Beverage companies have made a fortune on marketing bottled water on the premise that it’s “pure,” from “pristine, natural sources,” and thereby safer than tap water. Bottled water marketing campaigns have been so successful in making people suspicious of their tap water, that sales skyrocketed 700 percent between 1997 and 2005. And from 1999 to 2017, per capita bottled water consumption has ballooned from 16.2 gallons to 42.1 gallons. Skyrocketing as well—the environmental degradation, landfill waste, and human rights abuses associated with bottled water. Plus, studies have shown that it’s no safer than tap water. The EPA notes that bottled water, like any water, can be expected to have some contaminants, although that does not make it unsafe.
There’s a much better option for ensuring that the water you and your family drink is as safe as it can be: water filters. Putting a safe water filter in your home is less expensive and far less environmentally damaging than bottled water. And if you choose the right filter, you can minimize or eliminate the contaminants of highest concern in your area. Here’s what you need to know:
How Safe Is Public Water?
Under the Safe Water Drinking Act, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for setting national drinking water standards. The EPA regulates over 80 contaminants—including arsenic, e-coli, cryptosporidia, chlorine, and lead—that may be found in drinking water from public water systems. While the EPA says that 90 percent of US public water systems meet its standards, you may want to use a water filter to further ensure your water’s safety.
A 2015 study by the nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) found that due to a combination of pollution and deteriorating equipment and pipes, the public water supplies for 18 million Americans have lead violations or other EPA-restricted contaminants (either legal limits or unenforceable suggested limits) and may pose health risks to some residents. So even though it may test fine at its source, public water may still pick up contaminants on the way to your house.
Contaminants that snuck into city water supplies studied by the NRDC include rocket fuel, arsenic, lead, fecal waste, and chemical by-products created during water treatment.
“Exposure to the contaminants [sometimes found in public and private drinking water] can cause a number of health problems, ranging from nausea and stomach pain to developmental problems and cancer,” notes Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) in its booklet, Drinking Water: What Health Care Providers Should Know. PSR estimates that up to 900,000 people get sick and 900 die in the US per year from contaminated public and private drinking water. Despite the problems with public water, it’s still just as safe as bottled water, despite the billions of dollars beverage companies spend to make you think bottled is better. (For more information, see below.)
Step One: Assess Your Tap Water
There isn’t a one-type-fits-all kind of safe water filter: not every filter type will eliminate every contaminant. You’ll save money and ensure that you’re targeting the contaminants of concern in your area by doing a little research up front.
“Most people purchase the wrong equipment because they skip this very important step, and then they’ve wasted money and resources on a system that isn’t making their water any safer,” says James P. McMahon, owner of Sweetwater, LLC, which provides consulting and products for people wanting to purify their air or water.
To start, check your water utility’s “Consumer Confidence Report,” which it must mail to you each year before July 1 by law. The report details where your drinking water comes from, what contaminants have been found in it, and how contaminant levels compare to national standards. You can also call your utility and ask for a copy, or visit www.epa.gov/safewater to see if it’s online.
While your report can tell you what’s going on with the water in your area, only a test of the water coming out of your tap will tell you what you and your family are drinking for sure. To find a state-certified lab to test your water (which will charge a fee) visit the EPA’s drinking water website.
If your water comes from a private well, it’s not regulated at all by the EPA, so you should have your water tested annually in late spring (when pesticide runoff will be at its worst), and anytime you notice a change in the color or taste of your water.
Step Two: Find the Best Water Filter
Water filters come in a dizzying variety, from plastic pitcher filters and built-in refrigerator filters, to faucet and under-the-sink filters, to whole-house models that combine a variety of media types and treat all of the water in your house. What type you want depends on your needs.
If, after examining your Consumer Confidence Report (or, preferably, your current and several past reports), you find that your water regularly tests better than EPA levels, you may just want a filter that can remove the chemicals your local utility uses to treat the water.
The best type of filter to remove chlorine and its byproducts is a combination carbon/KDF adsorption filter (which is a different chemical process than absorption), which range from shower and faucet filters to sink and whole-house filters, like those from Sweetwater and BestFilters.com. A regular carbon filter won’t remove chloramine, so look for a catalytic carbon filter instead.
If you only have one or two contaminants, a smaller unit, such as a countertop or under-the-sink filter, may meet your needs. To find a filter certified to remove the contaminants you’re most concerned about, visit the NSF’s online database.
Finally, if you find your water has serious safety issues, consider a multi-stage filter that can tackle a variety of contaminants. Many combine a variety of filter types (see the box below for an overview). Sweetwater sells multi-stage whole-house or sink filters, for example, that combine KDF and carbon adsorption with ultraviolet light, among other steps—and it also sells customized filters. BestFilters.com sells multi-stage sink filters that combine a variety of media types.
Step Three: Look at the Labels on Water Filters
Some experts recommend looking for a water filter certified by NSF International, a nonprofit organization that conducts safety testing for the food and water industries. NSF tests and certifies water filters to ensure that they both meet NSF safety standards and are effective at removing contaminants as claimed by the manufacturer. Underwriters Laboratories and the Water Quality Association also offer similar certification, based on NSF standards.
