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>Comparison header

>There are precisely TWO DIFFERENT WAYS in which to compare water purification systems with each other:

  • On the basis of their comparative performance and cost
  • On the basis of their attributes to health and well-being

The following two sections summarize these two different comparisons. Our reasons for presenting this information is not one of confrontation or to be argumentative. These are technical and cost factors which tend to be overlooked or intentionally discarded in the rush by most water products manufacturers and distributors to "make the sale". It is important that you as a consumer have accurate information in hand before you purchase any type of home water treatment or purification system.

On the other hand, we do not pretend to be your doctor or nurse but feel obligated to present the latest and most pertinent information on the health aspects of various types of waters, as available from the open literature and as produced by the various water treatment systems.

Although additional types of water treatment systems are available(such as ultraviolet, ozone, deionization, etc) we will limit our discussion to the three most popular types of water treatment systems: steam distillation, reverse osmosis and filtration.

Comparison vs performance & cost

All water treatment systems have a finite lifetime and during that lifetime their performance may vary, depending on system type. Most manufacturers like to discuss the capabilities of their systems at the time of purchase and ignore possible system performance degradation as a function of time.

At the beginning of life(fresh off the shelf) distillation, reverse osmosis and carbon filtration systems remove, respectively, decreasing levels of contaminants on their first day or hours of use. The actual percentage depends on they TYPE of contaminant being removed by the device. The types of contaminants being removed by each type of device(% and type of contaminant) are discussed later on this page). However, in general one can construct the type of chart shown below which illustrates not only the initial performance comparison of the three systems, but the long term water quality(or % contaminant removal) expected with each type of system.

Since both carbon filtration and reverse osmosis systems use components(filter elements and membranes) which become depleted, worn out or simply exhausted over a period of time, the types of curves shown below represent a top-level comparison of the three types of water treatment systems.

One can see very quickly that if a certain amount of time passed before components of the filter or reverse osmosis systems were changed, the consumer would be drinking what amounts to tap water.

By comparison, distillation produces virtually totally pure water, not only at the onset of operation but day after day, month after month and even year after year. This is because natural processes are at work in the distillation system---team and gravity. Steam is always produced by the boiling process of distillation(see introductory chart on distillation) while gravity is always on the job, separating dissolved solids from the steam.

Expendable membranes and filters which comprise the heart of reverse osmosis and filtration systems cannot compete with the purity of water at the onset of system operation or over time, when compared with water distillation.

Conclusions: With the Sole Exception of Steam Distillation, all other home use water treatment systems provided a progressively degraded quality of water.

Distillation is completely alone in its ability to remove dangerous bacteria and other \micro-organisms. Other systems may act a s a fertile breeding ground for bacteria - providing a potentially dangerous environment for individuals sensitive to bacterial contaminants - for example any immune system disorder plus individuals on chemotherapy, antibiotics, children with cystic fibrosis, diabetics, etc.


There are four(4) general categories of contaminants in water supplies:

  • Biological entities
  • Heavy Metals(not related to any rock band)
  • Organic Chemicals
  • Inorganic chemicals

If one could select which of these categories of water contaminants were the most important or had the most devastating effect on human health, it would be the first category, biological. See Pathogens, Bacteria page for more information.

More individuals are becoming ill(many seriously), worldwide, by exposure to biological contaminants in drinking water than any other type of water contaminant. In fact, with an incredible increase in all types of immune deficient health conditions, biological hazards are taking on an even greater importance to consumers as well as water treatment experts.

With this in mind, if one compares the effectiveness of the three systems, we find that only Steam Distillation and Ceramic filtration removes all bacteria, pathogenic or otherwise, from the incoming water. Carbon filters are known breeding grounds for bacteria. Carbon filters impregnated with silver only slow the growth rate of bacteria(that is why they are referred to as "bacteriostatic" rather than "bactericidal" systems. Reverse osmosis systems also do not remove microbiological contaminants. In fact, like carbon filters, they are known to act as breeding grounds for bacteria.

