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Advanced Filtration Technology

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“Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink.” 
— Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The first requirement for any community is a secure and clean supply of drinking water. This explains why early civilizations were founded along the banks of major rivers such as the Nile, Indus, Yangtze, Tigris, and Euphrates.

While these major rivers provided the necessary quantity of water, the quality was often endangered by contamination from the civilization itself, which made necessary a system carry away waste and eventually, the filtration of the water supply.

Filtration is defined as “a mechanical or physical operation, which is used for the separation of solids from liquids by interposing a medium through which only the fluid can pass. Oversize solids in the fluid are retained, but the separation is not complete; solids will be contaminated with some fluid and filtrate will contain fine particles (depending on the pore size and filter thickness.” (Source: “Fibers and Fabric for Filtration,” Silajit Naskar). In the context of providing safe drinking water, the solids to be removed are turbidity-causing suspended sediment and microbes (especially pathogens).

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The permeability (rate at which water can pass through, typically measured in cm/sec) of the filter medium is proportional to its pore size with total travel time being a function of its thickness. The actual movement through the filter medium is either by gravity or applied pressure/vacuum. This applies a head on the liquid which forces it through the filter media.

Water filtration systems remove the impurities that make water unfit for human consumption. They do so by means of physical barriers, chemical processes, or biological action. Though the ancient Greeks and Egyptians understood basic water treatment methods, such as bag filters to sieve water and the addition of alum to allow the removal of impurities by coagulation, the first water filter systems for domestic use were built during the Enlightenment era, with the first public filtration and treatment system built in Scotland in the 19th century. Made from alternating layers of wool charcoal, these early filtration systems were eventually replaced by the late 1800s by large-scale sand filters that serviced entire cities.

But now that basic water filtration is a mature technology that has been adopted worldwide, a new challenge has presented itself to a world with almost 8 billion people (half of whom now live in cities): the need to desalinate large quantities of seawater in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Not only are natural sources of freshwater stressed from excessive demand, but extreme weather and drought threaten the sources of freshwater for entire regions of the globe. To meet these new demands, new filtration technology utilizing graphene and other exotic materials are being developed and deployed.

These new filters operate at the atomic level, with the carbon rings forming the sheets of graphene (which itself can theoretically be one atom thick) presenting holes large enough to let water molecules pass but retain impurities such as sodium chloride molecules. Such membranes, reinforced by walls of epoxy resin, have been shown to effectively remove salt from saltwater. As a result, the world could have access to vast amounts of freshwater directly from the world oceans—enough water to quench the thirst of billions of people and provide enough irrigation water to turn the planet green. Our current scarcity of drinking water could become a thing of the past.

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NATURAL WATER FILTRATION
The world is not short of water. The world is short of potable water. Water filtration systems address this shortage. The most basic materials used as water filtration media are some of the most common: sand and diatomaceous earth. The table on the following page summarizes the characteristics of each type of filter.

Simple operation, high reliability, ease of construction, and low operating costs are the hallmarks of slow sand filters. These characteristics make them the most prevalent system for small and mid-sized rural communities and were the earliest method developed for large-scale water filtration. Because of their simplicity of operation, only the most basic skills are required of its operators. They effectively and efficiently remove both sediment and turbidity via physical screening and pathogens with biological and chemical processes.

This is accomplished by a single pass through operation that takes in contaminated water at the top and yields potable water for extraction at the bottom. Unless the intake water is suffering from an excessive amount of algae contamination or extremely high degrees of turbidity, a sand filter can by itself perform the necessary purification operations without the need for pre-treatment. The World Health Organization has designated slow sand filtration as the least expensive, simplest, and most cost-effective means of providing potable water.

The simplicity of the slow sand filter comes from its design. Contaminated water enters at the top through the upper surface of the sand layer. Both the physical screening and biological treatment occurs at this location. The first step is removal of sediments by the sand physically acting as a sieve, its pores allowing water to pass through, while being too small to allow further migration of sediment and turbidity particles. But of greater importance is the natural anti-pathogen treatment it provides.

This is based on the ability of bacteria to attack and consume these disease germs. The top layer of the sand quickly becomes biologically active with the development of a scummy layer called schmutzdecke, German for “dirty skin.” The microbial community attaches itself to sand particles exposed at the top surface of the sand layer within a few days of operation. The established microbes are mostly predatory bacteria that attack and consume water-borne disease pathogens. This biological surface film must be manually or mechanically scraped off at regular intervals to prevent clogging. And in general, a slow sand filter must have a relatively large surface area to manage large quantities of water at slow flow rates.

A rapid sand filter differs from a slow sand filter in several aspects, not just filtration speed and flow rate. Essentially, rapid sand filtration is a physical process as opposed to the biological process utilized by slow sand filters. Rapid sand filters either use gravity drainage to move water through the system or apply high pressure to the water flows. Since a rapid sand filter is primarily physical in nature, some biological pre-treatment and post-treatment is typically required. These include coagulation combined with flocculation and the addition of chlorine to ensure disinfection. Also, unlike the slow sand filter, the construction and operation of a rapid sand filter is both complicated and relatively expensive. However, rapid sand filters are the appropriate choice for developed nations and communities with sufficient resources to build them and skilled engineering staff to operate them.

The primary rapid sand filter unit is typically a cylindrical chamber or a square tank made from reinforced concrete. The chamber is filled with alternating layers of sand and gravel to a height of about 6 feet. The bottom is lined with a series of perforated pipes that collect and extract the purified water. Rapid gravity filters have open tops, are simpler to construct and operate, and don’t need large powerful pumps, but they have lower flow rates. Rapid pressure filters have completely enclosed tops, are more complicated, utilize large pump systems, and can handle large flow rates—making them more suitable for servicing larger communities. In either case, filtration results from the clogging of sand pores with larger particles of sediment while smaller particles physically cling to sand grains due to Van der Walls forces. The addition of coagulants or flocculants to the water in feed promotes increased adhesion and clumping of particles, increasing removal efficiency.

Like the slow sand filter, clogging of a rapid sand filter can occur over time. However, instead of mechanical removal, the rapid sand filter is cleaned by reversing the water flow under high pressure to cause back-washing of the accumulated material out of the top of the filter unit. The reverse flooding of the chamber causes the sand particles to be suspended, increasing the void volume between the sand grains. This allows enough room for the lifting and removal of sediment particles out of the sand media. To assist this process, high-pressure air is often injected as well. The large quantities of sludge produced by the backwashing process require their own management and disposal operation.

The diatomaceous earth filter differs from other natural filters primarily in the material used as the filter media. Diatomaceous earth isn’t soil at all. Instead, it consists of powdered media made up of almost pure silica. This silica is manufactured from diatoms, the hard-shell skeletons of freshwater single-celled algae. Primarily used for small-scale applications where water purification standards are very high, such as public and private swimming pools, these tend to be more expensive than standard sand filters. Their effectiveness is a result of the microscopic pores found in the hard-shell bodies of the algae. These provide very effective mechanisms for trapping impurities.

There are three primary types of diatomaceous earth filters: horizontal plate, vacuum, and pressure. In vacuum filters, negative pressure is applied to force the water through the filter medium. This allows for a configuration with a large contact surface area in proportion to the filter chamber’s overall volume. This greater surface area allows for higher flow rates. Pressure filters, which use applied pressure to deliver water to the filter chamber, are more limited in their size and are used for smaller-scale applications. Horizontal plate filters are a kind of pressure filter with the filter medium arranged in parallel with horizontal filter plates. After backwashing with compressed air through the filter plates, the residue is trapped on the horizontal plates, allowing for easy removal.

MAN-MADE FABRICS, MEMBRANE, GRAPHENE, AND OTHER WONDER MATERIALS
Natural earth isn’t the only type of filtration material. Man-made fabrics have been used to filter and sieve water for millennia. Traditional cloth filters are inexpensive, low-tech, and relatively easy to use. While not 100% effective, this simple method can greatly reduce floating parasites, pathogen counts, and turbidity in drinking water taken directly from river and groundwater well sources. Studies have shown that even a simple wrapped cloth can greatly reduce the incidence of cholera in third-world villages that lack more sophisticated water purification systems.

Similar in principle but far more advanced in the application is the process of reverse osmosis filtration. “Reverse Osmosis (RO) is a water treatment process that removes contaminants from water by using pressure to force water molecules through a semipermeable membrane. During this process, the contaminants are filtered out and flushed away, leaving clean, delicious drinking water” (ESP Water Products).