NSF has different certifications, so when you read the label, first make sure it says the filter will remove the contaminants you’re most concerned about. A filter certified by NSF to remove chlorine isn’t going to be helpful if you need it to remove nitrates. Then, …
Water is such an essential part of our daily lives that many times we don’t stop to consider where it’s being sourced or the quality of it. We assume we’re receiving the best possible output. For many, tap water is deemed undrinkable, which is where filtered water comes into play. The importance of water filtration is that it gives people access to clean water that is free of contaminants, tastes good, and is a reliable source of hydration. Without it, there’s the risk of becoming ill from contaminated water or the alternative of drinking other beverages that may not be as good for your health as purified water.
There are different types of filtered water but all offer the basics of the water purification process. This involves water that has been strained by harmful chemicals, pesticides, bacteria, and other particles that contaminate the water. Although public water systems have filtration protocols in place, these vary from state to state. It depends on where your water supply is sourced from originally, the way it is treated, and the quality of water pipes. For example, older water filtration systems that use lead pipes may be harmful to the final dispersal of water because of lead leaching from the pipes into the water.
The main importance of water filtration is to prevent water-related illnesses and diseases. Infants, elderly adults, and people with poor immune systems are more highly susceptible to experiencing adverse effects due to contaminated water from the tap. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some of the top causes of outbreaks in public water systems include:
Any of these contaminants and heavy metals can lead to health problems such as kidney and respiratory issues, reproductive challenges, and cancer. A polluted water supply can also be harmful to your skin and hair. Lastly, depending on the quality of water, certain values may be outside of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommended pH level. When this occurs, it leads to a chance of an increased measure of corrosivity that dissolves metal it comes into contact with and eventually becomes part of the water. Suffice it to say, the chance of drinking water that hasn’t been filtered of heavy metals and impurities isn’t a chance that many people want to take.
FILTERED WATER SOLUTIONS THAT REMOVE CONTAMINATION AND IMPURITIES
Fortunately, there are several ways people can get filtered water. A water filter has microscopic holes that remove sediment and pollutants from the water. The smaller the holes, the less it allows to pass through and the cleaner the water is. The way each type of water filtration system works is slightly different. The most common options are bottled water, at-home filters, reverse osmosis units, and alkaline water.
Billions of gallons of bottled water are sold yearly as demand for it continues to increase. Although perceived as an inexpensive, convenient filtered water option, it is more costly in the long run than other filtered water choices. The price of bottled water is nearly 2,000 times the cost of tap water and has vastly increased the amount of plastic waste affecting our environment.
Fortunately, many have begun to shift toward using reusable water bottles as an alternative. Having a filtered water supply readily available for use is a key factor in helping to reduce the amount of plastic waste filling up the landfills and oceans. People want clean water that tastes great and can be found conveniently at places where they frequent most often.
FILTER FAUCET ATTACHMENTS AND PITCHERS
These types of filters are easily obtained and are effective in improving the taste of tap water. They help to reduce lead and solids by using a filter screen to capture small particles. In some cases, these types of filtration solutions use a block of activated carbon that helps to remove unpleasant odors and tastes that might be present in your water.
When using either of these at-home options, it’s important to change the filter on a regularly scheduled basis. Failure to do so causes build up in the filters and the water that passes through may not be as clean as desired. Also, when it comes to the availability of filtered water using pitchers, they constantly need to be refilled and there is a period of waiting time until purified drinking water is available again. This is an inconvenience when using in larger households or in organizations where a large group of people is relying on a consistent source of filtered water.
REVERSE OSMOSIS UNITS
Reverse osmosis forces water through a semipermeable membrane using pressure. It ensures that the smallest of particles and chemicals cannot pass through, which leaves behind the purest of water. This filtration process can take a few hours to deliver a couple of gallons, which also can prove to be inconvenient. Additionally, the water used is approximately three times as much as what is treated and suitable to drink. It may remove more harmful contaminants than the average filter, but its efficiency is lacking.
For those who want to make sure their water is wholly free of toxins, this could be a valuable option. However, since it does such a good job of straining out all particles, it means any healthy minerals naturally found in tap water are often left behind as well. You get a pure water experience but compromise losing other benefits along the way.
Alkaline water has a higher pH level than typical tap water which helps to neutralize its acidity and effect on the body. There are DIY ways to make alkaline water, but the most common way is using a water ionizer. The purpose of this water treatment system is to raise its number on the pH scale.
A water ionizer uses electricity to separate water molecules into alkaline and acidic, keeping the former and removing the latter. People who suffer from acid reflux or want to reduce the acidity in their diet have found this type of water to be beneficial. However, health claims still lack solid scientific evidence that it works to improve health.
FLOWATER ADVANCED FILTRATION STATIONS
The technology of FloWater’s electric water delivery system tackles the importance of water filtration from several angles. It captures solids, bacteria, and other microscopic organisms from the water and filters them out. It also focuses on removing lingering odors and unpleasant tastes from tap water. Although these two filters work similarly to at-home filters, it captures up to 99% of harmful contaminants and is only two parts to a seven-step process.
