Filtered water vs Purified Water: What’s The Difference?

A plastic purified water bottle with a blue label, partially filled with water, lies on a wet surface, creating a reflection in the water below.

Wondering about the best choice for your drinking water? Aquazania outlines the essential differences about filtered and purified water – two popular choices for clean drinking in South Africa. Know the process used behind each method to enhance your health and taste experience. This article will discuss the specifics of filtration methods, from simple charcoal filters to complex multi-stage systems, and compare them with the thorough purification processes like reverse osmosis, distillation, and deionization. Understand what sets purified water apart in terms of removing chemicals, pathogens, and impurities. Keep reading to decide on the water type which is an ideal sip for your hydration needs, as we pinpoint the key differences and how to choose between filtered and purified water based on your preferences and the quality of your local municipal water.

What is Filtered Water?

Filtered water is water that has been passed through one or more barriers designed to remove particles, sediment, and some forms of bacteria and contaminants. The filtration process can vary widely, from simple charcoal filters used in home pitchers to more complex multi-stage filtration systems found in advanced home water purification units. Filtration aims to improve water quality and taste by reducing unwanted components, but the extent of purification depends on the filter’s technology and the contaminants it targets.

Types of Water Filters

Activated Carbon Filters are essential for removing organic compounds, chlorine, and significantly improving the taste and odour of water. At Aquazania, we enhance the purification process through Reverse Osmosis, employing a semi-permeable membrane to eradicate a comprehensive array of contaminants such as dissolved salts and bacteria, as part of our meticulous 9-step process aimed at delivering the finest water quality. Sediment Filters play a critical role in targeting and filtering out physical particles, including dirt, dust, and rust, ensuring the physical clarity of the water. Additionally, UV Filters utilise ultraviolet light as a powerful tool to effectively kill bacteria and viruses, further ensuring the safety and purity of the water provided.

What is Purified Water?

Purified water goes a step further than filtered water. It refers to water that has been treated to remove chemicals, pathogens, and impurities to a level that meets or exceeds the standards set by international health guidelines. Purification processes can include distillation, deionization, reverse osmosis, and other advanced filtration methods. The goal is to produce bottled water that is as close to pure H2O as possible, regardless of its source. Take the step towards healthier hydration today. Choose our purified water for your home or office, and experience the difference that true purity makes in every glass.

Purified Water Techniques and Process 

Distillation Process
This method involves heating water to boiling point and then cooling the resultant steam back into water. This phase change effectively separates the water from many of its impurities, as these contaminants do not vaporise and are thus left behind.

Deionization Technique
This process targets the removal of mineral ions, including but not limited to sodium, calcium, iron, and copper ions, from water. It operates on the principle of ion exchange, swapping unwanted mineral ions in the water with other ions, typically hydrogen or hydroxide ions, to purify the water.

Advanced Reverse Osmosis
Employing a more sophisticated approach than typical filtration methods, this technology utilises a semi-permeable membrane to eliminate up to 99% of dissolved pollutants from water. This system is effective in reducing a broad spectrum of contaminants, including salts, bacteria, and other particles, ensuring a high purity level of the treated water.

Filtered Water vs Purified Water: Key Differences

The main difference between filtered and purified water lies in the level of cleanliness and the types of contaminants each process can remove. Purified water typically undergoes more rigorous treatments, making it safer for consumption by removing a broader spectrum of impurities. Filtered water, while cleaner than tap water, may not remove all chemical pollutants and microorganisms.

Choosing Between Filtered and Purified Water

The choice between filtered and purified water often depends on the specific needs and concerns of the consumer. If you’re worried about harmful bacteria and viruses, a purification system that includes UV or reverse osmosis might be preferable. For those more concerned with improving taste and removing chlorine or sediment, a simple filtration system may suffice.

How Municipalities Purify Water

Municipal water treatment is a large-scale purification process that ensures the public has access to safe drinking water. This process typically includes several stages:

  • Coagulation and Flocculation
    Chemicals are added to the water to bind together particles, forming larger particles called flocs.
  • Sedimentation
    Flocs settle to the bottom due to their weight, separating from the clean water.
  • Filtration

The clear water on top passes through filters of sand, gravel, and charcoal to remove dissolved particles, bacteria, viruses, and chemicals.

  • Disinfection

Chemicals (like chlorine) or physical processes (such as UV light) are used to kill any remaining microorganisms.

Municipalities work tirelessly to meet regulatory standards for water quality, but some contaminants can still be present in tap water. This is where home filtration or purification systems can provide an additional layer of safety and taste improvement.


Understanding the difference between filtered and purified water is crucial for making informed decisions about your drinking water. While both offer cleaner alternatives to tap water, purified water provides a higher level of purity, making it the better option for those concerned with removing as many contaminants as possible. However, filtered water is a suitable and often more affordable choice for improving taste and removing specific pollutants. By considering your personal needs and the quality of your municipal water, you can choose the best water treatment option for you and your family. Contact Aquazania today for the finest water quality!

If you go for filtered or purified water, the goal is the same: to ensure that the water you drink is clean, safe, and tastes good. With advancements in water treatment technologies, achieving this goal is easier and more accessible than ever.

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