Reverse osmosis achieves this purification by means of a semi-permeable membrane that traps and removes particles as small as individual ions and molecules. To overcome inherent osmotic pressure, high pressure is applied to the water that forces the liquid across and through the membrane, leaving contaminant particles and molecules behind. This applied pressure reverses the natural direction of flow, thus the description of the process as reverse osmosis. While this may seem similar to pressure filtration, there are significant differences between the two processes, not the least of which is the filter medium. Reverse osmosis involves both straining (exclusion of particles based on their size compared to the open pores) and diffusion. As such, reverse osmosis has found its most widespread use in the area of seawater desalination since it can remove individual salt molecules as well as sediment and microbes.

Most drinking water purification systems, whether individual home systems or giant community systems such as the facility used by Orange County, CA, utilize reverse osmosis. Some of these systems involve multiple steps to accomplish the conversion of seawater into potable water: an initial sediment filter (or two filters in sequence with progressively smaller pore sizes) to trap large particles, activated carbon to trap organic chemicals (such as chlorine), and finally the reverse osmosis membrane itself. Advanced systems may employ post-membrane carbon filtration and an ultraviolet sterilization lamp to kill any remaining microbes.

Membrane pore sizes can vary depending on the type of contaminants to be removed and the type of filter material. The pore size range is from 0.1 to 5,000 nm (4 x 10−9 to 2 x 10−4 inches). This pore size range is broken down into five size categories: particle, microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, and hyperfiltration. Particle filtration removes particles of 3.9 x 10−5 inches or larger. Microfiltration removes particles of 1.9685 x 10−6 inches or larger. Ultrafiltration removes particles of roughly 1.1811 x 10−7 inches or larger. Nanofiltration removes particles of 3.937 x 10−8 inches or larger. Reverse osmosis is performed by membranes with pore sizes in the hyperfiltration range, removing particles larger than 3.937 x 10−9 inches.

The membranes used by reverse osmosis units are typically semi-permeable, thin-filmed composites. The membrane itself is a thin (less than 7.874 x 10−6 inches thick) polyamide layer placed on top of a porous polyether-sulfone or polysulfone layer of about 0.0019685 inches thick. These are, in turn, fixed to a non-woven fabric substrate that provides physical strength and support. Most of the work of desalination is done by the polyamide layer which has an affinity for water molecules while it rejects dissolved salt ions.

Going from ancient times to the Space Age gives us man-made filtration materials such as graphene. Graphene is a version of carbon that forms a two-dimensional lattice of carbon atoms arranged in a repeating hexagon pattern. Often touted as the strongest material on earth, it is also being researched as the ultimate water filtration medium. The openings of these hexagons create pores that are sized to remove not just microbes and soil particles, but also individual molecules. Its applications are not limited to water cleanup and desalination. It is also applicable to a wide range of industrial processes such as protein separation, wastewater treatment, and drug and pharmaceutical production.

Graphene is also the world’s strongest material, at least ten times stronger than steel, but that’s the least of its attributes. Its molecular structure allows it to act as a sieve small enough to cheaply and effectively remove salts from seawater. At first, graphene-oxide membranes were shown to be able to remove larger salts from seawater. Recent advances have shown its ability to remove the smaller salts that make up the bulk of seawater contaminants. Researchers have, in effect, shown that they can create membranes of uniform pore size right down to the atomic scale.

This allows for greatly reduced costs and energy requirements for desalination. More than half of the battle in desalination is applying the pore pressure necessary to push water through, while salt is trapped and accumulates near pore openings. When this advancement is far enough along to be scalable, a low-cost desalination method may become available.

Another approach is to embed graphene in bacteria-produced cellulose. The resultant product is a bi-layered biofoam. It has the ability to absorb light and, as it heats up, freshwater is evaporated. The biofoam consists of two layers of nanocellulose, both of which are created by bacterial action. The top layer is embedded with graphene oxide which is heated by the sun, while the bottom layer has a sponge-like consistency that pulls water up into the biofoam. When the water comes into contact with the upper graphene embedded biofoam, it evaporates and can easily be recovered as freshwater from the accumulated condensate. Both graphene oxide and the biofoam are cheap to produce. This allows mass production of tons of material at a time, making the approach highly scalable.

Another approach emphasizes ease of manufacture. It involves a spray-on, graphene-based coating applied to desalination membranes. The resultant product is durable and sturdy, capable of surviving even harsh operating environments. The membrane filter is able to function at high flow rates, is self-repairing, and has a long operational lifetime as it filters out salts and pollutants to generate clean drinking water without being subject to bio-fouling.

The hybrid membrane is created by simple spray-on applications that coat a mixture of graphene oxide and few-layered graphene onto the surface of a polysulfone membrane. The polysulfone has had its molecular structure modified by polyvinyl alcohol and serves as the structural substrate of the membrane. This structural support strengthens the membrane, allowing it to withstand high pressure and exposure to chlorine. It can easily remove up to 85% of salts (making the water suitable for agricultural applications) and up to 95% of chemicals such as industrial dyes.

MAJOR INDUSTRY SUPPLIERS

Types of Filtration Systems Used for Wastewater Applications
Dow Water & Process Solutions produces a family of reverse osmosis membrane filters capable of purifying different degrees of contaminated, brackish, and saline water. The company’s Dow Filmtec Brackish Water RO Elements come in various sizes for different applications. The 8-inch-diameter model treats difficult industrial water, enabling lower energy usage and reduced costs. The models sized 4 inches and smaller are designed to handle light industrial brackish water and commercial brackish water respectively. Similarly, the Dow Filmtec Seawater RO Elements comes in differing sizes with the 8-inch-diameter model featuring high active membrane areas with low net driving pressure. Greater flow rates are achieved with the 4-inch diameter and smaller models.

Evoqua Water Technologies provides a wide range of water and wastewater treatment products and materials. These include cross-flow, micro-sand filtration systems, and pressure filter systems, as well as membrane filters for reverse osmosis and ultrafiltration.

Pentair Water Filtration Division produces 3-stage (GRO-350B), 4-stage (GRO-475B & GRO-475M), and 5-stage (GRO-575B & GRO-575M) reverse osmosis systems. The filtration units can remove lead, volatile organic compounds, chlorine, biological contaminants that cause bad taste and odor, cysts such as cryptosporidium, and discoloring turbidity.

Senior Water America emphasizes the production of the membranes themselves. These are hollow-fiber membranes made from Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF) using the thermally induced phase separation (TIPS) method of manufacture. Using their own proprietary designs and configurations, they manufacture membrane modules that serve as direct retrofits. They require no additional hardware and are essentially plug-and-play units easily inserted into existing filter systems.

Eight Benefits Of Installing A Home Water Filtration System

The delivery of clean water through municipal water supply systems to our homes is one of the hallmarks of modern civilization. Modern water supply systems test and treat water to ensure it’s safe for all of our needs — drinking, cooking, cleaning, and more.

You want to be sure that the water we use is as pure as possible, and a practical way to ensure that is to add a water filtration system to your home, whether it is a whole house water filter or a water filter located on the water line in your kitchen sink or another water source.

Are you concerned about the water in your area? Check out this handy resource from the EPA that provides information on safe drinking water throughout the United States.

Water Filtration

The benefits of a home water filtration system

Whether your water comes from city water or well-based water systems, you want to ensure that it’s safe for your family. There are many opportunities for contaminants to enter your water, and even if your water is free of contaminants, high levels of minerals can affect the taste of your tap water or make the operation of your dishwasher or clothes washer less efficient.

The best way to tackle these issues is to filter your water in your home, at the point where you’ll use it. Here are some of the benefits you’ll enjoy by installing a filtration system.

Enjoy safe drinking water all the time

The consequences of having unsafe drinking water can be dire. Pollutants like heavy metals can have profound health consequences at worst, or at best make your water unpalatable. While the vast majority of municipal water systems in the United States do an excellent job of treating our water and ensuring water quality, there is always the danger of system failures, so it’s best to be safe. If you filter your water with an effective home water filtration system you’re making a smart investment in the health of your family.