The system also relies on an advanced osmosis filter to achieve the purest water possible. Plus, it neutralizes the water’s pH level through an alkaline enhancement filter. From there, it adds healthy components back to the water in the form of electrolytes and traces of essential minerals.
The process is then finished with a coconut carbon filter to remove any last odors or tastes to deliver a crisp, delicious finish. This extensive filtration process combines the filtered water benefits of other water treatments, adds to it, and provides it in one ready-to-go system.
WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A WATER FILTRATION SYSTEM
The majority of people drink some type of filtered water. It’s best …
Even for those of us who like the way our tap water tastes — shout-out to the beautiful Esopus Creek that feeds New York City’s water supply — filtering your water can have major benefits. The simplest carbon filters can help remove chemicals like chlorine and metals like mercury, making your water both safer to drink and better tasting. Though municipal water supplies are regulated by the EPA, that accounts for only 90 chemicals, says Dr. Aly Cohen, integrative rheumatologist on the faculty at the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine. There are many contaminants including bacteria, agricultural runoff, microplastics, pharmaceutical remnants, lead, and other heavy metals that can still make their way into your drinking water. With the increasing number of natural disasters, like fires and floods, because of climate change, more pollutants than ever are getting into our water systems — and in turn our tap water.
If you aren’t able to install a full on water filtration system under your sink (or aren’t looking for that kind of financial commitment), a water filter pitcher or countertop water filter is a great place to start. Not only do these filters clean up your water at home, having one can also drastically reduce the amount of plastic waste you create from buying individual water bottles on the go. It’s also safer to drink filtered water from a reusable water bottle you fill up at home than to drink water that’s been sitting in plastic bottles in the back of an unrefrigerated truck or hot warehouse for who knows how long. “We really don’t know the history of our water in plastic before it gets to us,” says Cohen, explaining that harmful chemicals from single-use plastic bottles often leach into the water they contain.
But how do you know which of the many water filters on the market is right for you? To find out, we talked to Cohen and eight other doctors, nutritionists, wellness experts, and water filtration professionals about the water filter pitchers and countertop water filters they recommend. Here are their picks:
Dr. Marisa Garshick says that contaminant levels often depend on where you live, so becoming familiar with what’s in your water can be helpful especially if someone in your family has health issues or a weakened immune system. If you are concerned your water is contaminated, Danielle Ryan Broida, a registered herbalist and national educator at Four Sigmatic, recommends getting it tested at a lab in your area by calling the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791 or consulting the testing options suggested by the EPA. Once you’re convinced you need a filter, Garshick suggests consulting the NSF database to see exactly what each product is intended to filter out. At home, she uses Brita’s Standard Everyday water filter pitcher, which removes 99 percent of lead and is certified to reduce chlorine, asbestos, mercury, benzene, cadmium, and more. She says it makes her water smell and taste better. She also loves that it’s lightweight, fits in her refrigerator, and is affordable. Baker Michelle Keldgord is also a fan of this Brita option. “Unfiltered water can have a negative impact on the overall taste and appearance of your baked goods, thanks to things like fluorine and chlorine,” she says. “These same harmful ingredients are especially damaging to bread. Unfiltered water can alter the normal reaction of yeast while disturbing the dough’s gluten structure. In turn, the fermentation process is slowed, which leads to bread that does not rise properly.” Like Garshick, she loves that the Brita filter is economical, especially if you use the long-lasting filters, which she has to replace only every five or six months. And as a mom, she likes that it’s really easy to use. “Replacing the filter takes a matter of seconds, and the locking flip-lid makes it so simple to pour, even my 6-year-old can do it,” she says.$39 AT AMAZON
Paul Lewin, the founder of the website HomeWaterResearch.com, recommends getting your water tested professionally to help choose the right filter. “Here in Ho Chi Minh City, where I live, the biggest worries are chlorine, which is added by the city, and bacteria that comes from poorly maintained pipes that are contaminated by groundwater,” he says. After testing more than fifty different water filters for his site, he now uses the Epic Water Nano on a daily basis. The filter, made of sub-micron nanofiber, has been tested by outside labs and is NSF certified to remove up to 99.999 percent of all tap water contaminants, including bacteria, cysts, cryptosporidium, heavy metals, fluoride, and other chemicals. In addition to keeping his water safe to drink, he says it makes his water taste and smell better and helps him reduce the amount of plastic he wastes. “Many families here go through dozens of plastic water bottles per week. So not having to carry bottles up to my apartment saves my legs, too,” he says.$60 AT AMAZON
Wellness expert Kyrie Luke has two different water filters at home: a stainless-steel Berkey countertop filter (we’ll talk about that one later) and this Propur pitcher. As someone with what she calls “highly contaminated water,” having clean drinking water is important to her for health reasons, but also because she does a lot of fermenting and sourdough bread baking. “This is what we used until we graduated to the Berkey. I love that it’s more compact and each filter lasts up to six months. I don’t love that the pitcher is plastic, but the benefits of filtration outweigh the disadvantages that come with it,” she says. This filter pitcher is NSF certified and independently lab tested and proven to reduce 200-plus contaminants, including fluoride, chlorine, chloramines, VOCs, bacteria, pharmaceuticals, lead, and heavy metals.$70 AT AMAZON
Like Lewin, Brian Campbell also started a website. His is called waterfilterguru.com, and it’s devoted to educating people about water filtration. This Clearly Filtered water pitcher is his favorite because it has the best contaminant removal capability he has seen on the market. It is NSF certified and, according to the brand, removes over 270 contaminants while retaining healthy minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Plus, he says, “I really like the water-dam feature in the top reservoir, which allows you to pour out filtered water even if you just refilled it. The filter cartridge itself should last for four months, depending on the source water used. And it even has a lifetime warranty, so if it ever breaks, Clearly Filtered will replace it for free.”$130 AT AMAZON
Several people, including Broida and Dr. Michelle Jantzen, mentioned using a Larq water bottle to purify water on the go from faucets or drinking fountains. While the above water filter pitchers use gravity and materials like activated carbon or nanofiber to catch contaminants and keep them …
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.…
Water is an absolute necessity of life. It takes about 60% of your body and is involved in many essential body functions ranging from regulating body temperature to flushing out toxins and protecting body tissues, joints as well as the spinal cord. Water also plays a critical role in carrying out many of the body’s chemical reactions. Without water, parts of your body such as the skin would lack its proper shape and fullness. This article will go into detail about the importance of water filtration so that you’re drinking the best quality of your water to keep you healthy.
