Drinking stations providing distilled water have been mushrooming all over Los Baños nowadays and this quarter’s issue  shed’s light on the advantages and disadvantages of using bottled water.

According to wisegeek.comdistillation” is the process of removing elements from water by boiling it until it changes to steam. When this steam is allowed to cool down and condense into liquid form again, the result is a purified form called distilled water. Distilled water should ideally be nothing but hydrogen and oxygen molecules, with a PH level of 7 and no additional gases, minerals or contaminants.

In the study published by the “Journal of General Internal Medicine” drinking distilled water has been both advocated and discouraged for health reasons. The lack of naturally occurring minerals in distilled water has raised some concerns.

It is often observed that consumption of "hard" water, or water that has some minerals, is associated with beneficial cardiovascular effects. As noted in the American Journal of Epidemiology, consumption of hard drinking water is negatively correlated with atherosclerotic heart disease.  Since distilled water is free of minerals negatively correlated with atherosclerotic heart disease. It will not have these potential benefits.

Additionally, it is also said that the more mineral lost in the water we drink, the greater the risk for osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, hypothyroidism, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure and a long list of degenerative diseases   generally associated with premature aging.

Thus, you may prefer distilled water over tap water if you are a car battery, an air-conditioning unit or an aquarium. Other than that, I suggest you drink water coming directly from your tap supplied by Laguna Water District.


In the light of the country’s rapid urbanization, the provision of an effective sanitation service is a key development challenge. Protecting water resources from pollution and people from water contamination are two pressing issues today. At least 31 Filipinos die every day due to diarrhea alone, and many more in economic benefits associated with these health problems. A proper sanitation program through sewage and septage management is more vital now to safeguard human health and the environment in general. These programs largely depend on clean water.

In 2004, Republic Act No. 9275, otherwise known as the Philippine Clean Water Act was enacted by Congress to provide the legal mechanism for developing a strategy for protecting the country’s water resources. The said Republic Act mandates water utilities to provide sewerage or septage management. Water utilities may adopt a sanitation improvement program that will regularly remove septage to increase the performance of septic tanks and operate existing or combination of septage treatment plant or sewage treatment plant.

On August 7, 2009, a Memorandum of Understanding was executed among adjoining municipalities, Los Baños, Bay, Calauan, Victoria, United States Agency International Development (USAID) and Laguna Water District. Likewise, the municipality of Los Baños had already drafted a resolution to implement the said septage management program.


Identification of possible septage treatment plan (SpTP) locations was made considering the distance to the desludging service areas, road accessibility for the vacuum tankers, land cost and available area (including future expansion), terrain conditions (ground water level, prone to flooding or landslide, etc.) surrounding land use, acceptability to the community, and other factors.

Ideally the SpTP should be (a) near a sanitary landfill, (b) at a safe distance from residential areas and water bodies, (c) not in an area with shallow water table, (d) centrally ocated to minimize total travel distance, and (e) of sufficient area to accommodate future expansion, (f) strategically located, (g) at least 30 meters above sea level and with available electric power supply.

A site at Brgy. Maahas was identified and proves to be the most technically feasible. It is also equidistant between the load center of Los Banos and the Bay area at 5 kilometers at each  point conforming to the standard distance for septage transport.


Each tanker is operated by a driver and an assistant who opens/closes the septic tank, sets up/removes the desludging hose, and cleans up at the desludging site and offloading site (SpTP). Tanker drivers shall be Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) certified.

A coordinator is assigned to check the site conditions and accessibility/workability of each desludging job order, liaise with the tanker driver, and to assist the Owner in the census of and public consultations with barangays, households and commercial establishments to avail of the desludging service.

Well-trained mechanics carry out preventive maintenance and necessary repair works of the tankers at the garage, and are on stand-by in case of tanker breakdown on the road. All maintenance and repair works shall be done in-house as much as possible.

The SpTP is managed by a plant engineer who also oversees the tanker operations and maintenance, plant operators with maintenance training, and janitor.

Desludging job orders shall be accomplished within one (1) week for scheduled services and within forty eight (48) hours for special/emergency requests.

Desludging operations are done on a 5, 6 or 7 days a week basis depending on the overall offload septage volume. The SpTP operates on a 365 days, 24 hours a day basis.


The desludging is done by hose and vacuum pump mounted on truck with tanker drum. The standard vacuum pump is capable of desludging up to 80m hose length distance. The Owner may opt for a higher capacity vacuum pump which can perform desludging up to 300m hose length distance.

Areas of collection include househould and commercial septic tanks, communal septic tanks, Imhoff tanks and any sewage treatment plants in the coverage area. Septic tanks are desludged on a 3-5 year cycle. Imhoff tanks and sewage treatment plants are desludged as needed.

The collected septage is offloaded at the SpTP.


The Laguna Water District conducted a feasibility study in relation to its on-going septage management program.  The survey was performed randomly at the different barangays at the municipalities of Los Baños and Bay.

This study aims to determine the existing sanitation conditions in the community. The main objective of the survey is to find out the type of waste disposal of the households; whether they have septic tanks or not, and if they desludge their septic tanks or not, etc. It also determines the people’s awareness of the bad effect of improper sepatage management to our water resources and to people’s health. This study is important to know the willingness of the people to pay and the amount they can afford to pay for the desludging.