Save money

If you’re buying bottled water for your family to use at home the costs can add up quickly. For the average family drinking 2-3 bottles of water a day, annual costs can easily exceed $500. That’s money can be recouped in a timely fashion after you install a water filtration system in your home. And there’s another drawback to bottled water…

Help preserve our environment

You’re probably familiar with stories and images of the increasing costs to the environment of our society’s heavy use of plastic, and plastic bottles are a big part of the plastic waste stream. And even if you’re conscientious about disposing of plastic bottles, there’s no guarantee that you’re used plastic bottles will end up being recycled. Eliminating plastic bottles from your home’s waste stream can play a part in correcting this problem.

Reduce potential plumbing issues

Minerals, heavy metals, and chemicals in your water can cause corrosion and damage to your pipes and water-using appliances. By eliminating these potentially damaging factors at the source you can extend the life of your pipes, hot-water heaters, and other home appliances.

Prevent skin irritation

Individuals with sensitive skin or who experience skin irritations and conditions such as eczema or psoriasis can suffer from exposure to chemicals in water such as chlorine. A water filtration system in your home can go a long way towards alleviating these problems.

And even if you don’t suffer from these conditions, there’s nothing like the feeling of pure, clean water when you’re taking a shower or enjoying a tub!

Save on soap and enjoy cleaner clothes

Water that has a high concentration of minerals can diminish the effectiveness of soap. With the addition of a water filtration system, you’ll find that appliances like your clothes washer and dishwasher will clean more effectively. Clothes and dishes will be cleaner and your appliances won’t suffer from the buildup of mineral deposits.

Reduces limescale and other mineral deposits

If you’ve ever looked at the bottom of an old tea kettle, you may have noticed white, chalky deposits on the bottom. That’s limescale, the buildup of minerals from lime and other minerals in your water. In addition to being unattractive, limescale can build up in pipes and appliances, and it often makes your water taste unpleasant.

A quality whole-home water filtration system will alleviate many of the issues associated with limescale, and give you better tasting water as well.

Improve the taste of your drinking water

Water is one of the best fluids for your body, and adding more water to your diet can have real benefits for your overall health. So why not enjoy the best tasting water? With a whole house water filter in your home, you’ll enjoy the clean, crisp taste of pure water, every time you open your tap.

Whole House Water Filter

Understanding the different types of water filtration systems

Several different methods are commonly employed for water filtration in the home. Depending on your particular situation, the right one for your situation can vary. Let’s take a look at the science behind each of the most popular filtration technologies.

Reverse osmosis water filter systems

This is the gold standard for home water filter systems. These systems use air pressure to force water through a semi-permeable membrane. Properly installed, these systems can handle a large quantity of filtered water and eliminate almost all contaminants. Reverse osmosis systems are designed to operate as a whole house water filter. They’re placed in a central location and provide the entire home with filtered water.

Cation exchange water filter systems

These systems are known by other names, usually water softeners or exchange systems. They’re designed as whole-home systems, so all the water in your home will receive the benefits of employing one of these systems. The system works by creating positively charged ions that attract the negatively charged ions of earth metals like barium, calcium, and magnesium, minerals that can cause your water to taste bad and negatively impact your health.

Activated carbon

Activated carbon systems are relatively inexpensive and quite common. Activated carbon systems are usually located at the point of delivery, that is, before an individual faucet, such as in your kitchen. Your water supply flows through an activated carbon filter located in line with the faucet and the filter removes chemicals, parasites, or heavy metals present in the water.

Activated carbon filtration systems are inexpensive and easy to install, but the carbon filter in the system will need to be replaced regularly, and they don’t cover the entire home, just the faucet you’ve installed them in line with.

At our services, we offer a variety of different water filtration from respected manufacturers. Get in touch with us to find out what your options are.

Tips for installing a whole house filtration system

If you’ve decided that you’d like to tackle a house water filter installation, here are some useful tips for how to proceed with the job.

Be sure the whole house water filter you’ve selected is a good match for your home

Different house water filtration systems have different requirements for fittings and space required. It’s important that you carefully check the requirements of the system before you purchase a whole house filter system. If you’re in doubt, consult with a professional before undertaking the project.

Be sure your water pressure is correct

Did you know that your water pressure can be too high? Whole house water filters are built to operate within a specific range of water pressures, and if the water pressure is too high, you can damage the system. Have your water pressure checked, and if it is too high, have a water pressure reducing valve installed on your water supply pipe before you install a whole house water filter.

Consider using a pre-filter

A pre-filter acts as a sediment filter, preventing debris and other particles in the water supply from clogging your water filter. This investment can help extend the life of your whole house’s water filter system.

Install your whole house water filter system before the water heater

Don’t ignore this important part of the installation process. A whole house water filtration system is designed to work with cold water from your water line, not the heated water coming out of your water heater.

Talk to us now!

Our plumbing experts at our service have the training, expertise, and experience to work with you to evaluate your situation and recommend a water filtration system that meets your needs and matches your water supply. Our expertise with purification system installations at Enoch means we have the experience and knowledge to offer you a variety of options from highly-rated manufacturers. If you’re considering a water purification system, don’t delay, get in touch with us today. Quotes are free, and we’ll help you find the system for your home.

Water Filtration Systems for Your Faucet

A Pur advanced faucet water filtration system

Water filtration is a general term that refers to any system or process that is used to filter out particles and pollutants from water. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a purifier to make the cut. Anything that removes any amount of particles, sediment, bacteria, and the chlorine taste can be called water filtration. If it has a filter of any type, it’s a filtration system.

Types of Filtration

The Importance of Water Filtration - Natural Water Solutions

Filtration systems can include activated carbon charcoal filters either designed within a pitcher or included as part of a faucet-mount or tap-installed filter, ultraviolet (UV) light units, reverse osmosis, water distillers (whole system or portable counter), or another form of water treatment process. The term incorporates home filter systems, as well as much larger scale municipal or public water treatment plants. Some appliances are also designed with water filtration features such as refrigerator models which come with onboard filtered water/ice or freestanding water cooler/dispensers.

DIY Citrus and Herb Sprays for a Cleaner Green Home

There are many different types of water filters available, and your buying decisions will be influenced by the present condition of your water. If it’s not potable, you’ll need a process to remove or destroy harmful bacteria, minerals, and pollutants for starters. Your local water expert is the best professional to help you evaluate your choices.

Once water testing has confirmed what is in your water, you will be given remedy options to make your drinking water safe (potable). Installation requirements and costs will be discussed, based on needs and whether you own your home or not. Today, there are many choices, and these systems are much more affordable than they were a decade ago.

Keep It Clean

Whether you choose a small filter or a large unit, maintenance is key to keeping that system working efficiently. That means routine filter changes by yourself or by your chosen water specialist. If you have hard water or, for some reason, there is more sediment and particles in your water, it may require more frequent filter changes. Being proactive with care is an important part of any filtration process. Water filtration systems differ in size, price, installation, and efficiency, but they all in some way improve our water’s quality.

What is Hard Water?

filtration | Definition, Examples, & Processes | Britannica

When water runs through limestone or chalk, it can build up a deposit of minerals, including magnesium and calcium. Water with a high concentration of such minerals is known as hard water. Soft water, on the other hand, contains low concentrations of these ions.

Home Filters

Water does not need to qualify as not being potable to benefit from some filtration system. One of the biggest consumer concerns is the chlorine taste left by town water treatment plants. It’s a necessary evil that results from measures taken to make your drinking water safe. You can, however, add an economical and simple filter system to reduce that if you wish to. A good alternative is also keeping a filtered water pitcher in the refrigerator.

Note that not all carbon filters, or larger units, have the same efficiency. There are differences in infiltration layers or stages, as well as in the quality of materials. That’s where the product details should be reviewed, so you know what the product will do for your water.

The featured is a good example of a simple measure to improve the quality of water. This is a popular choice for many because of its performance, easy install and affordable price.

Making Water Safe in an Emergency

In an emergency, water contaminated with germs can often be made safe to drink by boiling, adding disinfectants, or filtering.

IMPORTANT: Water contaminated with fuel, toxic chemicals, or radioactive material will not be made safe by boiling or disinfection. Use bottled water or a different source of water if you know or suspect that your water might be contaminated with fuel or toxic chemicals.

In emergency situations, use bottled water if possible; bottled water is the safest choice for drinking and all other uses. If bottled water is not available, the following methods can help make your water safe to drink.  

*Note: These methods are listed in order of what is most effective at making your water safe.

1. Boiling

If you don’t have safe bottled water, you should boil your water to make it safe to drink. Boiling is the surest method to kill disease-causing organisms, including viruses, bacteria, and parasites.