Importance of Water Filtration and Purification
Due to the high risk associated with impure water, the demand for water filtration has never been higher. Our natural resources are also under pressure, as we grapple with pollution, climate change, and a rapidly growing population. Unfortunately, tap water, which is meant to be safe for drinking, can be quite harmful as contaminants affect overall water quality. Additionally, physical, chemical, and microbiological impurities from various water sources make water even more unsafe for consumption.
Boiling water used to be sufficient enough to kill many germs and bacteria, making it safe to consume. However, things have since changed as boiling water, even for more than 20 minutes will not get rid of new age contaminants such as pesticides and other dangerous chemicals that find their way into our water sources. That’s why it’s crucial to understand the importance of water filtration, and purification options to keep your family’s drinking water safe. Water filters remove bacteria and harmful chemicals which can cause diseases and poor health. Here are some of the reasons to filter your water:
Reasons to Filter Your Tap Water
Filtering water can result in not only better tasting, but also better smelling water by removing chemicals, pesticides, chlorine, bacterial contaminants and heavy metals.
Point-of-use water treatment filters remove a wide range of contaminants from drinking water including chlorine, chemicals, and up to 240 other volatile organic compounds.
Research has established that water filters reduce the risk of certain cancers including colon cancer, rectal cancer, and bladder cancer by ridding water of chlorine and chlorine by-products.
Carbon water filters are designed to selectively remove toxic contaminants from drinking water and still retain healthy mineral deposits that help to balance the pH of drinking water.
By removing giardia, e-coli and cryptosporidium, water purification systems like reverse osmosis technology have been shown to reduce the risk of gastrointestinal disease by more than 80%.
Filtered water is vital for children as it provides, clean, healthy water that’s essential for their immune systems.
Water filters act as the last line of defense against over 2,100 known toxins that may enter the body through drinking water.
Drinking clean, filtered water leads to general overall wellbeing and also helps to prevent disease.
Given the significance of water in sustaining life, it’s no surprise that access to clean water is a basic human right. Your body needs safe drinking water for it to remain healthy. Impure water, on the other hand, can be very deadly. That’s why the importance of water filtration is incredibly high. Water filtration experts at Clear Water Concepts will be able to help you with anything ranging from whole-house water filtration systems to water softeners to improve the water quality in your home.…
You invested in a water filtration system to ensure that you can easily get clean, safe, and healthy water for your whole family at home. You can rely on your water filters for quick and easy drinking water when you’re in a rush, and it has become part of your daily routine. However, without regular and proper maintenance, your filtration system can become less effective at removing contaminants from your water, leaving a less pleasant taste in the liquid you drink every day.
It is quick and easy to get in the habit of cleaning and maintaining your water filter system on a regular basis, which will help to enhance effective and efficient performance, making it last longer. Consider trying some of these hints and tips to improve the lifespan of your filtration system before calling a plumber.
REGULAR CLEANING ROUTINE
Cleaning the inside of your water filter system frequently and thoroughly is important to avoid a build-up of minerals, contaminants, or dirt in the filter. Try not to use any harsh cleaning products and gently rinse the system with warm water. You do not want to add any harmful toxins to your system that could be absorbed into the water that you and your family drink. Make sure to clean all elements of the system, preferably on a weekly basis. Ensure you sanitize the different parts of the system when cleaning your water filter, including the water dispenser, line, and cap assembly.
The water softener that you use may contribute to a build-up of salt in your water filter, meaning you will need to clean your system more often. Newer water softeners are efficient in how salt is used in the water, causing the excess to sometimes form a blockage within the system. When cleaning out your water filter, simply switch off the system, remove the majority of the salt and use hot water to dissolve the blockage.
