A filtration system for the water you use at home has many benefits. There are several methods used to filter the water, making it healthier and taste better. Some filters improve the quality of the water you use for washing. If you intend buying a water filter, it would be best to understand how these devices work.
This article is a guide to understanding the different types of water purification methods. What they do and how you may benefit by choosing the right type of water filter for your needs. To provide an idea of what I’m talking about, here’s a list of the water purification methods we’ll be looking into:
All water filters, whether it’s a simple water filter pitcher or a sophisticated multi-stage reverse osmosis filtration system, start with a sediment filter. This is a fairly rudimentary filtration media that blocks sediments, like dirt and rust. They won’t do much to prevent odors, remove contaminants, volatile organic compounds, or bacteria.
Water softeners and remineralization is another aspect of water filtration that can be important to many. Since most of the US is a hard water zone, water softeners are highly sought after. They adjust the PH to provide alkaline or PH neutral water, eliminating the acidic dangers of hard water.
Every water filtration system uses several methods to achieve different results. You may want any combination of these to obtain the perfect water quality for your home.
So let’s take a look at these methods. You’ll be glad you did, as it will enable you to make an informed decision. Some water filters can be really expensive, heading into thousands of dollars, while others can cost less than $30.
Do you really need the most advanced whole house water filter? Perhaps a simpler, inexpensive countertop filter would make better sense. By knowing how the various types of water purifiers work, you will be able to approach these questions with the confidence that comes from having the right information.
One of the best ways of removing fluoride, selenium, and arsenic from your household water is to use an activated alumina water filter.
Ceramic Water Filtration
Ceramic is an organic filtration media that is generally used in point of use filtration systems, like under sink and countertop water filters.
A water distiller is the best way to produce purified water. Distilled water is free of toxins, metals, and bacteria.
Reverse osmosis (RO) filtration systems are generally under sink or whole house water filters. This usually involves a combination of several filtration methods in organized stages.
Because RO filters are the most complex, they are usually the most expensive. It is the best way to provide large volumes of filtered water. RO systems are often used by large industrial, commercial, and municipal filtration plants.
RO is also the most effective method of desalination, purifying sea water for domestic and industrial use.
How Does Reverse Osmosis Work?
A reverse osmosis membrane typically consists of 3 layers:
Because of its density and fine filtration (down to 0.2 micron), the RO membrane blocks over 90% of dissolved salts, metals, and bacteria from the feed water. The contaminants that are removed from the water are flushed out, using water pressure. This wastewater is usually disposed of in a drain. It may be recycled by returning the wastewater to the feed.
Due its high density, the RO membrane reduces the water flow. To compensate for the greatly reduced flow, an RO system uses a storage tank.
Main Filtration Stages
Once the water has passed through the RO membrane some harmful contaminants may remain in small amounts. To ensure the purest water is stored in the RO tank, a number of stages can be used to remove the remaining contaminants and condition the water, like adjusting the PH:
When the water leaves the tank, several stages can be used to improve water quality and remove any contaminants that may have collected in the storage tank.
What to Consider Before Buying an RO Filter
Reverse osmosis filters are never cheap. They also require installation which has its own complications and adds to the cost. Because of this, deciding on an RO filtration system for your home requires more careful consideration than any other filtration method.
UV Water Purifier
Usually used a post filter in an RO system, UV water purifiers are the best way of ensuring that bacteria and other microorganisms don’t contaminate your drinking water.
What is a UV Water Purifier?
Ultraviolet (UV) purifiers are often referred to as water filters. This isn’t entirely correct. UV does not filter the water. Instead, it uses ultraviolet light to kill bacteria and pathogens. This method is also used to ensure that food products are safe for consumption, like treating dairy products, fruit, and animal proteins.
UV purifiers are used to treat the following:
How Does A UV Water Purifier Work?
Using ultraviolet radiation at the correct frequency (254-nm), the DNA of microorganisms is disrupted. This prevents them from reproducing.
A UV lamp is made using mercury vapor. This is sealed inside a glass quartz tube, protecting the electric light from the water. It is surrounded by a casing, through which the water flows. UV radiation penetrates the water, disinfecting it.
Activated Carbon Water Filter
Activated carbon is one of the most common water filtration methods. It used in just about every type of water filter, from water filter pitchers to RO filtration systems.
What is an Activated Carbon Water Filter?
Activated carbon is a filter media used to remove organic chemicals, also known as carbon-based impurities and other common chemicals, like chlorine.
These filters are generally used to filter the following impurities from water:
Ion Exchange Filters
Ion exchange filters are used mostly to soften hard water and can also be used as a deionizer to remove calcium, magnesium, or sodium from the water.