. Such a process can remove many chemicals from water, since they won’t turn into a vapor state. Often, water is double distilled.
Another form of purified water is deionized water. The process to deionize water is less expensive than distillation. Special chemicals are added to the water, which bond to the dissolved salts in water. These remove the chemicals, leaving behind water that is very pure, even free of most bacteria. Deionizing water takes less time, and requires less work, but for human consumption, you’re more likely to see distilled water in stores than deionized water.
A variety of filtration methods and reverse osmosis make up the sum of ways in which you can achieve purified water. Not all methods result in the purified water that you can get from distillation or deionization. Some trace elements may not be filtered out using other processes; yet generally most purified water as sold for drinking has lower levels of chemicals than does normal tap water.
You may tend to think of using water than has been purified for human and possibly animal consumption. For years, there have been arguments over whether drinking such water, as opposed to tap water, is beneficial. In areas where high levels of unsafe compounds have been noted in water, it may be far better to choose purified water. In emergency settings, it can be imperative to drink only bottled water, if sewage has contaminated the regular water supply.
Sometimes, the trace minerals in tap water can be of benefit. You may lose calcium, fluoride, and a variety of salts when you drink purified water instead of water from the tap. There are arguments for and against the consumption of purified and/or tap water, and most people should take a look at these arguments before making a decision on which water to drink.
There is less argument about the use of purified water for various machines and in a variety of chemical applications or laboratory work. Some scientific experiments require water that is exceptionally pure in order to be certain that any trace elements remaining don’t affect experiments or testing results. In various industries, water that has most metallic salts removed via deionization or distillation can be preferred so that mineral buildup doesn’t occur in machines or their constituent parts. Even on the home front, you might want to use distilled or deionized water in your coffee pot, iron or humidifier to prevent minerals collecting in these devices and reducing the life of these appliances.