Remember to monitor your water filter whenever you use it, looking out for signs that it may need cleaning. There is often also a monitoring system on your water filter, which can differ depending on the brand or type you have.
NEW FILTER CARTRIDGES
The control unit displayed on your filtration system will show you when the filter needs changing. This may be indicated by a daily status on the system itself or the changing colors of a read-out.
You can maintain your filtration system by regularly changing the filter, which, if left for too long, can become clogged. Note down the date you last changed the filter cartridge and follow the guidelines provided for that particular cartridge type and your individual system regarding how long this should last. The lifespan of a water filter cartridge can be measured in both months and gallons and will have a specific expiration date. When changing the filter cartridge of your filtration system, remember to assess the condition of the O-rings, ensuring there are no leaks or drips originating from this area.
WATER FILTRATION SYSTEM REPLACEMENT
Some systems have specific maintenance requirements, such as reverse osmosis filtration systems. With particular types of water filters, it is important to pay close attention to the guidelines provided, as some cleaning products can damage the system.
Like all household appliances, your water filtration system has a suggested lifespan, after which it will eventually need replacing. You may experience problems that can be easily remedied with a regular maintenance routine, but continuing to use an old water filter can result in contaminated drinking water and an inefficient system. A good maintenance routine will improve the lifespan of your filtration system, for cleaner, better tasting, and healthier drinking water for you and your family.
Need a New Water Filter for your Home, call Lightfoot Mechanical. We service Weatherford, Burleson, Granbury, Aledo, and Fort Worth, Texas.…
As the years continue to go by, technology hands us more ways to treat water that we use in our everyday work. Simplified water purification systems have come up that enables us to treat the water we use from our homes. There are different methods of treating water. Each of these methods come with their own merits and demerits.
There are so many methods of treating water that you can be tired just trying to figure out which one to use. There are, however, steps that you can follow to ensure you get the right water treatment plan for yourself and household. The first step is to do some research on water treatment and methods best for you. Compare and contrast between the methods and then make a decision.
All these methods of purifying water may differ in their processes, but at the end of the day, you realize that all of them serve to make water potable.
Here are nine water filtration advancements for you.
1. The use of nanotechnology to filter water.
In 2014, a multi-functional water filtration membrane was developed by the Nano Sun of Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University. This water treatment method uses titanium dioxide nanotechnology in place of the usual polymer-based water filtration membranes.
This may look like some technical science stuff you the ordinary person, but all it does is kill bacteria plus break down organic compounds by the use of ultraviolet rays. The use of nanotechnology to treat water has helped to clean the environment too, as it helps to reduce the accumulation of microorganisms that thrive in wet surfaces. The method also helps to reduce biofouling as well.
The lifestraw got introduced in 2008 for households. The lifestraw is set for individual use only. All you have to do is sip water through it as you would with a normal straw. Inside the lifestraw are two filters, a membrane, and charcoal filter that purifies the water as you suck it upwards.
3. The Photocatalytic Water Purification Technology
This water filter technique was unveiled at the Eco-Products in 2014 in Tokyo. The purification method uses UV rays from the sun and photocatalysts to detoxify polluted water. The process is very fast and uses the same method as let’s say what you learned in school on chlorophyll and how sunlight enables it.
This water treatment method uses the exact method to trigger the same reaction by using the sun’s ultraviolet rays to purify the water. The developers of the technology also claim that it removes bacteria and arsenic as well.
4. The Acoustics Nanotube Technology
NASA’s Johnson Space Center developed the Aucostics Nanotube technology. The technology helps to eliminate contaminants in water, and the process makes it portable.
This type of water purification uses an “acoustic-driven molecular sieve that is embedded with small molecular nanotubes.” The method works to push water away from contaminants. It is one of the contributions made by NASA towards water purification and uses in our ecosystem.
5. SunSpring system
In 2014, a Colorado company found a way to purify up to 5,000 gallons of water daily. This was remarkable considering that they were able to do this with just a battery that runs on renewable energy.
How it works; the SunSpring system uses a seven-mile membrane that is 0.02 microns thick to stop microbiological toxins. This was a remarkable feat and has helped purify and supply clean potable water to a sufficient number of households and companies alike.
6. Tata Swach
Tata Chemicals and Tata Data Research Development and Design Center are the ones to thank for designing this water treatment method. Tata Swach got launched in 2009 and was aimed at supplying potable water to low-income households. The project was originally meant to target low-income households and families in India. The method uses rice husk ash and nanosilver to kill bacteria and disease-causing germs. Tata Swach’s latest technology claims to be able to purify about 3-4 liter of water every hour.
7. Euglena Bio-filtration System
Euglena, is an aquatic organism that absorbs water pollutants. With this knowledge, Noble purification developed the Euglena Bio-filtration System to treat water. The technology was launched in 2014. It works by letting controlled algae blossom in wastewater. The algae then absorb the toxins in the water to purify it.
8. Sunlight and High Tech Materials
In 2014, Anne Morrisey developed a new method of purifying water. The main raw material here is, of course, sunlight. The process also uses Graphene and TiO2.
