Drinking-Water filters 2020:Is it safe to drink water from your tap water? Logically, it may not be. Because unhealthy degrees of contaminants like lead, bacteria and pesticides become detected in different water sources. It’s like well water or municipal water, it’s substantive to understand whether your water contains pollutants or not.
And if they exist, you must know the solution to supply clean water in your home. This water is for drinking purpose and other uses. Purchasing bottled water is the only natural and quick plus cheapest way to have fresh and purified drinking water.
Over time, this solution has also become pricey and plastic bottles have turned into an environmental plague. The international bottled water association modulates manufacturers of bottled waters.
These standards do not hatch Seltzers, carbonated waters, club sodas and waters consisting of more than 1% unnatural flavours.
Water Filter As a Solution:
The only permanent solution is installing a water filter in your home. Various types of water filters manufactured, and there different sophisticated ranges in terms of price and sophistication.
They may use ultra-violet rays, activated carbon or reverse-osmosis to clean water. Should you go for a simple spout-mounted carbon filter or an under-the-sink reverse-osmosis filter? Grades of companies claim to have the most significant and latest answer to your water requirements. What other options you can avail?
The efficiency of Water Filter:
The efficiency of a water filter at eliminating specific contaminants based on the technology added in it. So, it’s substantial to understand what is compulsory to remove from the water, and it requires testing.
In this water filter guide, we have mentioned each and everything you must know to make up your mind for water filter purchase.
Why do you need a water filter?
You want to buy a water filter, the very first question you should be concerned about is, what issue you want to sort out?
To pick a filter, you first need to know what your demands about the drinking water are?
Common reasons that people want a water filter are;
Tap water can drink casually but the taste and odour are bad.
There are chances of lead contamination
Concerned about particular contaminants like chlorine by-products, nitrates and microplastics etc. in the water
Water is not drinkable because of the risk of virus or bacteria in tap water
Priority for distilled tap water eliminating all the minerals and contaminants
Public tap water in North America and Europe is safe to use until the local water provider doesn’t tell the users otherwise. Still, this doesn’t confirm that it’s healthy or clean.
Contaminants can strip from the domestic water tanks or pipes. There can also be problems with unstructured pollutants like microplastics. Once after understanding the problem, you must know about the types of water filters available in the market.
Types of technologies used in water filter systems
There are several different types of water purifiers consumers can purchase from the market. Most of the times, water used for clinical applications and laboratory obtained from tap water. Effective management of further contamination and removal of impurities is crucial.
When summed up, the technologies used in ELGA equipment can eliminate contaminants from water amazingly. Some advanced technologies work on particular pollutants and sediments while others serve in a broader spectrum of contaminants.
To get the ideal water purifier for specific usage, in a budget-friendly manner, technologies must manage collectively, and their working must optimise.
Here are some basic water purification techniques used in water filters for domestic use.
Reverse osmosis is the technology which broadly used in purification systems. It uses membrane technology to bump off impurities, germs and dissolved salts from water. Dissolved chemicals and bacteria got separated from water by the semipermeable membrane.
The membrane consists of very delicate pores that permit only water to move through it and all the dissolved salts, hazardous chemicals and microbes left behind suspended in the membrane. The only flaw of RO is that it changes the taste of water, and in this method, the healthy natural mineral also removed from the water.
There are specific brands of water filters which use RO technology in them, and they claim to hold back the healthy minerals in the water. Regular care and maintenance is the only thing that is the requirement of the semipermeable membrane.
Just like RO membranes this purification method also uses membranes, but the pores are a little bigger. UF membranes quash all colloidal specks including turbidity and pathogenic organisms, but dissolved salts and solids not removed.
Dissimilar to UV purifier, UF water purifier physically eliminates all the bacteria and germs from the water. When the water in the home has low TDS and is not hard, UF purifiers serve as amazing as RO water purifiers. RO method serves best when the water has hardness plus too much TDS.
In UV water purification ultra-violet light is used to kill bacteria, germs, cysts and microbes in water. Ultraviolet water purification is a simple but efficient method in which about 99.99% of harmful organisms destroyed. It consists of a tiny mercury lamp in it which generates short wave UV radiations.
Water is enlightened by these radiations and these rays diffuse into the cells of viruses and bacteria, destructing their ability to multiply. The organisms and microbes cannot reproduce and finally die. This purification process kills germs, but their bodies remain in the water unless removed by the filter. Another filter needed for the physical removal of bacteria.
UV water purification is typically performed in alignment with other filtration methods like activated carbon filters or reverses osmosis water filters.
