Update: January 10, 2013 The Vortex Non-electric Water Distiller Kit by Highwater Filters is now available. We have both kits installed in 5 gallon buckets and DIY kits available.
If you visit any online forums that focus on emergency preparedness, survivalism, or health issues, you are sure to find many posts that advocate for water distillation as the only method for water purification. The claims are not without merit. Water distillation works on a basic principle. By boiling contaminated water you can effectively remove the impurities through the method of condensation, and then convert the resulting water vapor, minus the contaminants, back to a liquid form.
According to the Minnesota Cooperative Extension website, “distilling removes about 99.5% of the impurities from the original water. Distillers are commonly used for removing nitrate, bacteria, sodium, hardness (dissolved solids), most organic compounds, heavy metals and radionucleides from water.”
The “pros” are obvious in that distilling is very effective in removing almost all contaminants from water. It’s a relatively simple technology and there are distillers available that don’t have many parts. Water can be distilled at home and is a way to purify many conditions of water including sea water, ditch water, sewer water, and other polluted water sources.
Before running out and buying a distiller (or surfing the web and clicking “buy it now”), you should make sure you consider any “cons” that distilled water has. One of the chief complaints people voice is that required minerals are removed from the water during the distilling process. Our good health depends on minerals found in the water we drink. Many people take supplements to offset this loss. This added expense should be factored in if you are concerned about costs.
Announcement May 15. 3 day flash sale happening right now on the Life Saver Distillers.
You should also consider energy requirements. The distillation process is energy intensive and electric distillers will use considerable juice. Estimates of electricity usage for a family of four range from $275 to $400 a year (MN Cooperative Extension). Non-electric distillers are a good option, but of course require a heat source to boil water.
Another “con” is that flow rates are limited with water distillation. Batch distillers, which require a chamber that water is poured into, can produce anywhere from 3 to 10 gallons of purified water per day. Although limited, this can be adequate for a family of four.
As I considered products to add to Highwater Filters webstore, I looked for water treatments that were in demand and practical for personal use. I am committed to offering alternatives to energy sucking technologies. I want to offer innovative ways to help you prepare for emergency situations or unhealthy conditions. As I searched for a high quality non-electric water distiller, I was excited to discover the Lifesaver Non-electric Portable Water Distiller kits made by Conquest International, LLC. They are well-made, of food grade stainless steel, and are manufactured in the USA. They are reasonably priced and just might be what you are looking for if your water is unpure, or if you want to be prepared for any emergency.