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Common techniques for laboratory water purification include distillation, filtration, deionization, electro-deionization, reverse osmosis, adsorption, and ultraviolet oxidation. Pure water is classified by grade, in order of decreasing purity, as Type 1, Type 2, and Type 3. Achieving the correct water quality depends on selecting the correct purification technologies and a system design that accurately measures and monitors contaminants.
Distillation is the oldest method and the broadest in terms of impurity removal, but even the best stills produce "only" Type 2 water, and reverse osmosis systems, Type 3. Culture media, clinical laboratory analyzers, and buffer preparation get by nicely with Type 2 water, which also serves as feedstock for Type 1 purification systems. Labs use Type 3 "pure" water for labware washing and rinsing and for heating and cooling devices in which mineral deposits from circulating water are a problem.