If you’re currently in the market for a water filtration system for your home, you may be curious about how they actually work. After all, how can a water filter in your home effectively filter out nearly all of the pollutants, chemicals, and other contaminants that your city’s water treatment plant has left behind? We’re here with an in-depth look at water filtration systems, how they work, and how your home and family can benefit from having pure, clean, filtered water on tap to enjoy all day long.
Why Install a Water Filtration System?
As you may already know, our drinking water comes from a municipal water treatment facility. Depending on the region in which you live, the water that comes out of your tap, though safe to drink, may feature a sour or salty taste or unpleasant metallic smell. This can result in you and your family not wanting to drink much water, which can lead to a variety of health problems. After all, our bodies are over 70 percent water, and it is vital to our well-being to drink plenty of water so we can remain properly hydrated throughout the day. When we choose other beverages, such as sugary soda or juice, over water, we are compromising our good health and potentially setting ourselves up for serious complications down the road. Medical conditions such as kidney failure, edema, and seizures can be associated with dehydration. Additionally, the positive benefits of drinking enough water, such as healthy weight management, improved complexion, and proper flushing of toxins from the body, become much harder to achieve when you neglect to drink water throughout your day.
If you’re not drinking enough water because you simply cannot stand how it tastes, we’ve got some good news for you: purchasing and installing your own water filtration system in your home is much easier and more affordable than you have ever imagined! Most domestic filters work by providing multiple levels of water filtration so that your drinking water is as clear, clean, and pure as possible. This ensures a great-tasting glass of water every time!
Water Filtration Basics
There are five main types of filters often working in conjunction with one another in your home water filtration system. These include mechanical filters, absorption filters, sequestration filters, ion exchange filters, and reverse osmosis filters. Together, they filter out just about every contaminant in your water, leaving only fresh, clean drinking water behind. Let’s take a look at what each filter does to better understand how your water filtration system works to effectively remove chemicals and other particles from your drinking water.
Your water filtration system comes equipped with a mechanical filter, which is designed to physically remove particles, dirt, or sediment in your drinking water. The mechanical filter can consist of anything from a basic mesh strainer to a porous ceramic filter that can remove even the tiniest of organisms. A mechanical filter’s micron rating tells you how effective it is in terms of removing particles. For example, a micron rating of 5 will remove most particles that are visible to the naked eye, while a micron rating of 0.5 will remove pathogens such as giardia and cryptosporidium. Basically, the lower the number in a mechanical filter’s micron rating, the more it is able to remove from your drinking water.
An absorption water filter uses carbon to capture contaminants commonly found in water. Carbon is extremely effective at absorbing particles thanks to its large internal surface full of chemical-trapping crevices. Most domestic water filters feature GAC, or granular activated carbon, which uses absorption to effectively reduce impurities that cause water to have an unpleasant taste. Some high-end filtration systems use a carbon block filter element, which is more effective than GAC and carry a very low micron rating.
In order to effectively remove virtually all impurities from your drinking water supply, sequestration filters are a common part of most domestic water filtration systems. A sequestration filter works by isolating substances such as calcium and magnesium, which can cause limescale and corrosion in your water pipes. This is done using food grade polyphosphate, which is not harmful and will not soften your water. Basically, the polyphosphate will work to keep the minerals within the solution, preventing them from forming as scale on any surfaces they come into contact with as water goes through the pipes.
Ion Exchange Filters
The ion exchange process softens hard water by swapping out magnesium and calcium ions for hydrogen-based ions. This removes the hard minerals that can cause limescale. Ion exchange filters typically use a type of resin which comes in the form of tiny beads. The same resin beads are commonly used in water softeners, and need to be periodically recharged to ensure maximum effectiveness.
Reverse Osmosis Filters
Reverse osmosis, or RO, removes dissolved inorganic solids like magnesium and calcium ions by forcing water through a semipermeable membrane under pressure. This causes the water to pass through while contaminants are trapped in the membrane. Reverse osmosis is one of the most highly effective ways of removing impurities from drinking water, which makes a reverse osmosis filter a highly desirable feature for your home water filtration system. Since RO filters use water pressure to filter water through the membrane, they do not require electricity, which can add up to a significant savings on your energy bill! On the downside, however, these filters produce a certain amount of waste water. Reverse osmosis is used for any application that requires water to be 99.9 percent pure- for example, RO is increasingly being used to treat water used to make coffee. Though the inclusion of a reverse osmosis filter can drive up the price of your home water filtration system, the quality of your drinking water may be well worth the higher price tag.
Contact a Water Filtration Expert Located in Longmont Today!
When you are ready to purchase and install your home water filtration system, be sure to ask your plumber or service technician any questions you may have about your particular brand of water filter, its effectiveness at removing contaminants, particles, and impurities from your water, and how you can properly care for your filter to ensure a long life. Once you’ve tried a glass of fresh, pure, filtered water, you’ll never want to drink regular tap water again!