9. Grundfos-pioneered Biological Purification Process
This water treatment process paved the way for treating wastewater in hospitals. The purification process goes through a biological process, then the ceramic filtration membranes and then polishing by carbon and ozone is the final process.
Life on Earth began in water and evolved from it. You have personal experience with this dependence each time you seek water fluids to quench your thirst and replenish your body’s water content. The cells inside your body are surrounded by a fluid that is mostly water and your cells themselves range from 70% to 80% in water content. Water is the biological medium here on Earth and the supporter of all life forms.
Water circulates through our body without rest and causes the macromolecules (proteins, enzymes, and genes) and cells in the body to function properly. When information is passed from tissue to tissue, it is water that delivers this information. Water performs not one but many particular tasks, all life-supporting or life-saving. In a living body, if the circulation of water slows down too much, life ceases. Equally important to both lower and higher organisms, water is the vital generator of life and its supporting force.
Every day you make an assumption about the safety of the water you drink. Whether that trust is well-placed, is the real question.
Our natural water resources are under a great deal of stress, as we battle with an ever changing climate, pollution and the needs of a rapidly growing population. Demand for quality drinking water has never been greater!
Our government has a duty to provide us with water that is safe to drink, however the water quality at the point of consumption may not always be complimentary for our short or long-term health. Contaminants including heavy metals, chemicals such as chlorine, pesticides, bacteria, organic & in-organic compounds all can be present in our drinking water.
Given the importance of water to our wellbeing & every bodily function, we owe it to ourselves to ensure that the water we drink is as pure & fresh as possible!
We don’t all have a natural spring water source in our back yard & purchasing pre-bottled water can be both inconvenient and is prohibitively expensive, both financially and environmentally.
Ten Reasons To Filter Your Tap Water
Water filtration can provide better tasting and better smelling drinking water by removing chlorine, chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals and bacterial contaminants.
Point-of-use water filters remove lead from drinking water immediately prior to consumption, thus preventing this harmful substance from entering the body.
The purchase of a countertop filter results in a source of clean, healthy water that costs much less than expensive bottled water and reduce toxic waste in the environment.
Water filters greatly reduce the risk of certain cancers including: rectal cancer, colon cancer, and bladder cancer by removing chlorine and chlorine byproducts such as Trihalomethanes (THMs) from drinking water.
A carbon water filter can selectively remove dangerous contaminants from drinking water while retaining healthy mineral deposits that balance the pH of drinking water.
Drinking clean, filtered water protects the body from disease and leads to overall greater health and energy.
A water filter provides clean, healthy water for cooking, as well as drinking, at the convenience of tap water.
Water filters reduce the risk of gastrointestinal disease by more than 80 percent by removing cryptosporidium, e-coli and giardia from drinking water.
Drinking pure water is especially important for children. Water filters provide the healthiest water for children’s developing immune systems.
Water filters offer the last line of defence between the body and the over 2100 known toxins that may be present in drinking water.
Ten Reasons Why You Should Filter Your Shower Water
Using a shower filter is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce harmful exposure to chlorine and other chemicals.
Showering in filtered water results in greater respiratory health by reducing the risk of asthma and bronchitis from chlorine inhalation.
Showering in chlorine-free, filtered water decreases the risks of bladder and breast cancer.
Children, who are particularly at risk of the harmful effects of chlorine inhalation, benefit especially from the removal of chlorine from showering water.
As chlorine is a leading cause of fatigue, showering in filtered, chlorine-free water results in higher energy levels and overall greater health.
Removing chlorine from showering water results in better air quality throughout the house.
Without the drying effects of chlorine, skin becomes softer, healthier, and younger looking.
Removing chlorine from showering water reduces the presence of skin rashes and the appearance of wrinkles.
Because the hair is able to preserve its natural moisturising oils, it becomes softer and healthier when chlorine is removed from showering water.
When the body is able to retain its natural moisturisers, the need for costly lotions and moisturisers is greatly reduced.
Centuries ago, if you wanted to filter your water at home, you’d likely have to boil the water then pour it through sieve-like cloth bags to trap sediments that caused foul taste and smell. Water filtration was no more complex than that, at least not until thousands of years later. Nonetheless, continuous efforts to obtain “clean” drinking water led to many breakthroughs in water filtration throughout the ages.
These days, we have access to a vast array of modern home water filters equipped with state-of-the-art features and technologies to help produce the cleanest, purest, and highest-quality water possible. As a result, clean drinking water has become so widely available today that many people take it for granted.
Modern water filters can treat large quantities of water, usually behind the scenes, with little to no human intervention. However, while you can find these devices in many American households, very few of us know their origins and evolution. Sure, these systems may seem like a new development, especially if you live in an area with limited access to clean water, but they have a history that stretches back thousands of years.
In this post, we’ll be tracing water filters back to their origins, how they’ve evolved through the ages, and what’s their state in this modern era.