Activated carbon consists of a tangle of small pores of size 500-1000 nm with a surface area of almost 1000 square meters per gram. The existence of this surface permits assimilation of impurities and contaminants from the water, which is organic in nature and catalytic disintegration of chloramines with chlorine.
It used in composite vent filters, pre-treatment and final purification cartridges. Its wide surface area displays that organic compounds assimilate to the surface through polar, ionic and van der Waals forces. Activated carbon usually used in summation with the other technologies, and its usage must keep in mind for product design.
The main advantage of using activated carbon in the pre-treatment procedure is the removal of chlorine and chloramine.
Ion exchange technology consists of an exchange of ions among the ionised species in the water. This procedure is reversible, and the column can be revitalised by rinsing through redundant ions.
Water moved through layers of ion exchange resins and those ions existing in the solution move from the solution into the beads. As an operation of their relevant change densities, ions contend for the exchange sites.
The resins are 1 mm porous beads constructed with extremely cross-linked insoluble polymers with a significant amount of super-strong ionic exchange sites.
In every deionisation procedure, there is a chance that weakly ionised impurities can wash from the resins and into the application as they reach exhaustion. This is for a reason, after a specific time of use, the ion exchangeability of the purifier starts to go down, and these compounds are first released, even before the resistance has come down under 18.2 MΩ-cm.
Main benefits of this technology are the removal of dissolved inorganic ions and regeneration by deionisation with the help of bases and acid. Plus it’s a budget-friendly water purification solution. The only flaw is, it doesn’t remove pyrogens, organics, bacteria and other particles effectively.
It’s an electrically managed water treatment technology that utilises ion exchange, electricity and resin to bump off ionised species. The summation of ion-exchange resins with the membranes is used to shift ionic impurities into waste.
The concentrate water system helps in moving impurities out, their construction doesn’t eject the resin, and thus the lifespan of the resins prolongs. During EDI water gets into the EDI module, and there an applied current puts pressure on ions to pass through the resins and throughout the membranes.
These ions accumulated into the concentrate streams which are recycled or put into the drain later. Then the deionised product water can undergo more treatment for improved water purity or can be used straight away.
Filtration typically works the same as a sieve and creates a physical barrier based on the pore size to the transit of the particles in water filter systems. Membrane filters are used consisting of pore size from 1-10 nm, which can help in eliminating particles even of the size of protein macromolecules.
Ultrafiltration is an incredible technology for assuring coherent ultrapure water quality for pyrogens, bacteria and other particles. Sub-micron filtration that includes micro and ultra-micro filters is applied to remove dead or live bacteria and also biologically active particles.
Sub-micron filtration helps in removing enzymes, endotoxins, colloids, bacteria and other particulates.in sub-micron filtration the water flow is guided in any of these two ways; either it is channelised straight through the membrane or cross-flow pattern.
Filters which have this technology in them must be maintained regularly to assure the effective working. Ultrafilters usually are installed closer to the wall socket of a water filter system to minimise the concentration of microorganisms and significant organic compounds.
Types of water filters
If the presence of dirt, grit, rust, sediments or other similar particles in water is the only issue, a screening filter would be enough. Made of ceramic, fabric, fibre or some additional screening medium, they are best to eliminate some common catch particles like bacteria or small organisms. But you must not depend upon them to deal with disease-causing metals, VOCs and other microorganisms.
Carbon water filters:
Carbon blocks or granular activated carbon built from crude organic materials like coal or coconut shells which are rich in carbon. Carbon is a well-known absorptive substance, and it is amazingly effective because of several tiny pores that can soak things up. Some filters use secondary media to stop bacterial growth.
How do they help?
Carbon filters actively remove volatile organic compounds, sediments, chlorine, all unpleasant odours and taste from water. Eliminate bacteria from water. High-quality carbon blocks can also move out lead, microplastic, nitrates, lead and other various contaminants.
If your water has an unpleasant taste, odour or appearance, a filter consisting of activated carbon might be the solution of the problem. If you also have requirements to eliminate pesticides, chlorine, radon, trihalomethanes and herbicides and the other inorganic chemicals, you can see that carbon can work wonders.
Carbon filters work efficiently in eliminating lead content. Pre-coat absorption and solid-block filters can excellently capture and block lead. Before purchasing any filter system, you should check its certification, and if there are any claims mentioned about lead removal, you can request them to prove it.
You can’t only depend on carbon filters for the removal of nitrates, salts, nitrites and other metals. Similarly, you must not focus on a single unit for the removal of organisms.
