Treat Yourself To Better Health
By Choosing The Right Water Filtration Methods
Whether it’s to remove minerals such as calcium and magnesium from the water or clear it of toxins, companies have developed many ways to filter your drinking water.
Some filters are made to filter all the fresh water that enters a house (Whole house water filtration), while others are only meant to filter the water that comes from a particular fixture.
Types of Water Filters Methods
Activated Carbon and Carbon Block Filters
This type of water filter method uses carbon or charcoal media to remove contaminants from water. The bits of carbon can be made from coal, burnt wood or coconut shells and range from 0.5 to 50 microns. Activated carbon filters work best when cold water is rinsed though smaller particles of carbon under low pressure.
One of the big advantages of carbon filtration is that they are widely available, and the homeowner can literally buy a cartridge to according to their needs. Some filter more and others less.
The advantages of activated carbon filters is that they remove over 80 chemicals, including chlorine, pesticides and herbicides. A disadvantages of carbon filters is that they do not filter arsenic, bacteria and viruses, fluoride, heavy metals (though they do significantly reduce their presence) or iron.
If you also have heavy concentration of dissolved minerals/salts a carbon filter will not help. They do remove some inorganic pollutants but are not generally successful at removing dissolved inorganic contaminants.
The popular reverse osmosis system removes even more contaminants than activated carbon filters. RO systems remove significantly more contaminants than traditional activated carbon filters.
Although RO systems, one of water flters methods usually have several stages of filtration the main filter is a semi-permeable membrane. Water is forced through the membrane leaving almost all contaminants and dissolved salts behind.
Besides its ability to filter out a great variety of contaminants, another advantage of the reverse osmosis filter is that there are so many varieties that you’re bound to find one that fits the budget. One con is that the filters become clogged, which means they need regular maintenance.
There are RO systems that are equipped with a cross filtering cycle of the membrane which cuts down on the maintenance but also increases the cost of the system. Another issue some consumers have with RO water is that it tends to taste stale. The filtering removes the contaminants but also the minerals that give it taste.
Stages of Reverse Osmosis
Most reverse osmosis system have several stages i.e. pre-filter which removes suspended solids like undissolved minerals, rust and dirt, the 2nd stage is a charcoal filter to remove chlorine. The 3rd stage is usually when reverse osmosis takes place stripping lead, fluoride, cysts, dissolved salts, mercury etc.
The 4th stage on some RO filters take the water through a finishing filter to add nutrients back into the water like magnesium and calcium. The final stage on some filters is the backwash cycle which flushes away any debris that accumulates on the RO membrane. RO filtering is also a slow process.
That’s why most reverse osmosis systems have small storage tanks to use as a reserve. Reverse osmosis systems were notorious for wasting water. In fact, RO systems from just several years ago had a ratio of 4:1, meaning it took 4 gallons of water to produce one finished gallon.
In the age of water conservation RO filters aren’t the most environmentally friendly. Very recently RO filters have become much more efficient using as little as 2 gallons to produce 1 gallon of finished water.
UV Filter and Disinfection
UV filtration is newish water water filtration methods or technology. Zuvo was one of the first companies to use the technology in a space saving under counter design. The tech was licensed by Hansgrohe but it never took off and was later removed as a product offering. Zuvo went out of business around 2015. Truthfully, there has yet to be a product that fills the void left by Zuvo.
Especially from a form factor. Here is one product that I found that has a ton of features including a UV and RO filtration stages but as you can see it has a fairly large footprint under the kitchen sink. You can purchase this filter from the link below.
UV water filtration method uses ultraviolet light to destroy bacteria and viruses. UV filters almost always work in conjunction with several other filters using physical media like reverse osmosis, activated carbon filter and or a sediment filter to remove particulates and chlorine. This allows nearly 100 percent of microorganisms to be removed from the water.
This water filtration method doesn't use chemicals, is ecofriendly and does not need constant maintenance.The cons of a UV filter are that it doesn’t remove metals, dissolved salts or chlorine and does not work well with murky water. Murky water needs to be pre-filtered before it is treated with ultraviolet light. The filter also needs an electrical source to work.
Infrared Water Filters Method
Infrared water filters are not used so much to remove contaminants from the water but to soften it. This means taking out minerals that make the water hard such as calcium and magnesium.
While these minerals are good for a person’s health, they shorten the lives of water-dependent appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines, make clothes dingy when they come out of the wash and leave limescale in plumbing pipes.
Though infrared filters extend the life of a home’s plumbing, they do not remove other contaminants such as metals and chlorine from the water.
Distillation is the simplest type of water filtration methods. The water is boiled until it turns to steam. When the steam is condensed back into water, the impurities are filtered out. This eliminates a surprising amount of contaminants, including heavy metals and bacteria.
Cons of distillation are that the distillers are expensive, they take time and lots of heat to work, and the distillation process may need to be done more than once. Also, the resulting water may be so pure that there are no trace minerals in the water. This makes it acidic and possibly unhealthy if it is drunk in large quantities.
Thanks for reading and we hope this makes choosing your water filter methods a bit easier.