One of the pivotal studies which conclusively proved that reverse osmosis systems acted as intensive breeding grounds for bacteria appeared in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, April 1991. p945-948.

 In this milestone study, entitled "Gastrointestinal Health Effects Associated with the Consumption of Drinking Water Produced by Point-of-Use Domestic Reverse-Osmosis Filtration Units" clearly demonstrated that individuals using reverse osmosis water systems were exposed to levels of filter-induced bacteria similar to what is encountered in third-workd countries. This is clearly news that the US reverse osmosis industry does not want you the hear.

Information such as this has been suppressed from the US press. In fact, when the story originally broke and while we were writing several articles for the national water press, we approached one of the major water monthly publications and proposed discussing this issue as part of a larger treatment of microbiological water problems.

The editor told me that even though the Canadian study was factual and apparently without fault, it would be impossible for him to include such materials in his publication because the US reverse osmosis manufacturers who advertised profusely in his magazine would tear him apart. This disturbing incident led us to produce another article entitled Censored Science which appears on this Web Site.

Our point in discussing this particular example is quite simple: what is sometimes promoted by the water industry and its dealers does not necessary track with the facts. Do not be misled by crafty advertising brochures which give the impression that a particular device or system is capable of doing more than it scientifically is capable of doing. Many manufacturers and their dealers would dearly love to have their systems "grow up" to do things that more capable systems routinely do.



















 Microbiological  NO  PARTIAL  YES  YES  NO  YES
 Organics  YES  YES  NO  YES  YES  YES
 Radioactivity  NO NO NO NO PARTIAL YES

Some filtration companies add various types of silver to their filter compositions, claiming that the silver creates a "bacteriostatic" condition to reduce bacteria contamination. That may be true for non-pathogenic(benign) bacteria types, but we have yet to see any type of filter manufacturer recommend the use of their filter under water conditions when bacteria which causes illness are found.

The same story is true regarding home-use type reverse osmosis systems: no manufacturers claim(or can legally claim) that their system is a "purifier", capable of dealing with biological contaminants.

In three recent national emergencies(the Northridge California Earthquake, the Loma Prieta California Earthquake and the Cryptosporidium outbreak in Milwaukee, Wisconsin), officials warned the public not to drink water processed by methods than boiling or distillation. We saw no evidence whatsoever of dealers or manufacturers promoting reverse osmosis or filtration technologies for these situations.

So, here were cases when it was important to remove dangerous contaminants from drinking water. And, both filtration and reverse osmosis failed to be effective in removing those dangerous contaminants. Why, one would ask, is there any reason, other than aesthetic water taste or odor, to buy a water treatment system such as reverse osmosis or filtration if it is the intent of the consumer to be protected against dangerous water contaminants such as bacteria?

A homeowner buys a homeowner's insurance policy to protect him or her 24 hours a day, 365 days per year against the house burning down. The policy protects the homeowner on the days when there is no danger to the homeowners property as well as on the day when the house may burn down.

So, if a homeowner buys a water treatment system, he or she is buying it with the intent that it will protect them on the "good days" when there may NOT be dangerous contaminants in the water as well as the day or hour when there could be dangerous contaminants(bacteria) in the water.

In the case of carbon filtration and reverse osmosis, these systems will work only on the "good water" days and fail on the "bad water" days. Is that a smart investment?


An exception to the situation above is ceramic filtration technology where ceramic materials are compressed into a densely packed arrangement, effectively blocking the movement or migration of particles smaller than 0.2 to 0.3 microns. This is the size of the smallest known microbiological contaminants. Therefore, ceramic filtration systems are useful in removing bacteria from unsafe water supplies. When combined with carbon, these systems become even more effective in dealing with water contamination problems which may contain BOTH bacteria and dangerous organic chemicals---problems one may find in Y2K or other domestic emergencies. See the section on Emergency Water Systems.