You must acknowledge that carbon filter gathers the contaminants eliminated from water and it can also cause bacterial growth, so filter cartridges replacement performed sacredly can be the best thing you can do, as the manufacturer suggests.
Carbon filter, which comprises of pesticide silver, might be registered but not certified by EPA. Research shows that there are not entirely efficient at reducing bacterial breeding or slaying microbiological contaminants. Substantiation of such claims is significant.
The efficiency of a specific carbon unit is an element of the quantity of activated carbon in it. Users can purchase countertop, under-counter, whole-house and faucet-mounted styles.
Whole-house units which are universally famous by the name point-of-entry systems used where radon poses as contaminants have seen in the water, which is a threat to the whole family.
In water distillation before boiling water heated. The water vapours then rise to a condenser where the temperature is brought down by cooling water, and the fumes are condensed, accumulated and stocked. Many contaminants remain stern in the liquefied phase vessel. Check Out Best Home Water Distiller Reviews 2020
How do they help?
They remove a lot of contaminants — most of the times, distillation used in technical procedures.
If you are looking for a sink-top, portable appliance which will bump off various dissolved solids from the water like metals, asbestos fibres, particles, minerals and other organic chemicals, a cheap water distiller may be all you want. Distillers stir up water till it becomes steam and then the steam is condensed back into the water in another chamber, and all the other substances are left behind.
Water distillers cannot remove all bacteria and chemical pollutants alone, and they must couple with carbon filters for efficiency.
Most of the times, they filled manually, and they use a considerable amount of power for proper working and production of 1 gallon of water may take many hours. Cost of water distillers varies from 80$ to 350$, but big-named models can be bought in 200$.
Reverse Osmosis Water Filters:
These filters use RO, which is a method where a user deionise or demineralise water by forcing it under pressure via a reverse osmosis semi-permeable membrane. RO filters commonly merged with an activated carbon filter to entrap chlorine and organic chemicals layer before the RO membrane. Check Out: Best Home Reverse Osmosis System 2020
How do they help?
Able to bump off 99% of the colloids, particles, dissolved salts, pyrogens, organics and bacteria from the filled water.
If you are intensely concerned about the inorganic chemicals like nitrates, minerals, metals, salts, other organic substances plus asbestos, you must purchase a reverse-osmosis water filter.
Most of the units consist of carbon post and pre-filters; that capture herbicide, pesticides, radon, THMs and sediments.
RO filters move out lead, but many of them don’t eliminate chlorine (if any company has claimed this, as them for proof). Water taste amended with carbon post-filters. Pre-filter cartridges and post-filter cartridges must replaced every year.
Most RO models have attached to plumbing straight away and situated under the sink. Clean water is stored in a small tank until required for usage and consumed water drains out via a line linked to the sink.
Drinking water moves from a divided sink-top spout. Some units have an automatic device that rids of the waste usually attached with RO filters. Typical RO models consume almost 3 gallons to produce 1-gallon clean water. Their price ranges from 200$ to 400+$.
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UV water purifiers:
Ultraviolet disinfection water filters use unique lamps which disrupt the DNA of bacteria and other micro-organisms by emitting UV light of a specific wavelength. As water moves from a UV water treatment system, bacteria and other organisms in it are laid bare to the UV light which flacks the genetic code of these organisms and re-orders the RNA/DNA, quashing off the capability of microorganisms to perform and reproduce.
How do they help?
Eliminates 99.99% of viruses and bacteria that may be existing in the water.
UV disinfection water filters can usually buy-in $150, they kill microorganisms and purify water by removing odour and taste from it, and still, they are not extremely efficient against contaminants and chemical pollutants. This UV water purifiers can attache to carbon filters for removing bacteria. UV water purifier models can be bought in $300 t0 $700.
Pitcher water filter:
These pitchers linked with an activated carbon filter. These manually filled and water poured from them. The best thing about these is that they are cheap and they don’t need installation.
The only flaw of using these filters is some of them pour very slowly, and filter congestion can occur. Another thing you should remember is they also need more quick change or replacement. Check Out Best Filtered Water Pitcher Reviews 2020
Faucet water filter:
These filters link straightaway to the end line of the faucet. They are cost-effective and can easily install. Just attach them to the faucet, and you are ready to use it.
The flow can slow down at times because they don’t fit out to all the faucet, which can be tough. They usually need you to replace or change filters more frequently as compared to the other available options of the carbon water filter. Read More Faucet Water Filter
Under-sink water filter:
These water filters are installed beneath the kitchen sink and connected to the waterline of the house. Dissimilar to the other units, no counter space or fridge space needed.
