FeelingBetter wrote:Thank you so much everyone for the comments and suggestions. I was worried about using bottled water as my DME says NEVER use anything but distilled. But that is in a perfect world. When I travel by car, no problem obviously, I just throw the jug in the trunk. The DME said that bacteria from tap water is the issue and surely bottled water wouldn't contain bacteria (I would hope not, that would be disgusting!). Anyway, it should be some trip...my husband travels with a cane and an oxygen concentrator and now I have the cpap plus our regular carry-ons. Should be interesting, I'll be exhausted before I get to the hotel.
I think this is a good example of what bad advice DMEs sometimes give. Distilled water is great for preventing the deposit of mineral scale on the inside of the humidifier tank, but there is no sensible argument for using it to avoid bacterial disease. It would be just as disgusting to have tap water with bacterial contamination as it would be to have bottled water. That's why water systems filter and treat with chlorine or other sterilizing agents.
In any event, the danger of breathing air that has passed over a container with contaminated water would be vastly less than drinking the water, or bushing one's teeth with it, or washing dishes, or any of the other things we do. Imagine how much evaporated moisture one breathes taking a long, hot shower. It feels great when you have a cold precisely because of all the "steam" from tap water. Our humidifiers don't even sprizzle an an aerosol of water droplets into the air. They just let the air pass over heated water so some evaporates. A bacterium is to a water molecule like a house is to a ping-pong ball. They don't get easily lifted into the air stream.
I live near the shore of Lake Michigan. Outside my window is something like 25,000 square miles of water where fish poop (and many other creatures besides). They don't even close the beaches unless the fecal coliform bacteria count is 500 colonies per 100 ml, which is about an orange juice glass. The limit for tap water is zero. So if we don't mind breathing air that has passed over oceans, lakes, or ponds, let alone the air we breathe when we drive past a commercial hog farming operation, breathing air that has touched tap water shouldn't bother us at all. There may be other good arguments for using distilled water, but bacterial infection is not one of them, except maybe if one lives somewhere remote without modern water treatment.
The DME doesn't SELL distilled water, by any chance?