You can improve the flat taste of boiled water by pouring it from one container to another and then allowing it to stand for a few hours; OR by adding a pinch of salt for each quart or liter of boiled water.

If the water is cloudy:

  1. Filter it through a clean cloth, paper towel, or coffee filter OR allow it to settle.
  2. Draw off the clear water.
  3. Bring the clear water to a rolling boil for 1 minute (at elevations above 6,500 feet, boil for three minutes).
  4. Let the boiled water cool.
  5. Store the boiled water in clean sanitized containers with tight covers.

If the water is clear:

  1. Bring the clear water to a rolling boil for 1 minute (at elevations above 6,500 feet, boil for three minutes).
  2. Let the boiled water cool.
  3. Store the boiled water in clean sanitized containers with tight covers.

2. Disinfectants

If you don’t have safe bottled water and if boiling is not possible, you often can make small quantities of filtered and settled water safer to drink by using a chemical disinfectant such as unscented household chlorine bleach.

Disinfectants can kill most harmful or disease-causing viruses and bacteria, but are not as effective in controlling more resistant organisms, such as the parasites Cryptosporidium and Giardia. Chlorine dioxide tablets can be effective against Cryptosporidium if the manufacturer’s instructions are followed correctly.

If the water is contaminated with a chemical or radioactive material, adding a disinfectant will not make it drinkable.
To disinfect water with unscented household liquid chlorine bleach:

To disinfect water with unscented household liquid chlorine bleach:

If the water is cloudy:

  1. Filter it through a clean cloth, paper towel, or coffee filter OR allow it to settle.
  2. Draw off the clear water.
  3. Follow the instructions for disinfecting drinking water that are written on the label of the bleach.
  4. If the necessary instructions are not given, check the “Active Ingredient” part of the label to find the sodium hypochlorite percentage; and use the information in the following table as a guide. Typically, unscented household liquid chlorine bleach in the United States will be between 5 and 9% sodium hypochlorite, though concentrations can be different in other countries. Using the table below, add the appropriate amount of bleach using a medicine dropper, teaspoon, or metric measure (milliliters).
  5. Stir the mixture well.
  6. Let it stand for at least 30 minutes before you use it for drinking.
  7. Store the disinfected water in clean, sanitized containers with tight covers.

If the water is clear:

  1. Follow the instructions for disinfecting drinking water that are written on the label of the bleach.
  2. If the necessary instructions are not given, check the “Active Ingredient” part of the label to find the sodium hypochlorite percentage; and use the information in the following table as a guide. Typically, unscented household liquid chlorine bleach in the United States will be between 5 and 9% sodium hypochlorite, though concentrations can be different in other countries. Using the table below, add the appropriate amount of bleach using a medicine dropper, teaspoon, or metric measure (milliliters).
  3. Stir the mixture well.
  4. Let it stand for at least 30 minutes before you use it for drinking.
  5. Store the disinfected water in clean, sanitized containers with tight covers.
Making water safe to use with bleach having a 5%-9% concentration of sodium hypochlorite (most common in the US). If the water is cloudy, murky, colored, or very cold, add double the amount of bleach listed below.
1 quart/liter water 1 gallon water 5 gallons water
If you have a dropper:
Add 2 drops of bleach
If you have a dropper:
Add 8 drops of bleach
If you have a dropper:
Add 40 drops of bleach
If you have something that measures milliliters (mL):
Add 0.1 mL of bleach
If you have something that measures milliliters (mL):
Add ½ mL of bleach
If you have something that measures milliliters (mL):
Add 2½ mL of bleach
If you have a measuring spoon:
Amount too small to measure
If you have a measuring spoon:
Add a little less than 1/8 teaspoon
If you have a measuring spoon:
Add ½ teaspoon of bleach

 

Making water safe to use with bleach having a 1% concentration of sodium hypochlorite (this concentration is not common in the US, but is used in other countries). If the water is cloudy, murky, colored, or very cold, add double the amount of bleach listed below.
1 quart/liter water 1 gallon water 5 gallons water
If you have a dropper:
Add 10 drops of bleach
If you have a dropper:
Add 40 drops of bleach
If you have a dropper:
Add 200 drops of bleach
If you have something that measures milliliters (ml):
Add ½ mL of bleach
If you have something that measures milliliters (ml):
Add 2½ mL of bleach
If you have something that measures milliliters (ml):
Add 12½ mL of bleach
If you have a measuring spoon:
Add ⅛ teaspoon of bleach
If you have a measuring spoon:
Add ½ teaspoon of bleach
If you have a measuring spoon:
Add 2½ teaspoons of bleach

Tablets can be used to disinfect water and are popular among campers and hikers, as well as in other countries. They are available in different sizes and made to treat specific amounts of water. To disinfect water with tablets:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the label or in the package.
    • Chlorine dioxide tablets can be effective against Cryptosporidium if the manufacturer’s instructions are followed correctly.
    • Iodine and iodine-containing tablets (tetraglycine hydroperiodide) or chlorine tablets are not effective against CryptosporidiumWater that has been disinfected with iodine is NOT recommended for pregnant women, people with thyroid problems, those with known hypersensitivity to iodine, or for continuous use for more than a few weeks at a time.

3. Filters

Many portable water filters can remove disease-causing parasites such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia from drinking water.
If you are choosing a portable water filter:

  • Try to pick one that has a filter pore size small enough to remove parasites (such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium). Most portable water filters do not remove bacteria or viruses.
  • Carefully read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the water filter you intend to use.
  • After filtering, add a disinfectant such as iodine, chlorine, or chlorine dioxide to the filtered water to kill any viruses and remaining bacteria.

For more information about water filters that can remove parasites, contact us for more information.

Drinking from the Tap vs. Brita: Are Water Filter Pitchers Actually Better?

When’s the last time you changed your filter?

If you have a water filter pitcher sitting in your fridge right now, you probably don’t think much of it — just fill it up and you’re good to go, right? But when was the last time you changed the filter?

If you’ve been sipping on that Brita water because you can’t stand tap water and haven’t swapped in a new filter yet, we’ve got some news for you. Your filtered water may not be that pure after all.

In fact, it may even be worse than when it came from the tap. But before you freak out, here’s everything you need to know about water filter pitchers, and how to find out if you’re using them — and protecting yourself — properly.

How do water pitcher filters work?

“Different pitcher filters have different types of media in them, depending on the brand — most use activated carbon to reduce contaminants and impurities,” says Rick Andrew, director of the NSF International Global Water program. “Activated carbon works through adsorption, meaning that it attracts the contaminant molecules and they adhere strongly to the carbon.”

The large surface area of the carbon acts like a sponge that absorbs contaminants as tap water passes through. These filters remove:

  • metals like lead, copper, and mercury
  • chemicals like chlorine and pesticides
  • organic compounds that affect the taste and smell of water

For example, the Brita water filter pitcher uses a coconut-based activated carbon filter that removes chlorine, zinc, copper, cadmium and mercury.

However, activated carbon filters don’t remove all nitrates, dissolved minerals, or bacteria and viruses in water through the absorption process. Unlike metals, they pass through the filter because these don’t bind to the carbon.

That said, dissolved minerals in water aren’t necessarily hazardous and most tap water has already been treated to remove bacteria and other harmful microorganisms. So, it’s not usually a big deal if this stuff slips through.

Some filter types include a material called ion exchange resin which can remove “hardness” from water, or calcium and magnesium ions.

Water filter pitchers are an affordable, easy-to-use option for purifying your water, which is why they’re so popular. According to Consumer Reports, annual filter costs per year range from $32 to $180.

Ideally, your water pitcher filter label should indicate it’s NSF-certifiedTrusted Source, which means it meets certain standards for sanitation and efficacy. “Certification of filters lets everyone know the product has been tested and meets the requirements of NSF/ANSI 53,” says Andrew.

Other at-home filter treatments include reverse osmosis and distillation units, which are the most effective but also much more expensive and complex. These include things like refrigerator filters, under-the-sink filters, and even filtrations systems for your entire house.

How often do you need to replace the water filter in your pitcher?

When you need to change your filter depends on the brand and model you have.

“The most important thing for consumers to remember is that they really need to change those filters according to the manufacturers’ recommendations or they aren’t going to be effective,” says Andrew. “They are certified to reduce contaminants only according to the manufacturer’s instructions.”

The product instructions should tell you how long your filter will last. It’s typically measured in months or how much water has been filtered, usually in gallons. Some pitchers also have sensors that indicate when it’s time to swap in a new one.

