The History of Drinking Distilled Water

Distilled water has been around longer than many people would imagine. Most people concentrate on the technology used for creating this type of water, which some of it is relatively new, but that doesn’t mean the technology is the only way to make it. There are other ways of getting water that is pure and contaminant free. It is worth delving into the history of distilled water.


The First Description of Distilled Water


Alexander of Aphrodisias described the process of distilling water back in around 200 AD. However, that is not the first description of the process; just evidence that water was taken from the sea and drank in the past.


There is a passage in Meteorologica by Aristotle that goes into the distillation of water. Over time, the process was improved though and one of these methods is documented in Captain Israel Williams’ journal during his tenure on the Friendship in 1797.


Technology Used for Drinking Distilled Water


Over time, the technology has developed. At one time, it was time consuming and expensive to create pure water. It took around a gallon of fuel to be able to make a gallon of fresh water before the Second World War. Just before the war, the compression still (also known as the Kleinschmidt Still) was created by Dr. R. V. Kleinschmidt. The process took the contaminated water, compressed the steam after boiling it and then extracted the fresh water.


Allied ships and the forces used this process to make distilled water during the war. However, the technology continued to advance to make it much easier to collect, purify and store the water. It is now possible to create solar stills as a small cost.


Using Distilled Water Around the World


There are some areas of the world where the drinking water is insufficient so distilled or purified water has to be used. This is common where the tap water is contaminated and the bottle water isn’t available. It is also in areas where only sea water can be used to drink from. There are some contaminants found but the distilled options are 99% pure.


Distilling water has been around for centuries. The technology hasn’t been as it is known now but the process has always been generally the same.