The primary difference between distilled water and spring water is the purification process, though there may also be differences when it comes to where the water comes from or how it is processed. In general, spring water has been pumped from a natural spring, and usually contains a number of minerals. Manufactures filter it for impurities like dirt and bacteria, but typically leave the minerals and other naturally occurring elements in to improve the overall taste. Distilled water, on the other hand, is boiled for so long that the water molecules become vapour, essentially shedding both impurities and minerals. The result is a very pure product that contains basically nothing but hydrogen and oxygen.
People can typically drink both versions, though distilled water is not usually designed for hydration. While spring water is often marketed as a natural way to hydrate the body, distilled versions are more commonly used in settings that requite ultra-pure water, like heavy industry or scientific labs. It may also be recommended for use in household appliances since the lack of minerals means there won’t usually be any build-up over time.
Lack of Minerals
Distilled water has had all of the naturally occurring minerals in tap or well water removed. If you only drink distilled water, you may not consume enough of the minerals present in tap water, such as magnesium or calcium, according to the World Health Organization. Consistently drinking distilled water may cause deficiency in one of the 14 micronutrients WHO identifies as necessary for your health.
One of the first things to think about when discussing distilled water and spring water is where each comes from. Spring water originates in natural ‘springs’, which are fresh water pools and streams that come from underground aquifers and are present in varying sizes in most parts of the world. Some springs are more renowned than others for their drinking water, and the mineral content can vary dramatically from place to place.
Distilled water might come from a spring, but it could just as easily come from a river, a reservoir, or even the ocean. Where distillation is concerned, the process is much more important than the source.
In the next volume, we’ll talk about further differences between spring water and distilled water and best uses for both.