Product and filter life

Here are examples of how often you need to replace the filter for five popular brands of water filter pitchers.

Brand and model Filter replacement requirements
Brita Grand 10-cup pitcher every 2 months or after 40 gallons
PUR Classic 11-cup pitcher every 2 months
Zerowater 10-cup pitcher after 25–40 gallons, depending on tap water quality
Clearly Filtered 8-cup pitcher every 4 months or after 100 gallons
Aquagear 8-cup pitcher every 6 months or after 150 gallons

These may vary slightly depending on how often you use the pitcher. But if we’re being honest, most of us probably aren’t diligent about replacing the filter every two months — let alone every 6 months… or every year.

What happens if you don’t change your filter regularly?

An old filter is not only going to be less effective — and crazy slow — but also really gross and grimy. So, you’re putting yourself at risk for drinking whatever contaminants are in the tap water to begin with and whatever is growing (yes, growing) in that old filter.

“Filters that are not changed at the proper time may not work to reduce the contaminants that they were originally designed to address. If it’s not filtered out, that contaminant might result in potentially harmful health effects,” said Andrew.

As we mentioned, your water filter is not killing bacteria. Microbes can both be trapped and flow into your water, and it’s bacteria stuck in your filter that you should be worried about.

Yes, your old filter can add bacteria to your water

The moist environment in the pitcher filter is perfect for multiplication, so bacteria can reach higher concentrations. This can make you sick if you continue to use the old filter.

An older German studyTrusted Source found that the amount of bacteria was less in tap water than filtered water after one week of use at two different temperatures. Researchers concluded that the filter had a biofilm growing on it, and in some cases the bacteria colony counts in the filtered water was up to 10,000 times those in the tap water. Yikes.

What are the health risks of drinking unfiltered water?

First things first: Tap water that hasn’t been filtered isn’t the same as untreated or “raw” water that you get from dipping your cup in a stream. This water isn’t safe to drink. But even treated water can still contain physical, biological, chemical, and even radiological contaminants. Where you live and where your water comes from — a well, ground water, city — as well as safety regulations and how it’s treated are all factors that can determine what’s lurking in your water.

Contaminants can be naturally occurring or caused by human activity. The list of junk that can end up in your drinking water is pretty extensive, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and can include things like lead, pesticides, industrial chemicals, and other heavy metals. Some contaminants are harmless, but others can be harmful at high levels.

Lead poisoning can occur if lead pipes or faucets are used in your plumbing system, typically when they corrode. Poisoning can cause delays in development and learning disabilities in children. In adults, it can cause kidney issues and high blood pressure.

The only way to know if there is lead in your water is to have it tested, because you cannot see, smell or taste it, according to the CDCTrusted Source.

Biological contaminants include:

  • bacteria like E. coli and Legionella
  • viruses like norovirus and rotavirus
  • parasites like Giardia and Cryptosporidium

These can make you really sick, often causing gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea, cramps, nausea, and other complications. Tap water is usually sanitized to remove these but outbreaks can happen.

Again, these contaminants can be present in unfiltered, treated tap water or water that’s passed through an expired, ineffective filter.

How can you tell if your water is safe to drink?

Generally, you’ll know if the tap water in your area or a place you are visiting isn’t suitable for drinking.

Most tap water in the United States meets the proper sanitation standards and is safe to drink — with exceptions of course. But if you really aren’t sure whether tap water or water in your filter pitcher is safe to drink, there are a few ways to find out.

One way is to tell is by looking. Fill up a glass and see if you notice any cloudiness or sediment in your water. These may be signs of contamination and you either shouldn’t drink it or make sure it’s properly filtered first.

What if the cloudy water is from your water pitcher filter?

“If the filter remains in place beyond its lifespan, the water can become cloudy due to the impact of microorganisms that have colonized the filter,” says Andrew. “These organisms are typically harmless, but unpleasant, due to their presence in the filtered water.” But if you can’t tell for sure, it’s best to just get a new filter for your pitcher ASAP.

What if your water looks completely normal — how can you tell if it’s possibly contaminated?

“It is essential that consumers know what is in their water to determine if they need a filter,” says Andrew. “Local water utilities can provide a copy of their consumer confidence report, which details the quality of drinking water. People can also have their water independently tested so they can treat for specific contaminants if necessary.”

If you want to check the drinking water quality in your area, you can go to the EPA’s Consumer Confidence Report to find data specific to your area. This was established by the 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments that required states to do assessments of all public water systems.

You can also test your water quality at home. Your state or local health department may offer testing kits for free, or you can purchase them online or from a home improvement store. You can also have your water tested by an EPA-certified laboratory , or call the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791 for more information.

To filter or not to filter — it’s up to you

While it isn’t essential to have a water pitcher filter in your refrigerator, these carbon filters can help purify and remove a host of contaminants that affect the taste and smell of your water.

However, they won’t kill bacteria and if too much gets trapped in an unchanged filter, those microbes can multiply to levels that can make you sick.

So, if you can’t remember the last time you changed out your filter, it’s definitely time to do so. And if you love drinking from the tap, keep doing you. Happy hydrating!

How to Filter Water at Home: Tips, Safety, and Instructions

A good way to ensure you’re drinking clean water is by filtering it.

While you can purchase bottled water that a company has already filtered, you can also filter water yourself. The method you choose to do this — and there are several — will likely depend on your:

  • water quality goals
  • budget
  • desired level of effort

This article focuses on do-it-yourself (DIY) water filtration methods, which you can use whether you’re at home, traveling, or in nature.

Pouring boiled water headerShare on Pinterest
Cavan Images/Offset Images
DIY water filtering methods

The best water filtration method for you will depend on your environment, your budget, and how much effort you want to invest.

You can purchase relatively small home water filters at many hardware and homeware stores. Many of them are canister-style filters that couple directly with your kitchen faucet.

Some offer a variety of filtration cartridges to choose from, depending on your filtering needs.

You can also use a number of DIY methods to filter, disinfect, and purify water yourself. They may come in handy, especially when traditional systems aren’t an option.

Below are some common DIY water filtering methods you can use.

Boiling

Heating water at a rolling boil for 1 minute makes it safe to drink. Boil it for 3 minutes if you’re at an elevation above 6,500 feet (1,981 meters).

In the event of a local boil water advisory, experts recommend people boil their water to prevent infectious diseases (1Trusted Source2Trusted Source).

Tablets or drops

Some common water purification or disinfecting tablets and drops include:

  • sodium dichloroisocyanurate
  • chlorine dioxide
  • iodine
  • tetraglycine hydroperiodide

To use, follow the instructions on the package and drop the tablets into the water to purify it, letting them sit for a directed period of time.

UV treatment

In this approach, you allow ultraviolet sunlight to shine through the water. This damages the DNA of harmful germs, disinfecting the water by removing bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms.

Adding lime juice can help speed up the solar treatment process (3Trusted Source).

Activated charcoal

Activated charcoal can take up and store toxic compounds, smell, and germs. It can also reduce fluoride and heavy metals.

However, it doesn’t appear to be very effective at removing bacteria, viruses, or hard water minerals (4Trusted Source56).

To use it, simply put the charcoal in a sock or cloth bag and pour water through.

Travel-size sediment filters

These store-bought filters are designed to remove germs and bacteria from natural water. Companies may design them to use once or multiple times.

They come in the following forms:

  • a hand-pump machine
  • a filtering straw or water bottle
  • squeezable pouch filters
  • a filtering water pitcher

DIY portable sediment filters

You can create your own water filter to remove smell and debris by layering a mix of gravel, play sand, and activated carbon in a bucket drilled with a hole and fit with plumbing to pour water through.

Fruit peel filters

People sometimes use fruit peels, such as apple peels, for water purification in remote villages that rely on contaminated water for everyday needs.

You could potentially adapt this method into a DIY water filtration system. However, this may not be a good idea until scientists have done more research on the safety and effectiveness of this method for DIY use (7Trusted Source).

SUMMARYWhen traditional water filtration methods are unavailable, you have plenty of other options, such as boiling, UV treatment, disinfectant tablets, portable sediment filters, and activated charcoal.

Reasons to filter water

You may be interested in filtering your water for many reasons.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets certain standards for tap water in homes throughout the United States. However, these may not be enough to align with your water quality goals.

For example, the maximum contaminant level goal (MCLG) for arsenic, a known human carcinogen, is 0.0 mg/L. However, the maximum amount the EPA allows in tap water is 0.01 mg/L (8Trusted Source9Trusted Source).

