How can home water filtering technologies be of value to us today? Tap water has become contaminated with various chemical elements such as radon, arsenic, and nitrites. Organic elements such as Echerichia Coli bacteria has also become increasingly common. On the other hand, there is bottled water as an alternative which is advertised as “safe” and “natural”, but is less regulated than the tap water supply. By using home water filters, you can filter out and remove sediments and chemicals from tap water, and make it healthy to consume.
First, you need to think about your household and family needs. For tackling the pollutant problem the right way, you will have to determine all the types of chemicals your tap water is contaminated with. You should buy water filters that are certified by an official water testing agency, and pay attention to the list of contaminants that those filters remove. Weigh down how much effort and time you are ready to put into water filtering and how much water you spend on a daily basis.
Pitchers & Faucet Mounted Filters
Pitchers can remove disinfection products, mercury, chlorine, lead, and also improve the taste of water. There is a wide range of models available that come in various sizes and styles. They will require regular cartridge changes, depending on the filter model. In a recent chat with Sydney-based retailers of water filters, I learned that pitcher filters are convenient for one or two people, because frequent cartridge changes may turn the annual cost of a faucet-mounted filter.
Faucet-mounted filters are an ideal solution for filtering drinking and cooking water, because they are easy to install and relatively inexpensive. Like pitchers, they are equipped with carbonated filters that remove a wide variety of pollutants. They also require frequent filter changes, and may slow down the water flow.
Countertop & Under-Sink Filters
Countertop filters are situated on a counter and connected to the faucet with a line. Large amounts of water can be filtered with a countertop filter, without the need for making any plumbing notifications and frequent cartridge changes. They are usually more expensive than faucet-mounted filters and pitchers. However, fixed installation and plumbing modifications are required for under-sink filters. They do not require a lot of maintenance and do not cramp the counter area. Ideal for kitchen use, they include carbon and reverse osmosis, among other filtering technologies.
The best water filtering technologies used today include: distillers, reverse osmosis, carbon filters and ultraviolet light. Distillers are the least effective and practical, generate excess heat and consume a lot of electricity. Reverse osmosis filters can remove many water impurities that cannot be removed by activated carbon (nitrates, fluoride, hexavalent chromium and arsenic). However, they waste a lot more water than they produce, thus they are advised for house application.
Carbon filters use activated carbon. They neutralize water contaminants by bonding them with activated carbon, and are best for removing chlorine byproducts, herbicides and pesticides, lead, MTBE (the gasoline additive), small number of pharmaceuticals and certain parasites. Ultraviolet light is used for killing microorganisms and bacteria, but cannot remove chemical contaminants, so it cannot be considered a filtering method. UV technology is most effective when used in conjunction with carbon filters.
These filters are good for removing rust, sediments, and chlorine, but not for pollutants like metals, volatile organic compounds, and cysts. They require plumbing changes and have a long cartridge life.
The list of hazardous contaminants in our tap water is constantly growing and there is no water filter that can remove all contaminants. That is why it is important to determine those hazardous substances that prevail in your water, and choose your water filter unit accordingly.