They usually need minimum filter changes. As a whole, they provide more comfort to the users as compared to the faucet or carafe filters. They can’t install on their own, professional expertise have required for this purpose. Read More Under Sink Water Filters
Countertop water filters:
They fit on the counter and attached to the faucet. They are less probable to slow pour rate or to clog. It don’t need more frequent filter change as compared to the faucet or carafe options. They don’t fit out properly to every faucet, and they take over more space.
Why is it compulsory to filter your water?
Although the Safe Drinking Water Act regularises the water we drink in the United States since 1974, the fact is we don’t make efforts to save water for our health. The reality is, this act regularises 91% pollutants; however, 60,000 plus chemicals still there in our water sources.
A recent study has highlighted that about 316 contaminants exist in our water, and surprisingly 202 of those contaminants were without protection standards. A guessed 132 million residents of America in more than 45 states had baffled pollutants in their water source.
A New York Times investigation figured that almost 60 million Americans are drinking water full of contaminants and unregulated chemicals.
Rather than relying on government and waiting for proper action to clean up tap water/water sources, this is how we can take responsibility to clean and purify our water.
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What kind of chemicals exists in our water?
All the contaminants, pollutants and chemicals in our drinking water seem like we drink toxic cocktail daily. These are the chemicals we mostly drink with our water;
- Chemical fertilisers
- Car emissions
- Industrial solvents
- Flame retardants
- Pesticides heavy metals
- Personal care products
- Weed killers
- Rocket fuel
- Runoff chemicals
These pollutants have seen in small amounts in water from our global water resources. Scientific research has proved that consuming these chemicals even in insufficient quantity can be hazardous for our health.
For Water Test Check Out Best Home Water Test Kit
How can water pollutants damage your health?
The food we eat, the water we consume and the environment we breathe in have all shifted surprisingly in a small timeframe. If we compare it to the whole human history, the alterations in our surrounding seem to happen as a blip in time.
It discovered in a report published by the American Journal of Clinical nutrition that this mismatch of our time and environment will be a storm of illnesses in future.
Pollutants found in water are the main reasons to lead to diabetes, cancer, brain disease, autoimmune-inflammation disorder, thyroid problem, kidney, and liver and nervous system issues.
But, indeed, contaminants not only the reason, but the intentionally imparted fluoride is also heightening health problems. It claimed in a scientific review of EPA’s standards that fluoride found in tap water linked to the enhanced ratio of dental issues and bone fractures.
The study also suggests more research on the impact of fluoride on human brain health and thyroid. Following are the necessary steps you can make to understand why water filtration is essential.
Do you know what is in your water?
Based on your residential area, water quality can be different, so you must know what is in your water. Water quality report has sent to the users every year by the local water utility.
Many of us don’t bother to read it, and we miss the essential information it carries. The water-quality report, which also called Consumer confidence report, can help you in comparing the pollutant’s level in your water according to the EPA’s standards.
You get to know about water in your area and what are you drinking from your specific tap through this report. Based on your apartment pipes or home, it’s substantive to check your water.
The local or state health department offers free test kits, or people can buy water test kits from home improvement stores online.
Decide what water filtration system you want to have
Once after knowing about the contaminants in your water, be very cautious while choosing the right filter for your home. As we have mentioned earlier, there are four basic categories of water filters; carbon water filters, UV water filters, reverse osmosis water filters and water distillers.
Things you must check in your water filter before purchasing it
Do you understand the importance of the quality of drinking water in your home? As we have mentioned about the studies and research that showcase how water may consist of heavy metals, chemicals and pathogens, then you must purchase a water filtration system to clear your doubts.
Once after deciding to buy a water filter for your home, there are multiple options which you can avail. There are several models of water filters available in the market, which have launched by big-name brands using best-efficient filtering technologies that the thought of buying a filtering system can excite you.
You have read about the types of water filters using membrane technology for filtration by using disinfection technique by UV lamp filters. After reading so much information, you must confuse about deciding which water filter system would be perfect for your home. These are the basic factors you should consider while buying a water purifier.
Removal of pollutants
The very first reason you must be having a water filtration system is the removal of the contaminants that exist in the tap water and to drink clean and safe water. Your water source may contain a lot of impurities that can cause serious harm to your health.
Cysts, bacteria and other micro-parasites which counted as biological impurities can make their way into your body through the impurities in water.