The MCLG is the highest amount of a contaminant allowed in tap water before there is concern for adverse health effects. This means it’s possible people could experience harmful effects from arsenic by drinking tap water that adheres to EPA water quality standards.

Furthermore, though EPA regulates approximately 90 contaminants in tap water, there are many more it doesn’t regulate (1011Trusted Source).

Some people are also concerned that they can’t know or control what may happen to their drinking water between the time it leaves the treatment facility and pours into their glass, or how their municipality functions.

In the Flint, Michigan, water crisis, the city failed to treat the water after changes in water source. As a result, lead leached into the city water from pipes and the contaminated water reached people’s homes (12Trusted Source13Trusted Source).

Lead has negative impact on the brain development of children, among other harmful effects (12Trusted Source13Trusted Source).

For indoor water use, it may be a good idea to keep a stock of filtered water available in case of emergency water shutoffs or other events that result in a lack of clean drinking water. Having a water filter at home may come in handy, too.

For outdoor activities, like camping and backpacking, consider bringing a method to filter water. This will help you avoid consuming harmful germs or other contaminants in natural water, which may result from wild animals or other human traffic.

Filtering water can not only remove contaminants and debris, it can also make your water taste better. Additionally, it can be a more eco-friendly way to enjoy clean water because it helps you cut down on single-use plastic bottles.

SUMMARYWater filtration may further improve some aspects of tap water. It can also be helpful in water shutoff situations or scenarios when clean drinking water isn’t readily available, like in remote locations.

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Water Filters Buying Guide

Is your tap water safe to drink? Unfortunately, as discussed in the article Is Your Water Safe?, it may not be.

Because unhealthy levels of contaminants such as bacteria, lead, and pesticides are found in both metropolitan and well water supplies, it’s important to know whether pollutants exist in your water. And, if they do, you need to know how to supply your home with clean water.

Buying the right water filter can ensure clean, safe drinking water.Dreamstime

Buying bottled water is the quickest and, initially, cheapest way to get clean drinking water. But over the long haul, it is far more expensive, and plastic bottles are wasteful and an environmental blight.

Producers of bottled waters are regulated by the same standards imposed on public water systems and are also self-regulated by the International Bottled Water Association. Club sodas, carbonated waters, seltzers, and waters containing more than 1 percent flavoring are not covered by these standards.

Water filters are the more permanent solution. Many types of water filters are made, and they range widely in sophistication and price. They may use reverse-osmosis, activated carbon, or ultra-violet rays to clean or purify water.

Should you buy an under-the-sink reverse-osmosis filter, or will a simple spout-mounted carbon filter do? Scores of companies claim to have the latest and greatest answer to your water needs. What are your other options?

The effectiveness of a water filter at removing specific contaminants depends upon the technology used. So, it’s important to know what needs to be removed from your water—and that involves testing.

This section of HomeTips explores the issues of clean drinking water, how to get water testing accomplished, comparing filter technologies, and how to install a water filter.

Types of Water Filters

If the only problem with your water is grit, dirt, sediment, rust, or other such particles, a screening filter may be sufficient. Made of fiber, fabric, ceramic, or another screening medium, these simply catch particles—including, in some cases, small organisms like cysts and some bacteria. But don’t rely on them to handle disease-causing organisms, VOCs, metals, or the like.

Carbon Water Filters

If your water tastes, smells, or looks bad, a filter containing activated carbon (AC) may solve the problem. If you want to remove chlorine, pesticides, herbicides, radon, trihalomethanes (THMs), and some inorganic chemicals, carbon may do the trick.

Some, but not all, carbon filters are effective at reducing lead content. Solid-block and pre-coat absorption filters trap lead. Check the certification of the unit you’re interested in buying and, if claims are made regarding lead removal, ask for proof.

Simple carbon filters attach to the faucet, polishing taste and removing some contaminants.Culligan

You can’t rely on a conventional carbon filter to remove salts, nitrates, nitrites, and some metals. And you shouldn’t rely exclusively on one to remove organisms. In fact, be aware that a carbon filter will accumulate the contaminants removed from water, and bacteria may even breed in it, so you must replace filter cartridges religiously, according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

A carbon filter that contains pesticide silver may be registered—but, remember, is not endorsed—by the EPA. Studies show that these are not fully effective at eliminating bacterial growth or microbiological contaminants. Again, be sure any such claims are substantiated.

Effectiveness of a particular carbon unit is a factor of the amount of activated carbon it contains. You can buy whole-house, under-counter, countertop, and faucet-mounted styles, but the $30 faucet-end models are only marginally effective. Known as point-of-entry (POE) systems, whole-house units are recommended where a contaminant such as radon poses a threat to the entire household.

Reverse Osmosis Water Filters

If you must remove inorganic chemicals such as salts, metals (including lead), minerals, nitrates, asbestos, and some organic chemicals, consider a reverse-osmosis (RO) water filter.

Actually, most models include carbon pre-filters and post-filters, which will catch sediment, pesticides, herbicides, THMs, and radon. RO filters remove lead, but some don’t remove chlorine (if this is claimed, request proof of performance). The carbon post-filter is used to improve the water’s taste.

Pre- and post-filter cartridges should be replaced annually.

Most RO filters are connected directly to plumbing and are located beneath the sink. A small tank stores clean water until needed, and tainted water drains out through a line connected to the sink trap. Drinking water flows through a special, separate sink-top spout.

Some models have an automatic valve that eliminates the waste typically associated with RO filters—conventional models waste about 3 gallons for every gallon of water they produce. They generally cost from $200 to $400.

 

Water Distillers

If you just want a portable, sink-top appliance that will rid water of most dissolved solids, such as salts, asbestos fibers, metals, minerals, particles, and some organic chemicals, an inexpensive water distiller may be just the thing.

Countertop water distiller purifiers water by turning it to steam.Megahome

Distillers heat water until it turns to steam and then condenses the steam back into water in a separate chamber, leaving behind anything that won’t travel in the steam.

Unless coupled with a carbon filter, they will not remove all chemical pollutants and all bacteria. Most have to be filled manually, they use a considerable amount of electricity to operate, and they may take several hours to produce 1 gallon of water. Prices range from about $80 to $400—most popular models are about $200.

UV Water Purifiers

Ultraviolet (UV) disinfection water filters, which typically cost $150 or more, may kill bacteria and viruses, and clear the taste and odor of water, but they are not effective against chemical pollutants and may not work against cysts and spores. UV may be combined with carbon filters to kill bacteria; these units tend to cost from $300 to $700.

Buying a Water Filtering Faucet

With the popularity of water-treatment devices, a number of manufacturers have introduced products that integrate water systems seamlessly into the kitchen. For example, American Standard makes the Streaming filtering faucet that works with an under-sink filter to deliver filtered water through the main kitchen faucet.

Filtering faucet delivers filtered water right through the main tap.American Standard

Frigidaire offers a built-in PureSource Ice & Water Filter in its Gallery Side-by-Side refrigerators, and the GE Profile Performance Side-by-Side refrigerator offers a “Water by Culligan” built-in filter. Just be sure whatever product you buy utilizes the type of filter needed to mitigate your water problems.

 

 

6 Real Benefits of Filtered Tap Water

We need water to survive. Humans are made up of 70% water, which is bound in our cell membranes. Water is more important than food – we can go up to a month without food, but can only survive a week without water. Making it all the more crucial that we drink clean and pure water. If water is not treated, filtered, or purified, it can make you sick. Nowadays, we have advanced water technology, such as water filters and water filtration systems. Filtered tap water is better than standard tap water and bottled water. Let’s take a look at the benefits of water filtration and using water filters.

Filtering Tap Water Is Cost-Effective:

Using water filters to filter tap water is much cheaper than buying bottled water, which is also not eco-friendly, due to the bottles’ plastic production. Funnily enough, most bottled water actually comes from tap water, so you are really just paying for the plastic. Through purchasing a professional water filter, you will be saving yourself lots of money and you will be drinking higher quality water that has been filtered accordingly.

Water Filtration Has Massive Environmental Benefits:

Bottled water is a source of pollution, as it takes the plastic bottle 300 years to degrade and a ton of water is wasted due to it taking 3 times as much water to produce the bottle itself than it does to fill the bottle. By filtering tap water at your home or business, you will be helping the environment. Take a look at European Watercare’s eco-friendly water filters with insert refill technology to see just what sustainable water filters can do to help the environment.

