The key difference between tap water and distilled water is that tap water may contain impurities whereas distilled water does not contain impurities.
Water covers more than 70% of the earth’ surface. A larger portion of water is in the oceans and seas, and that is about 97%. Rivers, lakes, and ponds have 0.6% of water, and about 2% is in polar ice caps and glaciers. Some amount of water is present in the underground, and a minute amount is in the gaseous form as vapors and in clouds. Thus, there is less than 1% of water left for direct human use. For daily use, we can use tap water, but for laboratory uses, tap water is not suitable since it contains impurities. Therefore, we use distilled water for laboratory needs.
What is Tap Water?
The tap water supplied to our houses and offices via a tap is readily available for any usage. The water, purified to some extent, is healthy to drink and use for any other purpose. Mostly, this water is pumped from a lake or river and then treated in a plant.
The water treatment process involves water collection, storage, treatment and distribution steps. Usually, a government agency does this process. During the treatment process, they remove microorganisms and other waste from water in various ways.
Using chemicals, like chlorine, in the treatment process help to kill germs. However, constantly checking this water for microorganisms, which cause water-borne diseases, is important. However, when distributing, it may come into contact with some impurities. Therefore, the general public should boil and cool water or filter it again before consumption.
What is Distilled Water?
Distilled water is water that has undergone distillation to remove impurities. The basis of distillation relies on the fact that other molecules and microscopic impurities in the water are heavier than the water molecules. Therefore, when distilling, only water molecules will evaporate.
Water boils at 100 °C and water molecules will evaporate. Then, the water steam is allowed to travel inside a condensation tube where the flow of water will absorb the heat in the steam followed by condensation. Then, we can collect the condensed water drops into another clean container. So, this water is what we call distilled water.
Distilled water contains only water molecules without any bacteria, ions, gases, or other contaminants. But, there can be some dissolved ions. It should have a pH of 7, which indicates that the water is neutral. Moreover, distilled water has no taste because of the removal of all the minerals during the distillation process, but it is safe to drink. However, we mainly use distilled water for research purposes in laboratories.
What is the Difference Between Tap Water and Distilled Water?
Tap water is the normal water that we get from taps while distilled water is a specific water that we mainly produce for laboratory purposes. The key difference between tap water and distilled water is that tap water may contain impurities whereas distilled water does not contain impurities. Moreover, distilled water is not suitable for consumption as it may not have the necessary nutrients (ion) needed for the body, but tap water has dissolved minerals.
Summary – Tap Water vs Distilled Water
Tap water is the normal water that we get from taps. Distilled water is a specifically produced water that we use for laboratory purposes. The key difference between tap water and distilled water is that tap water may contain impurities whereas distilled water does not contain impurities.
1. “Distilled Water.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 14 May 2019, Available here.