Water filtration is the process by which water for domestic use is cleaned and impurities removed.
Filtration can be done at different stages of the water purification process depending on how much impurities are contained in the water.
Home water filter systems could rage from simple physical barriers that are attached to the water faucets to complex processes that involve the use of chemicals and biological processes to filtrate the water.
The Common Home Water Filters
- Granular activated carbon filters – These are usually attached to domestic faucets and cleans the water by absorbing chlorine and chloramines from water. It also removes other contaminants, and also removes or reduces odor and bad tastes.
- Metallic alloy filters – They are also attached to domestic water outlets. They are made from copper-zinc alloy that react with chlorine present in water therefore filtering it.
- Ceramic filters – These are another type of home filtration systems. They involve passing water through chambers whose outlet allows only water molecules to pass through. This kind of filters can only filter dirt, bacteria and debris but cannot filter chemical contaminants.
Ways of Installing Home Water Filtration Systems
There are two main ways of installing home water filtration systems:
- Mounted on the faucet – is the much easier way and it costs less money. However, it requires constant filter cleaning and changing.
- Installed in the plumbing system – this is more expensive but it does not require much cleaning and maintenance.
Before deciding on what water filtration system to purchase for your home, it is advisable to have your water tested for impurities in order to determine which type of filtration system to purchase.
According to the impurities contained in the water, consumers have the option of buying an in-line reverse-osmosis system or a carbon filter.
Carbon filters are mainly used to filter water that contains organic chemicals, chlorine, pesticides or chloroform. Reverse-osmosis on the other hand is used to filter water that has organic contaminants, sodium, nitrates, ferrous iron, lead or fluoride.
Advantages of Home Water Filtration Systems
One of the main advantages of home water filtration systems is the fact that they enable users to have clean water for drinking.
They can also be used to soften hard water that is used for laundry and other uses in the house. When laundry is done using soft water, it leaves the washing much softer and less detergent is used.
Most home water filtration systems come with a meter that indicates when the user needs to change the filter. This ensures that they do not drink unfiltered water because there is no chance of forgetting to replace the filter.
Another advantage is the cost effectiveness of home water filtration systems. After installation, not much maintenance and upgrading is required. Users may however need to change the filter once in a while.
Using water filtration systems also saves the user money in terms of medical bills. Drinking unfiltered water is mainly associated with certain diseases. With the use of water filtration systems, people are assured of a happy life and healthy lifestyles.
Water filters are specialized sieves used to ensure that water is clean and safe for drinking. With water being vital to the survival of humanity, the use of water filtration systems is of great importance. Unfiltered water carries with it sediment and microorganisms that may be harmful to ones health. This makes the addition of a filtration system in the home of great value.
There are different types of water filters available commercially that intend to serve the same purpose – making water safe for use. These filters use various processes such as distillation, reverse osmosis and carbon bonding.
The distillation process involves boiling the impure water until it vaporizes leaving any particles in it behind. The vapor then passes through a device that cools it back to liquid form. This process, tested in laboratories using an apparatus known as a distillation tank, has proven quite effective.
Reverse osmosis is a more complicated process. The water molecules, which are under great pressure force their way through a thin film or membrane. The membrane blocks substances in the water from seeping through. Reverse osmosis has proven effective in removing heavy metals such as lead and aluminum from water as well as microorganisms like bacteria and viruses.
Systems that use carbon in the filtration process work through adsorption. The carbon filtration process is composed of two distinct procedures, chemical bonding and mechanical straining.
In Chemical Bonding, an activated piece of black charcoal, which is hydrophorbic, is used. The black charcoal has an electro-positive charge that makes it a more attractive bonding agent to chemicals and other impurities. As water forces its way through the carbon, it passes slowly to allow sufficient contact time. This enables sediment in the water to attach to the carbon.
The second method of water purification using carbon is mechanical straining; carbon compressed into a solid block is used. Water molecules strain through the carbon blocks microscopic pores and effectively eliminate any particles. This method is more effective in removing a larger number of contaminants than chemical bonding because it has larger surface area of carbon.
The degree of effectiveness will depend on the flow rate of water and the contact time with the carbon. If the flow rate is too high, the filtration could have zero efficiency. These carbon filtration methods are more efficient in removing sediment, chlorine, and organic compounds from water. They are not as effective in removing dissolved inorganic compounds, minerals or salts.
These filtration systems have all proven to eliminate harmful organisms from water to a certain extent. Although water filter manufacturers claim that their products eliminate all impurities in water, the truth is that no filter is 100 percent effective. Human error as well as malfunction of the filtration system is possible.
When purchasing water filters, it is important to take note of the filtration process they use. Most people prefer those that incorporate distillation while others prefer a combination of several processes. Water filters are effective means of purifying water.