Water Impurities Are Removed By Filtration:

Water filtration removes water impurities and dangerous contaminants such as chlorine, disinfection byproducts and heavy metals such as mercury, lead, and arsenic. At the same time, water filters cleverly ensure that important minerals such as magnesium, fluoride, calcium, and zinc are retained. They protect you from toxins and ensure that you consume healthy minerals. Water filters also prevent limescale.

Filtered Water Tastes And Smells Better:

Free Photo | Drop of water falling

Filtering water also helps it to taste and smell better due to the impurities being removed. A more refreshing and enhanced flavor is derived, resulting in a higher sense of satisfaction after drinking filtered water. Tap water tends to taste and smell like chlorine, whereas distilled water has most of the minerals removed and so it will taste very bland. Filtered water removes contaminants, but leaves in the minerals that make water taste good.

Water Filtration Boosts Your Health:

Water filtration systems are good for your health. The benefits are ten-fold, with skin hydration, nutrient absorption, weight loss, detoxification, digestion and a reduction in the risk of cancer. Drinking pure water helps to support the immune system and mental health function.

Water Filters Are Low Maintenance:

Water filters are convenient and easy to use. Water filtration products are durable, portable, easy to change for quick filtration and are low maintenance.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of benefits for water filters. Tap water filtration comes with convenience, health, environmental, financial and flavor benefits, so why not purchase a water filter from European Watercare for your business? We have water filtration options to suit a wide range of business sectors. If you have a water filtration system installed at your business, share with us the benefits you have experienced, our readers love to learn from real experiences.

5 Health Benefits of Reverse Osmosis Water

  • water-pour-image

Here Are The 5 Health Benefits of Reverse Osmosis Water

Reverse osmosis water actually has a lot of benefits. Here are 5 benefits worth checking out.

You learned on the news that your local water system has high amounts of lead in it. You’re concerned because you heard about the Flint water crisis and the dangers of lead exposure.

You have a family and don’t want to expose them to contaminated water. You look into various water filtration methods. You look into standard water filters. But they don’t filter out enough of the lead and other contaminates.

You also look into purified water sources. Then, you begin to learn about the health benefits of reverse osmosis water.

What are the benefits of reverse osmosis water? Reverse osmosis water contains fewer contaminants, has lower sodium, has no parasites or bacteria, and is safer for cancer patients. It filters out pollutants through a membrane filter that doesn’t allow solids and prominent microbes to pass through.

As a result, you get purified water that doesn’t have any contaminants. This article will explore how reverse osmosis water benefits your health. Read further if you wish to know more.

Powerful Filtration

Reverse osmosis water eliminates molecules that are harmful to the body. For instance, calcium deposits can harden your water and affect your skin negatively. The compounds can in the following forms:

  • Phosphate
  • Lead
  • Arsenic
  • Mercury
  • Fluoride
  • Chloride
  • Cyanide
  • Ammonia

All of these compounds can cause organ complications, cancer, reproductive issues, eye problems, etc. Moreover, tap water may contain harmful fertilizers and pesticides that further contaminate water.

Many water systems throughout the United States contain excessive amounts of contaminants that jeopardize human health. You can test your own water with an at-home testing kit that measures harmful contaminants in your water. Or, you can test your water by smelling it.

Water that smells like chlorine or rotten eggs indicates impurities in your water. The smell of rotten eggs, for example, notes the presence of hydrogen sulfide in your water.

Even though hydrogen sulfide will not impact your health in a negative way, it’s a pollutant that doesn’t need to be in your water. Further, water that has one contaminate may contain others that can affect your health in the long-term.

On the other hand, RO water filters out solids and chemical compounds. Additionally, it will remove pesticides and organic materials that aren’t fit for human consumption.

Lead Removal

Lead is one of the most prevalent contaminants in U.S. drinking supplies. Lead infiltrates drinking water when the pipes undergo corrosion. Flint is a notable city that’s notorious for its lead contamination, but many other cities suffer from the same problem.

Moreover, adults and children tested positive for lead in multiple cities due to contaminated water supplies. Even trace amounts of lead are still harmful to humans.

Lead is so dangerous that the EPA recommends no lead presence in public drinking water whatsoever. Lead can cause the following health issues:

  • Nerve damage
  • Fertility issues
  • Blood pressure spikes
  • Muscle damage
  • Developmental problems
  • Brain damage

However, commercial RO water systems can be the solution that purifies public water systems for the masses. It can also lower other elements that are suitable for consumption, such as salt.

Reduces Sodium Levels

Water via reverse osmosis removes between 90 to 95 percent of sodium from water supplies. RO filters out sodium through the same thin membranes that expel contaminants. A glass of water may contain 12 mg of sodium on average. Additionally, bottled water may contain sodium.

Sodium can get into your water for the following reasons:

  • Natural process
  • Water treatment methods
  • Ion water units

Even though a glass of water doesn’t contain a high amount of sodium, you can consume a fair amount of sodium when drinking multiple glasses of water per day. Health experts recommend drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day.

And, some forms of water of higher sodium levels than the other. The EPA recommends no higher than 20 mg of sodium in water sources. If not careful, sodium water can contribute to 10% of a person’s overall sodium intake.

RO is a useful mechanism if you’re on a low-sodium diet. Excessive sodium can lead to high blood pressure, which leads to such health issues as heart disease and kidney/liver problems.

However, RO can filter out salt caused by natural or man-made processes.

No Parasites or Bacteria 

RO can filter out parasites in the form of cryptosporidium. Cryptosporidium affects the small intestines and causes fever, cramps, and diarrhea. This parasite affects children, causing malnutrition and dehydration. And, an RO filter can get rid of other waterborne parasites, such as giardia.

Giardia is another parasite that can cause intestinal complications. It’s most common in children. It can also cause death in children if left untreated.

Experts recommend RO filtration if you live in an area that has a dirty water system. And, RO filters can filter out bacteria because they are too large to penetrate through the membranes.

Safer for Patients

Since RO water contains no parasites and harmful microbes, it is safe for patients undergoing cancer treatment. Radiation therapy weakens the immune systems of many cancer patients.

Drinking contaminated water of any kind could compromise their immune systems and cause health issues. Moreover, patients can use RO water when cooking. Therefore, they can avoid cooking with tap water. Tap water may contain bacteria or other malicious compounds.

The Overall Health Benefits of Drinking Osmosis Water

The overall health benefits of drinking osmosis water are purity levels. RO water is one of the few drinking sources that contain no minerals or impurities. Bacteria and parasites cannot enter through a filter.

Additionally, an RO system dispels contaminants in the form of lead or mercury. Lead and mercury can degrade human health over time. And, the elimination of compounds gives the water a purified taste that’s clean and refreshing.

It also filters out sodium levels that can contribute to high blood pressure. However, the RO method is only as good as the filter. Broken filters allow microbes and contaminants to pass through. Therefore, replace your filters regularly.

Interesting in learning more about the reverse osmosis method and AAA water? One of our AAA water team members would be happy to help you. Click here to learn more about how we can purify your drinking water.

4 Methods to Purify Your Water

6 Ways to Purify Water and their Pros & Cons - House Grail

It’s extremely important to confirm your water has been purified or treated before drinking. If your water is contaminated and you don’t have bottled water, there are various water purification methods that are used today, and each method has its merits and demerits. Filtering is good for basic water tasks such as sediment and chlorine removal, but in the long run reverse osmosis is the best option. At Schultz Soft Water we focus on reverse osmosis units because they require a lot less energy and time required to make water versus distillation.

When reverse osmosis is not available, there are 4 water purification methods that you can use to make your water safe for drinking.

1 – Boiling

How To Purify Your Own Water At Home | Lipsey Water

Boiling water is the cheapest and safest method of water purification. Water sources and or channels of distribution may render your water unsafe. For example, parasites and germs are things you may not see by bare eyes, but their effects can be life threatening.

In this method, clean water should be brought to boil and left at rolling-boil for 1-3 minutes. For people living in high altitude areas, it is recommended to boil your water for longer than water boiled at lower altitudes. This is because water boils at lower temperatures in higher altitudes. Boiled water should be covered and left to cool before drinking. For water drawn from wells, leave it for compounds to settle before you filter out clean water for use.

