The Destiladera was used in the Canary Islands as a natural filter for water. Still some houses continue to use this traditional technique for drinking nice clean and cool water.
Usually Mounted on a wooden furniture fastened at the top a natural porous stone, which is known as Pila. This volcanic stone is used as a filter, it is carved in a bowl-shaped and ranges between the density of gray lava and the porosity of the pumice stone.
Just below they place a container the Bernegal or standing. Nearly spherical shape of ceramic handicraft, it is made of clay and fine sand. It has an upper opening of an appropriate size to enter a vessel with handles and thus collects the water.
The small glass or pitcher was very important and should be aluminum because it gives coolness to the water and does not rust. Striking is the cut of the jar, in the form of spikes.
Also you shouldn´t forget the ceramic plate to cover the Bernegal preventing dust entering with a central hole to let the water enter the destiladera drip by drip.
In the pila are usually placed plants maidenhair ferns that grow in cool, damp places. Its roots enter in contact with the water and it is usually heard to say “the maidenhair not grow if the water is not good, and the water is not good until the maidenhair grows”.
Of the three distillers that we maintain at the La Casa de los Balcones, the two in the courtyard are popular of wooden furniture, highlighting the third, masonry facing the kitchen of our museum.
More examples of destiladeras in our Álbum de Rincones de La Casa de Los Balcones