What is the Difference Between Purified and Filtered Water

Clean drinking water is crucial to our everyday health. Depending on where you live and how your tap water measures up, impurities like pathogens and pesticides have the potential to leak into drinking water and can cause a myriad of issues from an upset stomach to illnesses like E.coli and Legionnaires disease. Here in Yakima, WA our water can have a strange sulphur smell due to organic material and associated minerals being deposited in the water.

Since water is such an essential part of our daily health, making sure we have access to clean, drinkable water is benchmark for maintaining health and safety. But clean water access is still a challenge in many places, and it is important to know what we are putting in our bodies. Filtered water and purified water are two terms we hear and probably think of interchangeably, but did you know there is a difference?

This article will go over the differences between purified and filtered water and the impurities each takes out of water before you drink it. From reverse osmosis to filtration systems, it’s essential you know where your water is coming from and which type is the best for you and your family’s health. 

Tap Water in the US

The tap water in the US comes primarily from three sources: groundwater, lakes and rivers. Other places with less rainfall and natural water sources depend on reservoirs for their drinking water. While tap water isn’t outright harmful, there are minerals and other contaminants that can get by the basic water treatment systems in our communities, and, ultimately, into our drinking glasses. Thus, having an extra way to filter our water is a great way to maintain clean, pure drinking water, and ensure its safety for our families. 

Purified Water

What Is Purified Water?

Purified water is water that has been mechanically filtered or processed to remove impurities and contaminants like bacteria, chemicals, and toxins from tap water. This purification makes the water suitable to drink and takes out any bad taste that may have been due to impurities. 

Purification can take many contaminants out of water, such as:

  • Chemicals and pollutants
  • Minerals and metals like copper and lead
  • Types of harmful fungi
  • Parasites
  • Algae
  • Metals, such as copper and lead
  • Bacteria

Purified water goes through rigorous filtration systems that go beyond what typical “filtered water” does. These extra filtration systems it uses reduces amounts of substances such as chlorine, sediments, nitrates, lead, cysts, and detergents from drinking water. To be considered purified water, impurities must be removed or reduced to extremely low levels. These filtration methods can come in the form of reverse osmosis, distillation or deionization. The end result has a higher purity level than spring, tap, or even filtered water. 

Types of Purification Filtration

Reverse Osmosis

A water purification process that uses a partially permeable membrane to separate ions, unwanted molecules and larger particles from drinking water.


A process where water is boiled into vapor and condensed back into liquid in a separate container. Impurities in the original water that do not boil below or near the boiling point of water remain in the original container.


The process by which both positively charged and negatively charged ions, that are considered contaminated, are removed from water. 

Filtered Water

Filtered water, also marketed as spring water or bottled water, is found in most grocery stores. This type of water may have come from a tap water source or, if marketed as spring water, from a source underground. The water is then run through a type of filter, carbon filters being the most common. Carbon filters remove chlorine and improve the water’s taste. In these filters, the activated carbon helps remove unwanted contaminants like pesticides and arsenic, but leave minerals in. 

Depending on the manufacturer of the water, they may add an extra step of filtration and use a micron filter to remove chemicals and microbes, but not all filtered water companies do this. Make sure to always read the label of any bottled water you find to make sure they took the extra steps to ensure your water is filtered and treated. 

Purified vs. Filtered Water

While these two get confused often, as we have seen, they are not the same. While both types are treated with filtration, purified water goes through an additional purification process. The result is pure water that has a higher purity rating than the filtered water. 

Get Pure Drinking Water with a new a new water system from Independent Water Service

At Independent Water Service, our installation experts can recommend and install the right water softener system for your specific needs. 

We offer free water analysis and help you choose which system works for you. Our free water analysis checks for softness, impurities and other factors that may affect your household or business’ water. We offer systems for both residential and commercial spaces.

We proudly serve Yakima and Kittitas Counties and have been your local trusted water service since 1986. Call to schedule your free water analysis and upgrade your water system for your home or business with the water experts.