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Are You Drinking the Right Kind of Water?

What Type of Water Do you Drink?

There’s so many types of water out there: reverse osmosis, charcoal filters (Berkey), tap, natural spring, well, sparkling, rain, mineral, alkaline, and distilled.  Not only are there many choices available, but the topic is emotionally charged with strong opinions on all sides of the issue.  Here’s where I’ve landed…

My Story with Water

I grew up in Southern California on tap water.  When our family got fancy, we upgraded to the filter on the refrigerator.  During college, my roommates and I had a Brita, which we kept in the fridge and took turns buying the new filters.  After college my new husband and I moved to West Africa as Christian missionaries.  We brought a Katadyn filter with us and otherwise only drank from bottled water imported from France.  When we returned home, we relocated from rural California to even more rural Texas and lived on well water for a year.  The water quality on the farm concerned me as we had water stains on nearly everything we owned, including a rusty red color on the white siding of the house and barn where the sprinklers reached.  A friend told me about Reverse Osmosis (RO) water and that afternoon we were off to Costco to invest in our first step of doing something proactive about our water quality.  When we moved off the farm, we didn’t take it with us, so it stayed behind and we needed a new water purification system.  Before buying another RO system, we did more research, which led us to purchasing the popular Crown Royal Berkey.  I used the Berkey exclusively for nine years until meeting a naturopath who sold me on the necessity of distilled water.  

Why Distilled Water?

It wasn’t just the best choice, it was the ONLY choice of pure drinking water, as far as she was concerned.  She helped me understand, in no uncertain terms, how important it was to eliminate chemical and toxin input from my drinking water and the easiest way to do this was to buy or make my own distilled water.  

The process of distillation takes water from a liquid to a gas and back to a liquid state. Why is this important?  Simply put, it’s pure water.  No chemicals, no radioactive elements, no heavy metals, no byproducts, no toxins- just pure water.

Just like nature’s hydrologic cycle of water evaporation then condensation, which gives us rain, distilled water mimics creation.  During the boiling process, chemicals and toxins are removed and they do not transfer to the final product during condensation.

What's Wrong with Our Water Supply?

The Environmental Working Group has collected data from public water systems around the country and analyzed five years of tests from 2010-2015.  What they found was Radium, a dangerous radioactive element, in all 50 states.  Radium is a known carcinogen, known as the “bone seeker” because it deposits in bones and acts like calcium.  It cannot be seen, tasted, or smelled in water, so we often have no idea of it’s harmful presence.  158 public water systems in 27 states reported Radium in amounts that exceeded the federal legal limit.  (read here).  170 million Americans’ drinking water have high levels of Radium.


Does Your Filter Remove the Toxins?

The Berkey has been under fire recently and for good reason.  It’s popularity and accessibility likely blinds people to the fact that it simply isn’t doing what we hope it is doing.  That is, removing harmful elements and chemicals and providing our families with safe drinking water.  Berkey provides their testing results online, but that only shows removal of specific toxins, radioactive elements, and chemicals for the first 50 gallons.  However, their website suggests that the filters only need to be changed every 3,000 gallons or so.  Just what exactly is passing through from the 51st gallon to the 3,000th?  There doesn’t appear to be any data coming from them on this.  Another issue is the nature of priming the charcoal filters with unpurified water.  There is no guarantee that hidden microscopic bacteria and parasites are not introduced during this process and contaminating the whole lot.  Also, their studies show that glyphosate, a dangerous pesticide, is only removed at 75% and chlorine, a neurotoxin, at 85%…and that’s only during the first 50 gallons tested.  

What about RO systems?  I personally would prefer this over the Berkey as their testing shows a higher degree of removal, however, they do not remove 100% of contaminants.  Just think about this for a minute…if you live in one of the many regions with high Radium contamination, then even a “little bit” can add up over time and be damaging.  Be sure to read between the lines.  When a company says it removes “Up to 99% of chemicals and elements” it doesn’t mean that 99% ARE removed.  Keep in mind, RO systems aren’t cheap and if you’re willing to invest in a water system, I would spend the money on a distiller.

Every type of filter will break down over time.  However, distillation remains the same from the first to the 1,000th+ run.

What's the Bottom Line?

What’s the most important thing when considering the type of drinking water?  Our end goal should be to consume PURE WATER without any chemicals along for the ride.  That’s it.  You want two hydrogens and one oxygen…nothing more and nothing less.  As far as I’m aware, the purest water available to us is distilled water.  

My Favorite Water Distiller

I started my distilled water journey with this one from Amazon.  It’s a countertop version that fits perfectly on a shelf in my laundry room.  I love that it’s made from stainless steel components and has a glass reservoir to catch the water. It takes about 4 hours to make 1 gallon of distilled water, which not bad, but it can be a little slow for a big family like mine.  I am saving my money now to purchase a larger unit that has a 10 gallon tank and can be plumbed in so that it will fill automatically.  This is the one I have my eye on.  You can also read about these distillers on “My Fave Tools” page.  They are made in the USA, completely stainless steel components, able to be worked on if necessary, and an all-round great “mom and pop” company out of Nebraska.  Use code TRACYERIN5 for 5% off at checkout.

Do You Add Anything to the Water?

Morning and evening I add 10 drops of Cellcore’s CT-Minerals to my glass.  During the rest of the day I refill my glass with plain distilled water…and I love the taste!  Water from my Berkey tastes awful to me now.  You can add any mineral drops to your water, you don’t have to use Cellcore.  

How Much Water Should I Drink?

The rule of thumb is half your body weight in ounces per day, plus an extra 5 ounces for every 15 minute of strenuous exercise.  For example, if you weigh 150lbs, you’re looking at 75 oz. per day, or a little more than a half gallon per day.  If you are actively detoxing or on a healing protocol, you will want that number to be closer to one gallon per day.

Remember: The solution to pollution is dilution.


Tracy Rickstrew

Tracy Rickstrew

I am an Integrative Health Practitioner, Registered Nurse, wife of 20+ years, mother to five strong, adventurous children, and most importantly, a Bible-believing, reformed Christian.

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Hi! I'm Tracy!

I am a homeschooling mother to five amazing children who became an Integrative Health Practitioner after healing herself from an undiagnosable and mysterious chronic illness.  I’ve made it my mission to help as many moms as possible get off the couch, ditch their brain fog, and live vibrant lives in the most wonderful season of life: motherhood.

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