1) Barrier versus Non-Barrier. Reverse osmosis is a process that employs a barrier in its operation. On one side of the barrier is raw water and on the other is filtered water. All barriers eventually break down, clog and deteriorate which is why you have to change your filters periodically. This means that you never know how effective the membrane (filter) is, or what contaminants are passing through this barrier. The process of distillation does not involve a “barrier”, but rather it boils the water (which kills biological contaminants), then separates and captures only the pure steam.
2) Consistency of Performance. Any number of factors can affect the quality of water produced by a RO system, such as temperature, pH, water pressure, water quality, age of the membrane, deterioration of the membrane, etc. With a distiller, none of these variables affect the actual outcome of the process, which means that water distillers produce excellent results year after year.
3) Bacteria. Reverse osmosis systems do not kill bacteria or other biological contaminants, and can actually cause bacteria to grow and multiply in the membrane. In fact, if you tap water is contaminated with bacteria you should NOT use a reverse osmosis system. Distillation on the other hand actually boils the water, which kills biological contaminants and then it removes and separates the pure steam, leaving the dead bacteria behind.
Thank you for your excellent question. As a starting point, I want to clarify that we use distillation as our core treatment technology because it consistently removes the largest range of contaminants, but we also incorporate other treatment methods into our water distillers. There is no treatment process that is perfect, distillation included.
A good rule of thumb is that distillation is extremely effective in removing contaminants that have a higher boiling point than water, which is the vast majority of contaminants. There are some inorganic and organic chemicals that have a lower boiling point than water, such as chlorine. We handle this in two ways…
First, our distillers incorporate twin volatile gas vents, a patented feature. These are two small holes that allow gases that are lighter than air, such as chlorine to harmlessly vent out.
Second, all of our water distillers incorporate carbon filters, which are very effective at removing these gases that still happen to be present. Since we are running distilled water through the carbon filters we can make these filters last a very long time and we avoid the normal problems of carbon filters which include bacterial contamination.
We have tested the effectiveness of our machines on chlorine with and without a carbon filter. Without a carbon filter we achieved a 93% to 95% removal rate of chlorine. With the carbon filter we achieved a 99% plus (which means that no chlorine was detected).
I have a question about this quote: “…removes and separates the pure steam, leaving the dead bacteria behind.”
How are chemicals such as chlorine removed from tap water? Won’t chlorine and other harmful chemicals simply vaporize with the water vapor? How then does the distiller separate the chlorine vapor from the water vapor?
x-ray technician says
Great information! I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now. Thanks!