What Do You Know About Drinking Water Filtration Systems?
Drinking water filters have become very popular with Americans. With this increased interest, different water filtration systems are now in use with over 2,500 different models of water filters manufactured by over 500 companies.
Without making an attempt to be too technical, there are some essential things you’ll need to grasp regarding the different drinking water filtration systems. Having this knowledge will help you better understand which type of water filter to select if and when you need one.
Currently, one thing you want to apprehend about water filters is that they are essentially designed to physically preventing contaminants in water from moving through the filter. The aim is to eliminate chemicals, bacteria, rust and alternative pollutants from your drinking water. When contaminated water is passed these filters the water comes out clean with improved taste and eliminated odors.
The 4 Main Types Of Filters
1. Sediment Filters – These sorts of drinking water filters trap contaminants by screening them out with very tiny pores. They mostly come in two varieties – fiber and ceramic. Whereas fiber filters contain cellulose, rayon or some other fibrous material spun into a mesh with little pores, ceramic filters contain some ceramic media with smaller pores than fiber filters. They’re sometimes used as pre-filters to scale back the suspended contaminants that would clog carbon or Reverse Osmosis filters.
2. Carbon Filters – These are treated particles of carbon that have the ability of adsorbing a big selection of contaminants and then trapping them so your water will be free from the contaminants. One main drawback of activated carbon filters is that the cartridges lose their effectiveness as the pores clog with particles. Also, hot water is NEVER used on Carbon Filters. Doing so would release the trapped contaminants making the water more contaminated.
3. Reverse Osmosis Filters – These are designed for filtering water that has unacceptably high levels of dissolved inorganic contaminants. They work by using water pressure to force water molecules through a semi-permeable membrane so that the contaminants are left behind. Where a good carbon filter is used with the Reverse Osmosis filter to remove any organic materials that gets through, the purity of the treated water is usually close to that produced by distillation.
4. KDF Filters – These filters use a matrix of a zinc/copper alloy, to eliminate contaminants from your drinking water through electrochemical oxidation and reduction. One of the good points for KDF is its ability to cut back chlorine to a less active form, kill algae and fungi, control bacterial growth in the filter, remove hydrogen sulfide, iron, lead, cadmium, aluminum, mercury, arsenic and alternative inorganic compounds. It can also partially scale back hardness in your drinking water. KDF filters are the only filters that are known to get rid of contaminants from running hot water making them ideal for use within the showers.
How You Can Determine the Effectiveness of Water Filters
Water filters are rated in terms of micron or sub micron filtration (that is how effective the filter is at removing particles from the water). A micron as a unit of measure is about 1/100 the diameter of a person’s hair. Thus, a filter that can remove smaller particles is better. A filter that will take away particles down to 5 microns is good however; most of the water parasites, bacteria, cryptosporidia, giardia, etc. may pass through the pores.
A filter must trap particles one micron or smaller to be effective at removing cryptosporidia or giardia cysts. Viruses cannot be effectively removed by most filtration strategies. In theory, reverse osmosis will take away viruses, but, just a small flaw in the membranes would enable viruses to pass undetected into the ‘filtered’ water. UltraFiltraton (UF) membranes utilized in Atmospheric Water Generators are the sole filter systems that can reliably remove viruses.
A benefit of most home filtration systems is that they are passive, that is, they need no electricity to filter the water. The only routine maintenance required is periodic replacement of the filtration element.
Now, what do you know about drinking water filtration systems that’s not included in the above? Share your thoughts with us in your comments below.