Clean, safe water to drink is a top concern whether you live in the middle of the city or in a farming community. So how do you ensure that your water is pure and free from contaminants? While municipal water supplies are billed as safe, they often contain traces of pesticides, prescription drugs, and chemical run-off. Even well water on farms can be contaminated by fertilizers or an overabundance of minerals. To get reliably clean and trustworthy water, you need to make it yourself.
Making clean water at home has been done for centuries through the use of water distillers. These distillers can be electric or solar, but they all serve one goal – to provide you and your family with water you can trust. Read on to learn more about how home water distillers work, where you can get them, and the possibilities that exist for building your own.
How Water Distillers Work
Water distillers are based on very simple science. If you heat water until it evaporates, chemicals, minerals, and other pollutants are left behind while pure H2O rises. This H2O vapor can then be collected and cooled, resulting in water that has been distilled down to its purest form. Those who want really clean water can repeat the process multiple times, leading to double- or triple-distilled drinking water.
Most home water distillers use a heating element to evaporate water in fixed quantities. Water is poured or piped into the distiller, where the water is boiled into steam. The steam is captured and steered toward a cooling chamber, where it condenses back into drinking water and is chilled. Since some modern pesticides and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can also evaporate, pre- and post-filters are often added to strip these contaminants out of the water.
Once purchased or built, maintaining home distillers is generally quite simple. Periodically, you need to clean the mechanism to remove sediment and dissolve hard-water scales that can accumulate. If filters are being used, these should be changed on schedule. Still, even with maintenance, filter, and energy costs, the overall price of home distillation is only around 25 cents per gallon. Typical units produce around 100 gallons of treated water a day.
Where To Get Water Distillers
Home and commercial water distillers are not hard to find. Some home-goods stores offer countertop distillers for home use, while office-supply megastores offer them for commercial installation. Venture online, and you will find an almost unlimited selection of water distillers to choose from for your needs.
The key points to consider when buying water distillers is what you would like to use your distiller for on a regular basis. If you simply want to distill drinking water, a relatively small countertop unit may meet your needs. If you want to purify all the water that flows in your home or office, a commercial installation that can handle 1,000 or more gallons per day will be needed. Home units cost between $300 and $1,000, while commercial-capacity water distillers start above $1,000 and move up from there.
Building Your Own Water Distiller
Since water distillers are based on simple science, it is possible to build your own water distiller. The key components are a way to heat the water and a mechanism to trap or channel the water vapor into a cooling container. This can be as simple as a metal sheet above a boiling pot to steer water to an adjacent pot, or a multi-stage distillation system for unquestionably pure water.
To be 100% off the grid, rainwater collection and solar distillation systems are another easily built option. You need tubing to guide water flow from rain collection areas to evaporation chambers, glass to build the chambers, and a final storage area for clean water. Sloped correctly, a small amount of tubing, glass, and storage buckets can provide around three gallons of clean water per day, for an initial cost of less than $150 for all materials.
Clean, safe drinking water is not out of reach for anyone willing to distill their own water. Home water distillers are easy to build with materials commonly found in basic hardware stores, and they are even easier to buy and bring home. Since the costs are low and the hassle minimal, why tolerate less that trustworthy water? You can use traditional science to strip out modern contaminants and enjoy pure, delicious drinking water in every glass.