There are three main kinds of water available in India – tap water, bottled water, and filtered water. There are some differences between each type of water. In most places in India, water from the tap is not fit for consumption. Tap water is required to be boiled or filtered for consumption. In most rural areas, tap water is boiled to a roll and then cooled for drinking and cooking. In urban areas, water filters are used widely to filter tap water.
The normal water filters that use carbon for filtration (oldest filtration technique), offer more than 95% pure water. The other common types of purifiers are reverse osmosis (RO) purifiers and UV purifiers. RO purifiers filter water completely of all impurities (dissolved and otherwise), offering demineralized water. However, those who consume RO water need to take supplements to avoid deficiencies as RO purifiers remove the essential minerals required by our body. UV purifiers use UV rays to kill germs present in the water.
Bottled water is also called mineral water. As the name suggests, mineral water contains high mineral levels like calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, and magnesium. Mineral water is best for use during traveling or when pure water is not easily available. Mineral water also has some health benefits especially due to minerals like calcium and magnesium. However, older adults with high blood pressure or kidney diseases should consume mineral water in moderation only after consulting their doctor.
Is RO water good for health?
Reverse Osmosis (RO) is a process in which water is filtered by removing minerals and chemicals from it. It is one of the best forms of drinking water. Most RO purifiers remove all minerals from water, including essential minerals. Some purifiers assure that they add back the minerals in the water before letting it out.
Some minerals in water like calcium and magnesium (present in the dissolved state) are essential for health. The advised range of total dissolved solids (TDS) is between 50-80 ppm. As reverse osmosis removes all minerals, people who consume it may face mineral deficiencies. Seniors, especially those suffering from bone and joint disorders like arthritis, are likely to be affected more. Dental health may also get severely affected due to calcium deficiency. Some older adults may face nerve issues like numbness or tingling, cramps, weakness and fatigue due to magnesium deficiency. Therefore, most doctors advice supplements to families consuming RO water.
Also, with RO purifiers, bacteria still remains in the water. Bacteria require special treatment to be removed like boiling. Most doctors advice drinking RO water after boiling it.
RO vs UV purifier
There are certain differences between RO purifiers and UV purifiers, which you must know about.
|RO Water||UV Water|
|Water is purified using reverse osmosis technique.||Water is purified through Ultra-violet rays|
|All impurities, visible and invisible are completely removed. However, it is not effective in removing bacteria present in the water.||These rays destroy germs and microbes present in the water after passing the RO stage. This ensures your drinking water is extremely pure and healthy.|
|Boiling of water is required for consumption.||No need for boiling water.|
|Cost of maintenance is comparatively low.||Cost of maintenance is high.|
World Health Organization (WHO) has also issued concern over drinking demineralized water as it causes more harm than good to the consumers. Hence, if the cost of maintenance is not a concern then you may opt for UV purifiers, or else consider the conventional carbon filters for water purification.
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