Health Comparison


>Distilled Water Structure

This is what a normal, natural collection or cluster of pure water molecules looks like---a six-sided, hexagonal form. What you see at the right is the energy pattern emitted by six symmetrically arranged water molecules. This arrangement of water molecules is created by the loose hydrogen bonds between atoms of hydrogen and oxygen in adjacent water molecules .

Biochemists and particle physicists tell us that this hexagonal form is the form which occurs naturally in pure rain, fresh snow ,AND DISTILLED WATER.

They also say it is the best type of water "structure" for

  • maximum hydration of the body's cells;
  • maximum transfer of nutrients into the cells; and
  • is best suited for electrical communications between cells.

All of this remained unknown until recently when extremely sensitive electronics devices were able to identify low-level energy patterns which are radiated from various materials, including water.

Finally, these same biochemists tell us that a HEALTHY BODY has water molecules which are PREDOMINANTLY SIX SIDED in structure as shown above. A WATER DISTILLER will produce water with this hexagonal characteristic---identical to naturally occurring water from pure rain or fresh snow(remember all snowflakes have six sides/points).




Here we see another type of water molecule arrangement---one which has five(5) molecules joined by the weak hydrogen bond. It also is a "clean" type of water but has an un-natural or deformed cluster structure.

Biochemists who have studied these water structures in both nature and in humans tell us that this type of "unnatural" water structure is found in humans and animals where the IMMUNE SYSTEM IS MALFUNCTIONING. In particular, this type of pentagonal(5-sided) water structure is found in AIDS, HIV and other immune deficient individuals and all protein systems that are disease producing.

This is indeed astonishing. Whereas the six-sided water "cluster" found in rain, show and distilled water is found in YOUNG or HEALTHY individuals and other healthy protein forms, unhealthy individuals, older individuals and protein systems which are prone to disease have this deformed, un-natural water structure.


There is no reason to believe that those individuals who possess this un-natural type of water structure in the bodies, and whose immune system is dysfunctional got that condition by drinking reverse osmosis water. What one can conclude at this point is that there appears to be a distinct, "un-natural" structure to the all-important aspect of cellular water in both illness prone humans, disease producing proteins and reverse osmosis water.

 While the process of "osmosis" is a known NATURAL phenomena, the process of "reverse osmosis" is EXACTLY OPPOSITE to that original, natural(osmosis) process. In other words, REVERSE osmosis is an un-natural process---and appears to be producing a relatively clean but un-natural type of water.

It is possible that in the rush to produce water treatment systems(for drinking) which produce water which is relatively free of inorganics, heavy metals and organic contaminants, the equipment engineers have overlooked perhaps the most important aspect of water itself---its intrinsic, natural structure and its healthful aspects for the body.

It is also important to remember that reverse osmosis systems were initially developed to produce "clean" water for industrial purposes 50 years ago. No thought was given at that time to the factors discussed above, obviously because of the lack of adequate instrumentation to measure the extremely important energy aspects of the "water structures" shown above.


Here we have water at probably its worst energy state---possessing no structure, no organization whatsoever and, according to biochemists, essentially useless in the three areas we noted above(cellular hydration, nutrient transfer and inter-cellular communications).

Dissolved minerals(inorganic materials) such as calcium, sodium, chemical compounds completely "de-structure" the water molecules, breaking the loose hydrogen/oxygen bonds illustrated at the beginning of this page.

Water which is produced by simple carbon, sediment or even ceramic filtration procedures does not remove the inorganic materials which produce the un-structured water product shown below.

>Tap Water (un)structured

The result is a "mish-mash" of water structures, similar to what biochemists tell us occurs in situations where proton densities are low(er).

Naturally, this brings up the next and perhaps most controversial question related to water treatment, filtration and purification systems, MINERALS IN THE WATER---do we need them?.

Sources for the above include Dr. L. Lorenzen and Dr. J. Mushuk


It is important to remember that every type of home water purifier as well as every type of "purified" drinking water has it's individual advantages or meets a specific customer or industrial need.

