Filtered Water vs Boiled Water: Which is safer to drink?We have always been taught that boiling water helps to remove bacteria and make it safe for consumption. However, with the introduction of water filters, the options for obtaining safe drinking water have expanded. Although both filtered and boiled water are effective in eliminating contaminants, each comes with its own set of limitations, and understanding these is vital to determining which is safer to drink.
Understanding the limitations of filtered and boiled waterWhen it comes to removing contaminants, water filters are incomparable. They are capable of eliminating impurities such as chlorine, pesticides, and volatile organic compounds. However, filters may not remove all germs and pathogens, and this makes the water unsafe for individuals with weakened immune systems.
Some of the limitations of filtered water include:
- It may not remove all microorganisms
- The filter may need to be regularly replaced, making it expensive in the long run
- There may be variations in the level of impurities each filter can eliminate
Some of the limitations of boiled water include:
- It does not filter out other contaminants such as lead or other heavy metals
- If boiled for prolonged periods, it may affect the taste of the water
- Boiling may cause some minerals to become more concentrated, posing health risks
Possible risks of boiling filtered waterBoiling filtered water may pose some risks that consumers may not be aware of. Boiling water may concentrate certain minerals, such as fluoride, which can be harmful to children. High levels of fluoride can cause dental fluorosis, a condition causing brown stains on the teeth.
Some of the possible risks of boiling filtered water include:
- Concentration of minerals such as fluoride
- Boiling may cause the release of harmful substances such as lead from plumbing fixtures and pipes
- Prolonged boiling may cause the water to have a high salt concentration
The effectiveness of water filters in removing microbes and contaminantsWater filters are effective at removing harmful contaminants from drinking water. They are known to eliminate impurities such as chlorine, lead, and other heavy metals and volatile organic compounds. Filters that use activated charcoal are especially effective at eliminating impurities, ensuring that the water is safe for drinking.
Some of the benefits of using water filters include:
- Removal of impurities and contaminants
- Easy to install and replace
- Improvement of taste and odor of water
How does boiling affect the quality of water?Boiling water for prolonged periods may lead to the development of a foul taste or odor. This is because boiling causes water to lose a significant amount of dissolved gases, such as oxygen and carbon dioxide, which may impact its overall quality. Additionally, boiling water may lead to the concentration of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and fluoride.
Some of the effects of boiling water include:
- Loss of dissolved gases such as oxygen and carbon dioxide
- Concentration of minerals in the water
- Boiled water may have a flat taste or odor
Alternatives to boiling or filtering water for drinking purposesThere are a number of alternatives that can be used to obtain safe drinking water without the need to boil or filter the water. Some of these include purchasing bottled water, utilizing rainwater harvesting systems, or investing in a water distiller.
Some of the benefits of these alternatives include:
- Bottled water is readily available and easy to use
- Rainwater harvesting is eco-friendly and easy to set up
- Water distillers eliminate impurities and contaminants