Water Guide: Safe Tap Water and Water Filters
Water is the source of life. Without water, life doesn’t exist. Our body is composed of fluids, plants need water to survive. However, excess consumption of bottled water has led to water pollution and climate change. Bottled water not only blows a hole in your pocket but also is bad for your health and the environment. Drinking water should be safe, affordable, and should taste good. One way to find out about your local water is to read the water quality report. The report contains the minerals present in your water and also mentions if your water is contaminated or not. You can also use water filters to cleanse your water. Read on to find out more about your tap water and the water filters you can use. Also in order to keep your surroundings safe during this pandemic kindly have a look at a fogger machine guide, to keep yourself and your surroundings safe.
What does your water quality report tell about your water?
An annual quality report or consumer confidence reports are provided yearly to make informed choices about drinking water. The reports mention the contaminants present in your water and how adversely they affect your health. It also includes the regulated toxins detected in your water.
Why is the water quality report important?
A consumer confidence report tells you about any violation of EPA water quality standards if at all it occurs. You shouldn’t use water that violates the EPA water quality standards as it is unsafe for your health and can lead to serious issues such as lead poisoning. Public utilities work hard to improve water quality. About 90% of the water available meets the EPA water quality standards.
Tap Water filters and Filtration systems
There are various shapes and sizes of water filters. According to your filtration requirements, budget, and lifestyle preferences, here are few water filters you can choose from.
1. Carafe or pour through filters
Carafe filters are easy to use and inexpensive. The filter fits easily into your pitcher. The only downside of carafe filters is they have a short lifetime and can filter only a required amount of water.
2. Faucet mounted filters
Faucet mounted filters as the name suggests are filters that you can mount on your faucets. Faucet mounted filters require minimal installation and you only need to follow the instructions to get through the installation. The filter however slows down the flow of water and cannot be used on all faucets.
3. Countertop filters
If you want to filter gallons of water without changing your plumbing system, countertop filters are the best bet for you. Unlike the carafe or faucet-mounted filters, these don’t clog much. These filters clutter your countertops and cannot be used with all faucets.
4. Plumbed-in Filters
Want to filter large quantities of water and avoid creating a mess? Give Plumbed-in filters a try. These filters are installed on your already existing pipe. You can either install the filter directly to your existing sink faucet or dispense water via a separate tap. You will have to create space and alter your plumbing system.
5. Point of entry or ‘whole-house’ filters
Point of entry or ‘whole-house’ filters are installed to the main water supply and filter water for the entire house from kitchen to laundry to bathrooms. These filters have a long lifetime and are cost-effective ways to remove sediments, rust, mud, and even traces of chlorine. However, these filters won’t remove most other contaminants. You will need professional help to install these filters.
Water Filter Technologies
One can find various water filters with different technologies. Some use only one technology others use more than one technology. Here are some terms that you might come across if you are looking for water filters.
1. Particulate or Mechanical filters
Particulate filters block large sediments of mud or rust. These don’t filter minute particles.
2. Adsorption of Activated Carbon
Activated Carbon is known to remove impurities present in water. Adsorption is the process where particles of water stick to the surface of the filter. The filter is usually composed of carbon either in granulated form or powdered form. These filters are commonly used in markets and come in different forms. They are effective in reducing bothersome compounds generally found in municipal water such as chlorine, chlorine by-product, pesticides, and herbicides. These also work well in reducing odors and changing the taste of water.
3. Softeners or Ion Exchange
Ion exchangers are used to reducing hard metals present in water such as lead. Water is passed through an ion exchange unit and the hard metal ions are replaced by sodium ions. These ions make the water ‘softer’ but saltier. This technology is used along with reverse-osmosis filters or adsorptive filters.
4. Ultraviolet or UV treatment
Ultraviolets are known to kill bacteria and germs. In UV treatment, UV light is used to kill germs present in water.
5. Reverse Osmosis
In reverse osmosis, water is pushed through a membrane that filters out the particles larger than water molecules. Reverse osmosis can be used to reduce minerals but it is not effective for chlorine and other volatile organic compounds. To avoid chlorine in water, reverse-osmosis units also contain pre-filters with carbon. This method of filtration is expensive and inefficient.
Distillation is the process used to separate components based on their boiling points. Here, water distillers heat water to 100 and turn it into steam. This steam is then collected and condensed to its liquid form. The contaminants are left inside the distiller. Distillation is an effective way to reduce bacteria and other chemicals from water. This technique requires more energy as compared to other technologies.
Like a coin has two sides, each filter has its pros and cons. Some products use multiple technologies others use only one technology. While choosing your filter keep in mind the price and the purpose of your filters. You must remember your budget includes both the installation cost as well as the product cost. Filters require frequent replacements to avoid clogging, so make sure you take note of the replacement charges. Another factor to take into consideration is the amount of water you’ll be using. Some filters cannot handle large quantities of water others are effective for large quantities.