Timeline: The Evolution of Water Filters/Filtration
The earliest attempts to discover or produce pure water go as far back as 2000 BC. During this period, Ancient Greek and Sanskrit methods ranged from boiling or placing hot metal instruments in water before drinking it to filtering that water through crude sand or charcoal filters. People developed these methods to provide better-tasting drinking water because, during that time, they determined water purity by taste. They did not (or couldn’t) yet connect impure water with diseases, nor did they have the technology necessary to recognize tasteless yet harmful microbes in drinking water. They knew to try to reduce cloudiness, objectionable taste, and appearance in water but didn’t know much or any at all about chemical contamination or microbes.
As early as 1500 BC, the Egyptians discovered the principle of coagulation, which involved using alum to clarify water. The alum caused suspended particles to settle in the water, after which people would skim the “clean” water from the top of the container.
Centuries later, around 500 BC, Hippocrates, the famed father of medicine, designed a crude water filter to “purify” the water he used for his patients. This filter was later known as the “Hippocratic sleeve.” It was essentially a cloth bag that they poured the water through after boiling it. The cloth would trap any sediments in the water that were causing bad taste or smell.
For over 1,000 years, there was very little to no interest shown in water purification, leading to a lack of improvement. However, in the 1600s, Sir Robert Bacon began experimenting with sand filtration as he attempted to remove salt from seawater. While his desalination experiment was unsuccessful, he laid the groundwork for other scientists to get involved in the field. In the 1670s, the microscope was invented, and with its invention, humans would be able to detect microscopic organisms and other particles in water. During this time, scientists created the first multi-stage filter. Both these inventions proved beneficial to the water treatment process.
In the mid-1700s, Joseph Amy obtained the first patent for a water filter. His design incorporated charcoal, wool, and sponge layers to eliminate unwanted organisms and particles. These filters were made available for sale in 1750. By the late 17th century, the development of the microscope had given scientists new insights into the innumerable microorganisms present in water. Soon after, water filtration became the preferred water purification method for many communities as they started using domestic water filters. While these filters weren’t perfect, they were indeed a considerable improvement on anything introduced before.
In 1804, Robert Thom designed the first municipal water treatment plant, later built in Scotland. The treatment was based on slow sand filtration, and horse-drawn carts distributed the treated water to communities and cities. Some three years later, the first water pipes were installed. The suggestion was that every person should have access to safe drinking water, but it would take somewhat longer before this was brought to practice in most countries.
In 1854, a breakthrough came via an unfortunate event. Researchers discovered that an epidemic of cholera infection spread through water and that the outbreak had been less intense in areas that had sand filters. British scientist John Snow found that it was sewage water contaminating the water pump. After several experiments, he also found that chlorine could be used to purify the contaminated water, which would then establish the practice of chlorination for water disinfection.
During that time, the water had smelled and tasted fine, so this was when they concluded that those factors weren’t enough to guarantee the safety of drinking water. As a result, cities began installing municipal water filters, and government water regulation became the norm.
By the late 18th century into the 1900s, significant advances were made in the water filtration arena. While slow sand filtration became popular in water filter systems in many European and American cities, it used up a lot of land space and could not keep up with the rapid population growth. As a result, rapid sand filtration was introduced to improve slow sand filtration’s speed and efficiency.
Thom’s slow sand filters included two main features: the reverse flow wash and the false bottom. The issue was that they used mechanical agitators for loosening debris and water jets or backwashes for cleaning filter media. On the other hand, rapid sand filtration involved pretreatments, such as coagulation and settling to reduce sediment load on the filter, and charcoal filtration for improving the water’s taste and odor. Besides, the rapid sand filters used a Jetstream to clean the filter and improve its capacity.
At the same time, more and more cities were building water treatment facilities and using several filtration methods, along with water chlorination and ozone, to help purify water. As these methods became more widespread, the outbreaks of waterborne illnesses like cholera and typhoid declined. However, it wasn’t long before chlorination started to reveal its dark side. Research linked chlorine ingestion to various respiratory diseases and other health effects, forcing experts to search for alternatives.
Realizing the importance of providing clean drinking water for its residence, America passed the Clean Water Act of 1972 and the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974, which were developed on the premise that everyone has a right to safe water. This was also when the major public health concerns about drinking water shifted from disease-causing microbes to manufactured pollutants like pesticides, industrial sludge, chemicals, etc. By the 1980s, researchers developed the first membranes for reverse osmosis systems after previously developing effective treatment methods, such as aeration, flocculation, and granular-activated carbon absorption for removal of organic contaminants. As advances in technology and competition grew, it paved the way for modern, sophisticated water filtration methods, many of which are still used today.
Before deciding on a filter, consider some important factors that can help you make the best decision, including the type of filter, material, flow rate, and installation requirements. By understanding these features, it’s easier to decide which option would be the best faucet water filter for your home.
There is a wide range of contaminants that can be present in tap water, including pesticides, microorganisms, organic compounds, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and harmful heavy metals such as lead, mercury, and arsenic. Water contaminants vary by community, and knowledge is power. Start by researching what’s affecting your own water supply through the National Drinking Water Database created by the Environmental Working Group.
