One of the most important needs of all living things is water. Right from the beginning of time, water has been so important that animals have fought for water holes, men have fought for proximity to the source of water and even today, countries jealously protect their territories that extend into the different bodies of water.
With the development in the operations of the human species, it has found a way of ensuring that it can bring water to itself from anywhere. In this article, we shall look at this important resource as it affects a home.
What is a Water System?
For the purpose of this article, we shall consider a water system as a process through which clean, healthy water is delivered to the respective points in a house where it is needed for various day to day uses. This to a large extent deals the filtration system, as it this system that ensures that the water that pours out from the faucets are suitable for drinking and other uses. Read about it here.
Types of Water Filtration Systems
There are different types of water filtration systems. In this article, we will be looking at four.
This is probably one of the most common types of filtration systems. If you have a filtration system on your countertop, attached to your faucet or under your sink, it is very likely that it is this type of system.
This system uses a process called the activated charcoal adsorption process. In this process, the particles to be filtered off adhere to the surface of the carbon. It is effective in the removal of cadmium, copper, sediment, trihalomethanes, chlorine and other some substances.
One thing you should be aware of is that there are differences even within this system. One of the major areas of difference you may find is with the carbon filters. The level of filtration that will be achieved will depend on the quality of carbon filters used.
That said, you should also note that regardless of the type of carbon filters used, this system will not be able to filter out substances like sodium, microbes, radionuclides, or fluoride.
Reverse Osmosis (RO)
Remember what osmosis is? In osmosis, the goal is to achieve balance on either sides of a membrane. If one side is more concentrated than the other, there will be a flow from the less concentrated side, through the membrane to the more concentrated side until there is a balance.
This process does the exact opposite. Using a series of semi-permeable membranes, this process seeks to continue to increase the concentration of one side by letting water flow from the area of high concentration through the membrane to the area of less concentration.
The membranes will only allow the flow of water through them. Therefore, the contaminants in the contaminated water, which is also the water with a higher concentration will be unable to flow through the membrane.
Since the natural process of osmosis will attempt to equalize the balance on both sides of the membranes by allowing water flow from the area of low concentration to the area of higher concentration, something is done to prevent this.
Pressure is applied to the area of higher concentration to force out all the water in it and in the process, push back any water that may naturally want to flow in from the area of lower concentration.
This is a process that has been around for quite some time. It’s probably one of the oldest methods of distillation. The process simply involves boiling the water until it changes from its liquid state to its gaseous state. In its gaseous state, it is then collected in a separate chamber, free of a lot of its contaminants.
This method will usually require a secondary filtration method. This is because during the process of distillation, any substance that has a boiling point lower or very close to that of water will also be collected with the distilled water. This secondary filtration method will be there to remove such substances. Examples of such substances include: toluene, chlorine, and benzene.
Ion Exchange (IE) Treatment
This is a far less known water filtration method. Explaining how it works may require venturing into some complex scientific processes. For the sake of simplicity, this process exchanges undesirable elements in the water for safer elements. This is one of the methods through which hard water is softened.
Important Factors to Consider When Choosing a Filtration System
When you are about to choose a filtration system at home, there are a few steps you will need to take. Some of these include:
Identifying the Problem
You cannot presume to treat your water if you do not know what is wrong with it. Start by identifying any bad smell, taste or color. You can also get a test kit to help you determine what is wrong with your water. Lastly, you can get the water report from your municipality to understand the problems you are likely to be facing.
Knowing what Needs to be Filtered Out
From the above, you should identify the specific contaminants that need to be eliminated from your water to make it safe. This is very essential to the process.
Determining Your Point of Deployment
Having identified your water problem and the things that need to be filtered off, you need to decide your method and point of deployment. You can choose to deploy the filters at the faucets, under your sink or from the mains.
Choose a Suitable System
Having decided on all of the above, your final action will then be to compare filtration systems to find those that meet all the requirements you have listed from all your considerations above. Remember that this may require a combination of different methods for best results.