LOCAL NEWS

Utahns hunt for distilled water for medical needs amid shortage

Feb 3, 2022, 9:46 PM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 3:51 pm

Utahns are scrambling to find distilled water after noticing many local grocery stores are constantly out of stock, and some limit how much a customer can purchase.

Many people use distilled water for specific purposes, like CPAP or BiPAP machines, baby formula, humidifiers and neti pots.

Just as quickly as the Hemingway couple walked into Home Depot in Sandy Thursday, they walked right back out.

They’d been on the hunt all morning and afternoon around the south end of the valley.

“We’re looking for some bottles of distilled water for a BiPAP machine,” Paul Hemingway explained.

Unfortunately, they came out empty-handed after only finding bottles of purified water.

“I never had trouble getting distilled water until this last couple weeks,” Hemingway said. “Now everybody’s out of it.”

In addition to Home Depot, he couldn’t find any at Walmart, Dollar Tree, GNC or Smith’s.

“I saw signs at Smith’s saying because of the shortage of water, you’re limited to buy two at a time,” Hemingway explained.

Nate McCulloch, manager at the Salt Lake office of Advantage Home Medical Equipment, explained that they’re hearing from clients who can’t find distilled water, asking what they can do.

Advantage Home Medical Equipment specializes in sleep therapy and respiratory care, selling both CPAP and BiPAP machines.

While the chambers on the machines that take distilled water are small, McCulloch explained they usually must be filled on a daily basis.

It can be dangerous to use any other kind of water.

“Distilled water is stripped of any elements, anything that might cause bacteria to develop or form,” McCulloch said. “If people aren’t keeping their equipment clean, then there’s potential for respiratory bacterial infections.”

When clients call asking what to do next, McCulloch described how he’ll suggest checking stores someone may not be looking in, like Target, Walgreens, or Macey’s — and checking often.

“There’s a lot of places around that may have it, you just have to look beyond where you maybe shop normally,” he said.

Some customers have told him they will go early in the morning, in an effort to catch freshly stocked shelves. Others will call around before heading to the store.

If someone runs out, McCulloch advises them to check with their physician on what they can do instead.

“You might just have to go without until you’re able to find some,” McCulloch said. “It’s a sticky situation.”

Going without is not a desirable option for Hemingway, who said he suffers from severe complex sleep apnea.

“I have to use distilled water every night in my machine,” he said.

As he left Home Depot, he said, “the search goes on.”

Later Thursday evening, Hemingway sent an update — he indeed found two jugs of distilled water at Peterson’s Fresh Market in Riverton, thanks to a tip from the Nextdoor app.

“Hallelujah,” he said. “At least I’m happy for a couple/three weeks.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

A group of students touring Alta View Hospital in Sandy. (Mark Less)...
Alex Cabrero

Black Physicians of Utah host Medicine Immersion Day

A local organization is encouraging Utah's Black youth to consider a career field in health and medicine to diversify the medical field.
18 hours ago
The Belvedere building, 29 S. State St (Andrew Adams)...
Andrew Adams

Bats in the Belvedere in Salt Lake City test positive for rabies

Bats in the Belvedere in Salt Lake City are testing positive for rabies, health officials warn residents and locals to use caution.
18 hours ago
"There are many rumors going around about a fight last night at the Hillcrest football game. We wou...
Brooke Williams

Rumors of a weapon at Hillcrest High School football game put to rest

Rumors of a weapon at a Hillcrest High School football game are put to rest.
18 hours ago
FILE PHOTO (Salt Lake City School District)...
Brooke Williams

Highland High School makes sure all students can participate in homecoming dance Saturday

“We are happy to announce that this year’s Homecoming Dance is FREE. Dresses, suits, transportation, and a free Chick-fil-A dinner will make for a fun tradition for all students to enjoy.”
18 hours ago
Follow @KSL_AlexCabrero...
Alex Cabrero

BYU premieres documentary ‘The Black 14: Healing Hearts and Feeding Souls’

There's a lot of history with BYU football. Saturday’s game against Wyoming in Provo will bring some of that history back. It's a story many people might not know, which is why BYU journalism students did a documentary on it, called The Black 14.
2 days ago
...
Shara Park

Jordan High student athletes help two kids with cerebral palsy enjoy Fun Run

As thousands of Utahns head to their local high schools for Friday night lights, it’s the Jordan High School athletes that shine a little brighter in the eyes of two Park Lane Elementary students.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
Utahns hunt for distilled water for medical needs amid shortage