Water Treatment & Distillation

The Ultimate Water Treatment Process

We live in an increasingly toxic world. There are a huge number of possible contaminants that could potentially be in tap water, many of which could affect the health. While most people are aware of filters as a solution, water distillers are often overlooked. The practice of purifying water through the process of distillation is ancient, yet it is still the single most effective way to purify water. Anyone who wants the highest level of protection from toxins in their water should invest in a water distiller. 

Some of the advantages of distillation include:

  • Provides the highest degree of protection from the broadest spectrum of contaminants including biological contaminants, toxic metals, radioactive contaminants and petrochemicals.
  • Provides consistent performance without reduction in purity over time, unlike filters that deteriorate over time.
  • Can be used on dangerous, biologically contaminated water (depending on the product design).
  • Can desalinate ocean water (depending on product design).
  • Is recommended by the American Red Cross for treating dangerously contaminated water in an emergency situation.

The easiest way to understand distillation is to understand how nature purifies water, because distillation duplicates nature’s process. Think about this basic question, “Where does fresh water come from?” The answer: rain. Rain is the source of lakes, rivers, streams, glaciers and even underground aquifers. So where does rain come from? Rain primarily comes from the oceans, which consists of highly contaminated water. Nature purifies water through the process of evaporation, condensation and precipitation.


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Here’s how it happens. The sun provides heat to the oceans, which causes the water to evaporate. When water changes from a liquid to a vapor it let’s go of the contaminants. The salt and other contaminants stay behind in the ocean while the pure water vapor then rises and condenses into clouds. The clouds move inland and release the water as precipitation. Rain is very pure water (although in today’s toxic world the rainwater can pick up airborne contaminants before it even hits the ground).

Moreover, distillation duplicates this process of evaporation, condensation and precipitation in an appliance. First of all, contaminated water enters the boiling tank. Water is brought to a boil, which kills bacteria, viruses and parasites and converts the water from a liquid to a vapor (steam). The steam then rises while the contaminants are left behind in the boiling tank. The pure steam is then separated into a separate container and is then cooled back down into liquid water, which is now distilled water.

“… distillation duplicates this process of evaporation, condensation and precipitation in an appliance”

Another way to look at this process of evaporation, condensation and precipitation is that it is water’s built-in purification method. So a water distiller is not actually purifying the water, but rather it is facilitating water’s built-in purification process. Or in other words, the water is purifying itself. You can also see why the distillation process produces consistently pure water forever, because this process of evaporation, condensation and precipitation never changes.

In short, freshly produced distilled water tastes very good. Most good water distillers also use a carbon filter in order to remove any bad tasting vapors that may pass over with the steam. Some people also like to add minerals back into the distilled water, which is easy to do. Furthermore, distillers come in all sizes, from small household sizes to large industrial distillers. While most water distillers require electricity, some don’t. A new type of water distiller (the Survival Still) is small, inexpensive and simple and is designed to allow families to treat water from a wide range of water sources, even ocean water, and does not require electricity.

Glenn Meder
Leading expert on water in an emergency situation
Designer of the Survival Still emergency water distiller