Demineralized water is a rather simple subject hounded by a great deal of misinformation, particularly online. My post today aims to set the record straight.
Before we begin, a bit about me, as this is my first post. My name is JoAnne Cluth and I head up the customer service department at online water filters company WaterFilters.NET. We sell an incredible variety of water filters and filtration equipment, meaning we have no vested interest in any one particular solution.
While my company does not have a vested interest in any one particular type of water filter or filtration system, I personally have a vested interest in providing you with the most accurate information possible. I am a Water Quality Association (WQA) Certified Water Specialist (CWS.) If I were to intentionally publish inaccurate information, the WQA could very quickly revoke my CWS credentials.
To get started, what exactly is demineralized water? I’ll warn you now – this section gets a bit science-heavy so I’ll try to keep it brief. Water is, flat out, an amazing solvent. It dissolves small amounts of nearly everything it touches. These various substances are then mingled in with the water as positively or negatively charged ions.
As it relates to what’s in your drinking water, you’ll better know these ions as calcium, magnesium, arsenic, aluminum, potassium, etc. Average municipal water has a huge variety of ions that are constantly combining, separating and recombining forming potentially millions of molecular substances, depending on the specific water chemistry.
Demineralized water has been deionized, meaning the ions (minerals) have been removed by any of several possible methods including deionization water filters (such as the Pentek deionization water filter to the left), reverse osmosis or distillation.
Here’s where the misinformation comes in. Some web retailers, selling remineralizing products, claim that demineralized water is unhealthy and will consume the minerals from your body, causing a whole range of maladies. One study that suggests the possibility of physical detriment from continuous consumption of demineralized water comes from the World Health Organization (see the WHO study summary here.)
The WQA was invited by the WHO to respond to the study and their response can be seen here. The WQA concluded that there simply are not enough minerals at stake to make any significant difference, especially when we are talking about people eating a relatively balanced diet.
Drinking demineralized water will not significantly decrease overall mineral intake, and drinking highly mineralized water, also known as hard water, does not significantly increase mineral intake (though hard water may ruin your shower.) Thus, you could drink demineralized water exclusively and your mineral intake will remain largely unaffected. It is possible to make an argument that small quantities of minerals are very important for those with impoverished diets, but that’s a whole different discussion. For the average American I think it’s reasonable to assert that this is an extremely minor concern, particularly when you consider the benefits of drinking extremely pure water, and not consuming any number of contaminants that may otherwise be present.
The other argument is that demineralized water is unhealthy due to acidity. The EPA standard for water pH is 6.5-8.5 with 7.0 being absolute neutral and anything below 7.0 being acidic. This argument actually has some merit, but not as a blanket generalization.
It is possible for demineralized water to end up having a pH lower than the EPA guideline of 6.5, but this is not always the case. The initial pH of the water before it is demineralized and the overall water chemistry will affect the final pH. In some cases reverse osmosis will cause a full point reduction in pH, but not always.
The same is true for deionization. It depends on many variables. Quality pH testing before and after is the only way to know, and predicting the outcome is nearly impossible unless detailed laboratory water analysis is employed. Raising the pH back within EPA guidelines is inexpensive and easy with a calcite filter which is simply adding a small amount of calcium back into the water. A common calcite water filter from Crystal Quest is pictured to the left.
Demineralized water is not necessary in every application and is not the best fit for everyone. But if and when demineralized water is the solution you need, there is no shortage of products in our inventory that can help you with your needs.
If you have any questions about demineralized water, including whether it’s the right water solution for your family, I encourage you to call my customer service team at 1-888-801-PURE so they can ensure you select the right products for your needs.
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