Ozone has been used as a disinfectant for drinking water since the late 19th century. Ozonated water is infused with ozone gas. The term "alkaline water" can refer to water that has a pH level higher than 7, but it is more commonly used to describe water filtered by an ionizing process that attempts to rid the water of acidic elements.
Uses of Ozonated Water
Ozonated water is used to treat and process food. It can prolong the life of fruit and vegetables slightly because it kills bacteria. Some bottled-water manufacturers and municipal drinking water systems prefer to disinfect their water with ozone instead of chlorine, which forms several harmful chemical byproducts. Ozonated water is also used to sanitize work surfaces and in clothes laundering.
Uses of Alkaline Water
Alkaline water has no industrial uses. People who use it tend to do so for personal consumption, such as to use it in cooking, to prepare tea and to water plants. No evidence suggests that alkaline water provides any benefit to people who consume it, and reports to the contrary are anecdotal. When consumed by an individual, water with a high alkaline content is neutralized by stomach acid, producing no discernible effect.
Drawbacks of Ozonated Water Use
Drinking ozonated water is not proven to cause long-term health benefits. Unless you purchase pre-ozonated water, the process of ozonation requires electricity. This means that if you are in an electricity blackout, you could be without drinking water. Also, the cost of equipment required for water ozonation is higher than for other methods of water treatment, and treating water with ozone creates bromate as a byproduct. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency states that long-term exposure to bromate can increase cancer risk in certain individuals .
Drawbacks of Alkaline Water Use
No drawbacks are known for drinking alkaline water. Caution may be warranted for the many claims about alkaline water, however. Water ioniozer sellers often advertise that alkaline water consumption causes near-miraculous results, which is not the case. It is perfectly acceptable as a method to treat unsanitized water, but using it to treat tap water won't make the water healthier. Water ionizers can cost about $1,000, as of 2011.
Ozone Water and Alkaline Water Comparison
In the course of an average American's daily life, he consumes both ozonated water and water with a high alkaline content, from drinking tap water and bottled water respectively. Drinking one particular type of water has no advantage, but ozonated water may contain bromate, which alkaline water does not. Alkaline water offers no known benefits in comparison to tap water or bottled water.
- "Water Treatment: Principles and Design"; Second Edition; MWH/John Crittenden; 2005
Benjamin Montero has been writing since 2000, covering the arts for local publications based in Oxfordshire, U.K. and contributing to numerous political websites. He holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology and linguistics from Oxford Brookes University, as well as a Master of Arts in creative and professional writing from Brunel University in London.