2 – Filtration

Hot gravity filtration and vacuum filtration in recrystallization

Filtration is one of the effective ways of purifying water and when using the right multimedia filters it’s effective in ridding water of the compounds. This method uses chemical and physical processes to purify water and make it safe for human consumption. Filtration eliminates both large compounds and small, dangerous contaminants that cause diseases with a simple and quick filtration process.. Since filtration does not deplete all the mineral salts, water that has been filtered is considered healthier compared to water purified using other methods. It’s one of the effective water purification methods that utilize chemical absorption process that effectively removes unwanted compounds from water.

Compared to reverse osmosis, filtration is considered effective when it comes to selective elimination of much smaller molecular compounds such as chlorine and pesticides. The other factor that makes filtration less costly is that it does not require a lot of energy needed in distillation and reverse osmosis. It is an economic method of water purification because little water is lost during purification.

3 – Distillation

How Does Steam Distillation Work?

Distillation is a water purification method that utilizes heat to collect pure water in the form of vapor. This method is effective by the scientific fact that water has a lower boiling point than other contaminants and disease-causing elements found in water. Water is subjected to a heat source until it attains its boiling point. It is then left at the boiling point until it vaporizes. This vapor is directed into a condenser to cool. Upon cooling, vapor is reversed into liquid water that is clean and safe for drinking. Other substances that have a higher boiling point are left as sediments in the container.

This method is effective in removing bacteria, germs, salts and other heavy metals such as lead, mercury and arsenic. Distillation is ideal for people who have access to raw, untreated water. This method has both advantages and disadvantages. A notable disadvantage is that it is a slow process of water purification. In addition, it requires a heat source for the purification to work. Although cheap sources of energy are being developed, distillation remains a costly process of purifying water. It is only ideal (effective and least costly) when purifying small quantities of water (It is not ideal for large scale, commercial or industrial purification).

4 – Chlorination

Chlorine is a powerful chemical that has been in use for many years to treat water for home consumption. Chlorine is an effective water purification method that kills germs, parasites and other disease-causing organisms found in ground or tap water. Water can be purified using chlorine tablets or liquid chlorine. As an off-the-shelf water purification product, chlorine is cheap and effective. However, caution should be taken when using chlorine liquid or tablets to treat drinking water. For example, people suffering from thyroid problems should talk to a medical practitioner before using this product. When using chlorine tablets, it is important to apply them in heated water, as they dissolve well in water that is at 21 degree Celsius or higher. Chlorine tablets kill all bacteria leaving your water clean and safe.

If you are looking for the best ways of treating your water, Schultz Soft Water is your best source of advice on best water purification methods and custom solutions to your water purification needs. Reverse osmosis is the best option, whereas filtering is good for basic water tasks such as sediment and chlorine removal. Reverse osmosis covers a larger spectrum of contaminant removal.

Contact our team of experienced water purification experts to give you the best water treatment solutions. We will help achieve better health for you, your family and guests.

Water Filters: The Many Ways to Purify Your Drinking Water

Filtered Water

When it comes to drinking water, everyone wants clean, great tasting water. For many families, a home water filter helps to provide them with pristine water that is free of odors, chemicals, lead and other potentially toxic substances. Despite the fact that many of these filters seem identical, there are significant differences between the many types and brands.

If you have ever considered purchasing a water filtration system for your home or office, the information below will help you understand the different technologies and their functions.

What You Need to Know Before Buying a Water Filter

As mentioned above, all water filters are not identical. Here are three more commonly unknown facts about water filtration systems:

  • Filter quality varies from one brand to another, each one eliminating a specific set of contaminants.
  • Just because a filter is “NSF Certified,” it is not guaranteed to remove any specific contaminant.
  • Some filters rely on multiple technologies in order to remove contaminants, while others utilize a single type.

If you wish to better understand the more technical elements of your water filter, simply read the label or visit the company website before you make a purchase.

10 Water Filtration Methods

Before you buy any type of water for your home, whether a jug from the store, a filter or even a water cooler, it’s wise to know more about the various purification methods that may have happened before you take a sip. Some filtration methods are better at removing particles and contaminants than others. Here’s a quick overview of each type of water filtration method.

1. Activated Carbon

Carbon removes contaminants by chemically bonding to the water that is poured into the system. Some are only effective at removing chlorine, which only improves taste and odor, while others remove more harmful contaminants, such as mercury and lead. It is important to note that carbon filters do not have the ability to remove inorganic pollutants such as nitrates, fluoride, and arsenic. Carbon filters are usually sold in block or granulated form to consumers.

2. Distillation

Distillation is one of the oldest water purification methods. It vaporizes water by heating it to exceptionally high temperatures. The vapor is then condensed back into drinkable, liquid water. Distillation removes minerals, microorganisms, and chemicals that have a high boiling point. These filters cannot remove chlorine and many other volatile organic chemicals.

3. Deionization

Deionization filters promote ion exchange in your water in order to remove salts and other electrically charged ions. If a contaminant lacks an electrical charge, it will be removed by these filters. Living organisms, such as viruses and bacteria will not be removed by these filters.

4. Ion Exchange

Ion exchange technology uses a resin to replace harmful ions with ones that are less harmful. Ion exchange is often used to soften water since it has the ability to replace calcium and magnesium with sodium. In order for these filters to work for extended periods of time, the resin must be regularly “recharged” with harmless replacement ions.

5. Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis works by moving water through a semi-permeable membrane in order to stop larger, more harmful molecules from entering. Since this process can only block molecules that are larger than water, contaminants with larger molecules, such as chlorine, cannot be removed. Reverse osmosis systems are able to remove more contaminants than carbon, making them a popular choice for many consumers. These filters consume far more water than they produce, so they are best suited for domestic use.

6. Mechanical

Water Filtration Methods: How to Purify Your Drinking Water

Despite the fact that they cannot remove chemical contaminants, mechanical filters are an excellent option for consumers hoping to rid their water of sediments and cysts. Mechanical filters contain small holes that remove these contaminants, and they are sometimes used alongside other filtration technologies. If your water supply contains an undesirable amount of dirt and other particles, you may want to consider purchasing a mechanical filter.

7. Ozone

Ozone is often employed alongside other technologies, and it is renowned for its ability to effectively kill large numbers of microorganisms. Ozone filters do not remove chemicals, but if you are worried about getting sick from your water, this may be your best option.

8. Carbon Block

Carbon block filters are block-shaped filters that are composed of crushed carbon particles. These filters tend to be more effective than other types of carbon-based filters since they have a larger surface area. The rate at which water flows through these filters has a direct impact on their level of effectiveness. Fibredyne carbon block filters have a greater sediment-holding capacity than other types of block filters.

9. Granulated Carbon

As the name suggests, these filters use small grains of carbon to filter your water. Due to their rather small surface area, granulated carbon filters tend to be slightly less effective than their block-shaped counterparts. Much like a carbon block filter, their level of effectiveness is strongly influenced by water speed.

10. Water Softeners

Water softeners employ ion exchange technology in order to reduce the amount of magnesium and calcium in the water. This is especially useful if your plumbing fixtures are prone to accumulating mineral buildup. Since these harmful elements are replaced with sodium, water treated with this process tends to contain high levels of sodium. If you cannot consume large amounts of salt, it is best to avoid softened water. It is also unwise to water plants with softened water since it contains such high levels of sodium.

Types of Water Filters

There are various types of water filters available to consumers. Here are some of the most common types, along with their advantages and disadvantages:

  • Pitchers:

    Pitchers usually contain carbon filters that improve the taste and odor of your water by removing contaminants. These filter types are inexpensive and fit easily inside of most refrigerators.

  • Under-Sink:

    As the name implies, under-sink filters are installed underneath your sink and are attached directly to your water line. They can be expensive, but they require little maintenance and are placed out of sight.

  • On-Counter:

    On-counter filters are placed on the counter, and are directly connected to your faucet. A switch allows consumers to switch between filtered and unfiltered water. Countertop water coolers are a popular, hassle-free way to get purified water with little work.

  • Faucet-Mounted:

    Faucet-mounted filters attach directly to your faucet, allowing you to filter cooking and drinking water with ease. These filters are fairly simple to install, but they may not fit on all faucets.

Making the Right Decision

With so many choices on the market, finding the perfect water filtration system to fit your family’s needs may seem impossible at first. It is normal to feel overwhelmed, but by understanding how the different types work, and keeping your personal needs in mind, you will undoubtedly find the right one. When you install a water filter in your home, your family will have access to clean and healthy water any time the need arises.