In the final analysis, selecting a specific type of home water purifier or type of "purified" bottled water simply reduces to how pure you want your drinking water. Once you decide how pure the water needs to be, you have selected the system you need:

Minimally purified(filtered) water: use a carbon filter(do not use silver-impregnated filter systems)

Partially purified water: use a reverse osmosis system(and have the unit checked for proper performance every couple of months)

Completely purified water: steam distillation with carbon prefiltration.


How do you know what type of water purifier is best suited for you, in your residential area?

First, consider the fact that the quality of tap water in your area may be vastly different from that of a friend a few miles away who receives his or her tap water from a completely different set of water sources.

Additionally, seasonal changes to water sources may dramatically change the quality of your water on a monthly or even weekly basis. The reaction of municipal water treatment facilities to changing source water conditions can produce even more dramatic changes in the taste, odor and visual condition of your water(chlorine, ammonia, lime, acids, etc.)

Also, each of us have different bodily capabilities to ward off colds, infections or even chemical contaminants from air and water. Therefore, a chemical, salt or metal contaminant from water which might not affect another person might be successful in attacking your body, or vice versa. And this could vary from contaminant to contaminant, and possibly from chemical to chemical.

 Considering these variables and unknowns about possible chemical contaminants, and combinations thereof, inadequate water treatment, outdated water plumbing systems and other hazards, water purification at the POINT-OF-USE, in the home using a STEAM DISTILLATION SYSTEM WITH A CARBON PREFILTER will ensure the highest quality of drinking water possible .

Choose the system which is CONSISTENT WITH THE OTHER PORTIONS OF YOUR FAMILY'S LIFESTYLE. If you are concerned about good nutrition, good rest and exercise, steam distilled water is CONSISTENT WITH THAT LIFESTYLE!

Rapidly increasing pollution of water sources used by our municipal water systems has forced a great number of your friends and neighbors to find more reliable sources of pure, clean drinking water.

In this search for better drinking water, the consumer is faced with two alternatives: bottled water or home water purifiers. Bottled water comes under many labels---"spring", "mineral", "drinking", "purified", "filtered", "distilled", and others.

On the other hand, a home water purifier will produce various qualities of drinking water in the consumers home---the quality depending directly on the technique used---filtration, reverse osmosis(a type of filtration) or steam distillation.

Many people are misled or confused by these various systems---in many cases assuming that the quality of water obtained from any one of these three types of systems would be basically the same---very pure, very clean, etc.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. Only distillation is capable of removing virtually all of the five major categories of water pollution: bacterial contaminants, inorganics(salts), heavy metals, organic (carbon-based) chemicals, and radioactive contaminants.

A wide variety of articles which have appeared in local and national newsprint related to the problem(s) associated with the analysis and purchasing of home water treatment devices is given below. The list will expand on a regular basis so plan to revisit the site to review and enjoy the subsequent articles.

"Censored Science "- What the media and science is keeping from you regarding your drinking water.

"HOME WATER PURIFIERS---SORTING FACT FROM FICTION --WHEN NEEDS TURN TO GREED": A candid look at how many water dealers and manufacturers have forgotten that providing pure water to the public is a service function. The view of many of these companies is one of how best to rip off the customer instead.

"Drinking Water - Sorting Facts from Confusion:" a collection of questions you should review which will assist you in determining what type of issue are important when considering a home water purification system or simply purchasing water for drinking purposes.

Reality vs. Hype in the Water Industry: a candid look at the reality which sets in once water dealers feet are placed to the fire by circumstances which expose various types of water treatment devices to serious challenges.

Home Water Purification Systems: the Good, Bad and the Ugly: another insight into the inner workings of the water purification industry.

Drinking Water - Natural versus Synthetic: a unique view of water and its relationship to good health.

For a lighter side look at system comparisons, Go to "Politically Correct Water Purifiers"