Some of the results of the aforesaid feasibility study are the following.

Question: Do people desludge their septic tanks?

Almost all of the households have their septic tanks buts unfortunately, these septic tanks don’t experience the desludging service that they need to have every 5 years.

QuestionDo you agree or disagree that improper septage treatment would cause water-related diseases?

Most people agree that improper septage treatment both causes unsafe drinking water and water-related diseases but since they are not aware that it might happen in the near future, they don’t pay attention to desludge their septic tanks.

Question: People’s willingness to pay for the desludging services

More than half of the population are willing to pay for the desludging service of septic tanks and this number will continue to increase if the people will be informed of the bad effects of improper sanitation to environment and to people’s health.

QuestionIs the current rate of P3000 – P5000 for desludging ST affordable?

More than half of the population said that P3000 to P5000 fee is affordable for desludging a septic tank. The program that LWD will be implementing would be more affordable for the people since the fee will be on staggered payment and will be collected on a monthly basis.



Longterm drinking of distilled water may result in disease and early death, said a newsletter from Dr. Joseph Mercola, who quoted Zoltan P. Rona, MD Msc. Dr. Mercola has a website: Dr. Rona’s article follows.

During nearly 19 years of clinical practice I have had the opportunity to observe the health effects of drinking different types of water. Many health fanatics, however, are often surprised to hear me say that drinking distilled water on a regular, daily basis is potentially dangerous.

Paavo Airola wrote about the dangers of distilled water in the 1970s when it first became a fad with the health-food crowd. Distillation is the process in which water is boiled, evaporated and the vapor condensed. Distilled water is free of dissolved minerals and, because of this, has the special property of being able to actively absorb toxic substances from the body and eliminate them.

Studies validated the benefits of drinking distilled water when one is seeking to cleanse or detoxify the system, for short periods of time (a few weeks at a time). Fasting using distilled water can be dangerous because of the rapid loss of electrolytes (sodium, potassium, chloride) and trace minerals like magnesium, deficiencies of which can cause heartbeat irregularities and high blood pressure. Cooking foods in distilled water pulls the minerals out of them and lowers their nutrient value.

Distilled water is an active absorber and when it comes into contact with air, it absorbs dioxide, making it acidic. The more distilled water person drinks, the higher the body acidity becomes.

According to the US Environment Protection Agency, “Distilled water, being essentially mineral-free, is very aggressive, in that it tends to dissolve substances with which it is in contact. Notably, carbon dioxide from the air is rapidly absorbed, making the water acidic and even more aggressive. Many metals are dissolved in distilled waters.”

The most toxic commercial beverages that people consume (i.e. cola beverages and other softdrinks) are made from distilled water.  Studies have consistently shown that heavy consumers of softdrinks (with or without sugar) spill huge amounts of calcium, magnesium and other trace minerals into the urine.

The more mineral loss, the greater the risk for osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, hypothyroidism, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure had a long list of degenerated diseases generally associated with premature aging.

A growing number of health care practitioners and scientists from around the world have been advocating the theory that aging and disease are the direct result of the accumulation of acid waste products in the body.

There is a great deal of scientific documentation that supports such a theory. A poor diet may be partially to blame for the waste accumulation.  Meats, sugar, white flour products, fried foods, softdrinks, processed foods, alcohol, dairy products and other junk food cause the body to become more acidic. Stress, whether mental or physical, can lead to acid deposits in the body.

There is a correlation between the consumption of soft water (distilled water is extremely soft) and the incidence of cardiovascular disease. Cells, tissues and organs do not like to be dipped in acid and will do anything to buffer this acidity, including the removal of minerals from the skeleton and the manufacture of bicarbonate in the blood

The longer one drinks distilled water, the more likely the development of minerals and an acid state. I have done well over 3,000 minerals evaluation using a combination of blood, urine and hair tests in my practice. Almost without exception, people-who consume distilled water exclusively – eventually, develop multiple mineral deficiencies.

Those who supplement their distilled water intake with trace minerals are not as deficient but still not as adequately nourished in minerals as their non-distilled water drinking counterparts even after several years of mineral supplementation.  The ideal water for the human body should be slightly alkaline and this requires the presence of minerals like calcium and magnesium.

Distilled water tends to be acidic and can only be recommended as a way of drawing poisons out of the body. Once this is accomplished, the continued drinking of distilled water is a bad idea.

Water filtered through reverse osmosis tends to be neutral and is acceptable for regular use provided minerals are supplemented.

Water filtered through a solid charcoal filter is slightly alkaline. Ozonation of this charcoal filtered is ideal for daily drinking. Longevity is associated with the regular consumption of hard water (high in minerals).

Disease and early death are more likely to be seen with the long term drinking distilled water. Avoid it except in special circumstances.


National Highway, Anos Los Baños Laguna Philippines (4030)
Sta. Rita Subd. San Antonio Los Baños Laguna
Phone No. (049)536-0127, 536-0661, 536-0331, 536-3731