In a follow up to our article Berkey water filters versus reverse osmosis systems, we will review a comparison of the Berkey systems and distillation systems. There are some similarities in the performance results of reverse osmosis and distillation, so we recommend you read the initial comparison first as a foundation to this article.
Beneficial Minerals in the Water
Just like reverse osmosis systems, distillation strips out the beneficial minerals from the water making it an acidic, "hypotonic" solution. To reiterate the danger of this, the repetitive drinking of mineral free water will cause a leeching of bodily minerals as part of the body's natural mechanism to achieve homeostasis. Over time, depletion of minerals in the body will occur and can result in negative health consequences. We recommend adding a trace mineral supplement to the water post-distillation.
The Black Berkey filters that come standard with all our Berkey water filter systems are purposefully designed to leave the beneficial minerals in the water to avoid this dangerous cycle of body demineralization.
Distillation requires power for the filtration process to occur. This will have an impact on your electricity bill, but also leave you stranded in the event of a power outage.
The Berkey water filters require no power to operate as they are gravity fed.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Distillation systems need to be soaked and cleaned with vinegar solution to remove the scale. The frequency of this cleaning will be determined by the mineral content of the water. This can range from cleaning the system after every other use to every other week.
The Black Berkey water filters last 6000 gallons per set of 2 and typically 5 years or more before replacement is needed. The fluoride filter needs to be replaced every 2 years or 1000 gallons. As for maintenance, we recommend washing the lower chamber of the system with soap and water once per month.
Not including cleaner costs, a typical distillation system will cost 35-50 cents per gallon to operate.
The Berkey water filter costs less than 2 cents per gallon and since it does not require electricity, there are no added energy costs.
Typically, the taste for distilled water is regarded as flat due to the lack of minerals in the water. This can be improved by added a trace mineral supplement to the water post-distillation.
The taste of Berkey water is regarded as very good unless there is an abundance of ionized minerals in the source water that negatively affect it. Our customers tell us daily how much they enjoy the taste of their berkey water.