I've been looking at water filters and it got me thinking about a previous thread that mentioned the dangers of exposing our ferrets to poss. hormones etc. in tap water. I've always given my ferrets filtered water from the refrigerator dispenser to drink and eventually also started using a pet fountain in an attempt to deter my older ferrets water digging. (this only worked for a few months then he was digging at it too ) On water filters they mention % removal of metals, cysts and VOCs but is that enough for hormones? Do you think distilled water is better than a filtration system for us and our little guys?.
Explanation to why you shouldn't drink (or give your pets) distilled water (not mine):
In a normal system, water is almost always bonded to other agents (metals, proteins, sugars, etc).
Distilled water is pure H2O, and is hypo-osmotic. In fact it has no osmotic pressure what so ever, therefore the nature of osmotic pressure is drive the fluid to dilute the other fluids on the other side of the membrane. This means that your tissues and cells will swell up. Well, the distilled H2O will increase your blood volume acutely. This means you will be hypertensive.
However drinking distilled H2O without replacing your electrolyes (K, Na, Mg, Ca), can be very detrimental. The pure water will bond to important molecules and potentially leach them from the body.
Specifically acute hypocalciemia (low calcium blood levels, caused by blood volume dilution) can cause acute heart failure. Heart tissue requries Ca entry into the cell for proper contraction and signal conduction.
Ferrets don't necessarily get many (if any) nutrients from water, and filtered water is almost always better than tap. The concern is the pure H2O molecules make the cells swell and increase the blood volume, increasing blood pressure. The unbonded water might also "grab" other important metals and nutrients that the ferret needs to function.