Chlorine and chloramine are two common substances used to disinfect public water supplies. They help to make the water safe to drink, but if the levels of chlorine and chloramine are too high, they can cause eye and nose irritation, as well as stomach discomfort. Due to their use in water treatment, these contaminants can be found in the drinking water of most communities.
Fluoride is another chemical that some municipalities choose to add to the drinking water because fluoride, in small amounts, may be good for dental health. However, if the level of fluoride increases, it can actually cause pitting and staining of tooth enamel or even bone issues in adults that have experienced long-term exposure. Naturally occurring fluoride can also sometimes be found in groundwater sources in the western United States and around the Great Lakes regions.
Lead leaches into the water through the public water supply when aging pipes begin to corrode. This is a common contaminant across the country because lead pipes were a popular choice for city infrastructures before science caught up with innovation and it was discovered that lead is a toxic chemical that can cause neurological damage, impaired formation of blood cells, and impaired function of blood cells.
Agricultural chemicals, like herbicides, insecticides, and pesticides are used in rural communities to protect crops. However, these chemicals can seep into the groundwater, contaminating nearby wells. Contaminated well water can cause headaches, skin rash, eye irritation, cancer, endocrine disruption, and birth defects.
Industrial chemicals are known for producing harmful runoff that can contaminate nearby well water systems and groundwater. Those who have wells should consider the possibility of contamination, especially if there is an industrial processing facility nearby. Contaminated well water can cause skin discoloration, nervous system damage, organ failure, developmental delays, birth defects, and reproductive issues.
Always check to make sure the filtration system can take care of the contaminants you’re most concerned about. Regardless of which microscopic contaminants they’re best at keeping out of drinking water, faucet-mounted filters considerably improve the taste of H2O.
Reverse osmosis filters are the most effective option for treating home water because these systems can use more than seven different filters to remove up to 99 percent of contaminants. However, these systems are not made to be mounted to a faucet. Connect reverse osmosis filters directly to the incoming water supply.
Carbon filters are commonly used in faucet-mounted products. These filters absorb and release water, trapping chlorine, pesticides, and solvents within the carbon. They aren’t as effective at removing nitrates and sodium.
Ultraviolet filters are another type of filter that doesn’t attach to the faucet. However, connecting one of these filtration systems to the incoming water source is a good idea. The ultraviolet rays kill bacteria, parasites, and viruses. These filters are essentially useless at filtering mineral contaminants, so it’s advised to pair this system with a reverse osmosis system.
Faucet water filters are typically made with either plastic or stainless steel. Some manufacturers may offer a range of different finishes, but these are usually stainless steel filters that have metal plating over the original material just to give it a different look. So the decision comes down to plastic or stainless steel.
Plastic faucet water filters are inexpensive and resistant to corrosion and rusting. Some products are thick and durable, but the average plastic filter will need to be replaced more frequently than stainless steel filters because they don’t have the same resilience.
Stainless steel faucet water filters cost a bit more initially, but last longer and tend to do a better job, with fewer leaks. These filters can also blend in with the faucet and sink to match the kitchen aesthetics.
Flow rate refers to the amount of water that flows through the filter within a set time period and it’s typically measured in gallons per minute (GPM). Whole-home water filters must be capable of filtering many gallons of water per minute since most showers and dishwashers can use up to 5 GPM.
However, faucet water filters don’t have the same water pressure demands. Most of these smaller filters have a set flow rate of 0.5 GPM with very few exceptions. This is about enough to fill up seven or eight standard glasses of water in 1 minute.
Filter Life and Usage
The filter life is typically indicated in the product information or on the manufacturer’s website. After this time period, the filter becomes less effective until it does very little except get in the way of regular faucet use. However, the total life of one filter can differ significantly from other, even identical products. This is due to usage.
Filter life is tied directly to usage. When the faucet is left running, it wastes water and also reduces the filter life, forcing the user to replace the filter cartridge at a higher frequency. By using the filter only for drinking water or cooking water, you can extend the life of the filter, saving time and money.
When the filter starts to lose its effectiveness, the entire faucet-mounted filter does not need to be replaced. Simply remove the filter cartridge and replace it with a new cartridge. Most manufacturers also produce cartridge replacements, so it’s easy to find a compatible option.
These cartridges typically have a lifespan measured in gallons of water that can range from 100 to 1,000 gallons, depending on the product. After a certain amount of water has been filtered through the cartridge, it begins to lose effectiveness. Some filters also come with cartridge replacement recommendations from 1 month to 3 months so that it’s not necessary to try and measure the amount of water flowing through the filter.
Style and Finish
Most faucet water filters have a plastic or a stainless steel design, but this doesn’t prevent manufacturers from adding additional color options and metal finishes, giving options to match the aesthetics of a home.
Plastic filters can theoretically have a wide range of color choices because plastic is simple to dye during the manufacturing process. However, most producers offer standard kitchen and bathroom colors like black, gray, and white.
Stainless steel filters have a sleek appearance already, but if the kitchen has bronze, copper, brushed gold, or any other common metal finishes, then finding a faucet water filter that matches may be an ideal solution. The number of finishes available for a specific product depends on the manufacturer. Some producers prefer to only make stainless steel and chrome-plated products.