Even though the water supplied in most homes is regulated, you need to protect the water you drink for your kidney’s sake. Most states regulate around 100 pollutants, yet most water treatment firms use over 60,000 chemicals. A study found that tap water contains 316 contaminants, and 202 of the pollutants had no safety standards. This means that people are exposed to chemicals that are detrimental to their health every day.
You may be wondering what you can do to take responsibility for the water you drink. First, you need to know what is in your water. Depending on where you live, the local water utility sends an annual water quality report. If you don’t get the reports, request a water test kit online and test your water. Once you know the components of your home water, choose a water filtration system.
Here are the main water filtration categories.
Reverse Osmosis System
This system performs water filtration by pushing water through a semi-permeable membrane that only allows the passage of water particles. Reverse osmosis system removes all heavy metal and chemicals. Generally, these systems are more effective at removing water contaminants than other systems. However, reverse osmosis systems are slow and require more maintenance. Eventually, the system wastes a lot of water and utilizes more energy. In cases where water pressure is low, the system will have to force it through the membrane. To reduce water wastage, look for systems with permeate pumps.
Most reverse system models have carbon pre-filters or post-filters to catch sediments, radon, THMs, herbicides, and pesticides. These carbon filters should be replaced annually. In most cases, the reverse osmosis system is placed beneath the sink. A small reservoir stores clean water, ready for use. The reverse osmosis system has two spouts, one for draining tainted water, and a sink top spout where drinking water flows.
Most people go for carbon filters because they are cheap. However, they remove fewer chemicals compared to reverse osmosis filters. The common types of these filters include a pitcher water filter, a faucet water filter, a countertop water filter, and an under-sink water filter. Carbon filters remove contaminants such as radon, gasoline, chlorine, herbicides, pesticides, lead, PCBs, and some bacteria and parasites.
Faucet Water Filter
These carbon filters are attached directly to the faucet. Sometimes, they may not fit your faucet well, hence, slowing down the flow of water. Though they are cheap and easy to install, they require you to change the filters more often than other types of filters.
Under-Sink Water Filter
They are attached underneath your sink. The cons of under-sink filters are they save on space, and require fewer filter changes. The downside is that the filters require professional installation.
They are mounted on the counter and connected directly to the faucet. The main advantage is that the filters are less prone to clogging, and they require fewer cartridge changes. The downside is that they take up much of the counter space.
Pitcher Water Filter
The filtration system is made up of pitchers with an activated carbon filter. To clean water, fill the pitchers with water, and pour from them. Pitcher water filters are cheap, and no installation is required. However, some models pour water slowly and can cause clogging. Also, they require frequent filter changes.
This system uses ultraviolet rays to filtrate water. Unlike other filtration systems that remove contaminants, UV filtration disinfects the water by killing micro-organisms in water, including bacteria and parasites. It also clears the odor and taste of water. The downside of this system is that they do not remove heavy metals or chemicals in the water.
UV filters are mostly used in conjunction with another water filtration system.
Water distillation is the process of heating water till it vaporizes, then cooling down the steam back into water droplets. Distillation removes heavy metals, chemicals, micro-organisms that have a higher boiling point than water. The downside of distillers is they use a lot of energy and require regular maintenance. Also, the process does not eliminate chemicals that have a higher boiling point than water.
Due to unhealthy levels of water contamination in most water supplies, it is crucial to know whether contaminants exist in your water, and how to remove them in your home supply. Initially, buying bottled water was the quickest and cheapest way to get clean water. However, In the long run, it is expensive, and plastic bottles are not eco-friendly. Water filters offer a more permanent solution. There are many water filters available on the market. However, not all are created equally. Research on the best fit for your homestead before purchasing a system.