Moreover, many reports and studies have depicted that household water may consist of hazardous chemical contaminants which associated with obesity, hormone suppression, high cholesterol, etc. besides, there may be carcinogenic heavy metals like lead and arsenic in tap water.
Thus, while choosing a filter first check your water properly in a certified lab and encounter the contaminants in it and then make a decision about the filter for your home.
Most of the units remove almost 40 contaminants, and some models remove 25 to 60 contaminants. In case your water has a significant number of contaminants buy a filter that best fits your needs.
Organic compounds like THMs and chlorine can expel with activated carbon filters; Still, for arsenic, sulfates, nitrates and heavy metals, you must purchase a UV filter system or reverse osmosis filter system.
The filter you are planning to purchase should not just get rid of the contaminants but also improve the entire quality of water. Which means eliminating the pungent smell and foul taste and upholding proper PH balance but saving natural minerals which are beneficial for your health.
Filters using reverse osmosis method may look like the exclusive solution in your pursuit for having healthy drinkable water, but the situation can’t be same always.
Although it eliminates many unwanted contaminants, it can also remove healthy minerals. Several minerals remove through it that are important for our bodies like sodium, magnesium, calcium, fluoride and iron.
Lack of these minerals may result in gastrointestinal issues, joint conditions, bone density problems and cardiovascular disorder. The deficiency of minerals increases acidity and also leads to tasteless water.
If your water doesn’t comprise of hazardous pollutants in a considerable amount, you might interest in choosing active carbon filters that uphold minerals. On the other hand, users can also purchase filters coupled with remineralisation factors that supply essential minerals to the water after the completion of filtration procedure.
Probably most of the times, people don’t check the maximum filtration rate of a system daily when they plan to buy a filter. But a smart buyer must be cautious about it.
The maximum filtration rate is the quantity of filtered water that a filter can make every day. So, if a family’s regular water usage outweighs the level best gallons of water generated by the filter, don’t buy it!
Filters from different brands available in the market are dissimilar to each other because of the filtration rate. It is necessary to buy that matches your consumption demands or exceeds your water consumption a little bit.
Contrarily, you should also not buy those filters which filter more amount of water than you genuinely demand because they are very costly. Thus, the important thing you must care about is how much clean water you want in routine and choose one filter accordingly.
Operating charges with installation
Your budget is important while planning to buy a water filter for your home. The price of a filter defined by several elements including the number of levels in the filtration method, storage capacity, filtration rate etc. Same as that a filter with remineralisation cartridge will be more costly than the others.
Apart from the money you pay in advance, there are extra charges that you have to bear while installing the filter in your home. Your cartridges will also change so you must have an estimation of the cost. Calculate the electricity usage by your filter. Remember that filters that may look costly in the first place might be budget-friendly for you in the long run.
There is no requirement that you must have the most complex and expensive water filter system to drink clean water.
Know what type of pollutants and contaminants you have to remove from your water plus know your daily water consumption to get an idea of what water filter system best suits you. You don’t need to pay high for something that is not essential. Also, don’t hold back to spend some extra money if it is important.
Commonly replacing water filter cartridges after some time is a must. You must ask for the recommendation to your water filter guide to know the time pattern. Should follow to replace your cartridges and be very punctual in doing that. You will also be planning to buy a filter that needs no or less frequent cartridge change or replacement.
Based on their types, every water filter has different maintenance requirements. A little bit monitoring is compulsory for all the filters. But complex water filter systems demand more expense and more time.
For example, a 6-stage reverse osmosis filter may require frequent change o cartridges at different time patterns. Such filters require pretreatment of feed water for proper working and durability.
If the water fed in it is hard, the indispensable water softener can help in the scaling of membranes. This because of the calcium and magnesium deposits in filter areas.
If you curious about water softener then check out our detail guide about Best Whole House Water Softener Reviews
Buying a water filter is a crucial task for your health. Thus, you must spend adequate time to research before installing a water filter system in your home. You may end up making a poor choice if you don’t know the essential factors for buying a water filter. It while makes you regret your decision afterwards.
So which filter is best for you according to your needs?
Hopefully, our guide has helped you in answering all of your questions. If there is still any confusion, then install super-quality faucet water to eliminate bad taste, odour and contaminants. If your water report doesn’t show any particular issue with your water or if you are concerned about the calcium. Then check its PH level or particular viruses or bacterial existence.
Moreover, to find the best suit for your issues, shop around; you will see a clear-cut difference in installation, price, technology, maintenance demands and warranties. If a salesperson claims that he has a device with EPA approval, be wary that EPA only registers products and it doesn’t approve them.
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