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Contaminants Removed by Water Filters
Posted by Ty Woods on 18 January 2012 02:20 PM
In most First World countries. the water supplied by the public water system is safe for drinking and consumption. However, the extensive use of chemicals in the purification process and the fact that the water travels through long pipelines before it actually reaches your home mean that there is never a 100 percent guarantee that it is safe. Sometimes, the water may look clear but has a funny taste. You could have rust in your pipes which resulted in some discoloration and contamination of the water. A crack or break in the pipeline could have allowed external material into the water. For this reason, many people place water filters in their homes in order to further purity the water. 

What Is Considered a Contaminant in Water? 

A contaminant is anything that alters the quality of the water. It need not necessarily have adverse health implications; it could just affect the taste or clarity of the water. Most often, people will look at a glass of water and if it is clear think that it is safe to drink. However, a glass of water from just about any stream or dam can look deceptively clear. The next best indicator would be to smell the water. If it has a sour or musty smell, it could be contaminated. You should be able to quickly pick up if it has a strong chemical smell and will then know that it is not safe to drink. In the same way, the water supply from your faucet could appear to be clear but could still be contaminated. Even if it appears and smells safe, you can never know what microorganisms are in the water. Being extra cautious is the only way to ensure that the water you consume is safe. Many people use household filters to provide them with added protection. Let us take a look at some of the contaminants that water filters would remove from your water supply. 

Harmful Bacteria and Microorganisms 

Water contains many microorganisms. While water treatment plants use chemicals to kill off the most harmful of bacterial organisms, not all are eliminated. Some organisms may live in the pipeline system which means that they remain unaffected by the chemicals that were used to treat the water in the plant. From time to time, there could be a break in the water main. Pipes could become cracked or broken and various environmental contaminants could filter into the water supply. These contaminants could include sewage, industrial waste, bio organisms and a wide range of bacteria. Even once the damage to the pipeline is fixed, it could some time before the contaminants are flushed from the system. The resulting bacteria will in the meantime flow through to your home and could cause members of your family to become ill. A water filter in your home provides an additional barrier again bacteria and other harmful microorganisms. 

Iron Content in Water 

It is very difficult for water treatment plants to remove all the iron content from the water. In fact, by law, they are not required to either. Only iron content above a certain level is considered to be harmful to humans so if iron levels are below a certain volume, the water is considered safe to use. However, iron gives water a distinctive metallic taste and smell and can sometimes discolor the water turning it a reddish brown.  You may find that your household pipes have rusted over time. While the water supplied from the municipality might be clean, the iron content could be drastically increased by the rust from your pipes. Once again, an inline or faucet water filter can help to trap these contaminants and make the water in your home safe for drinking. 

Chlorine Levels in Domestic Water

Chlorine is the chemical most often used to treat water. Many people are familiar with chlorine in powder or liquid form used to keep pool water sparkling and clean. In drinking water, the smell of chlorine is less obvious than in a swimming pool but often there is a chemical residue that remains. Chlorine is very effective in removing bacteria and harmful materials from the water and is an essential part of public water clarification systems. However, this can result in a slight chemical taste that can be unpleasant. Most home water filtration methods do not use chlorine. Rather, they use various natural filtration methods which are very effective in treating the water. This results in not only clearer looking water but also far better tasting water. Once you become used to the taste of filtered water, you will appreciate the difference and rarely revert to ordinary tap water again.  

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How to Find Out What’s in Your Drinking Water
Posted by Ty Woods on 18 January 2012 02:09 PM
Dirty water has a certain look, smell and taste, right? Well, not always. Water can sometimes look and taste fine despite the fact that it has other substances dissolved within it. So how can you tell what is in your drinking water, and does it even matter as long as it tastes fine?

The taste of water is a subjective matter that changes from person to person. The minerals in mineral water, for instance, give it a distinct taste that some dislike. In this case, the “bad” taste is not a sign that the water a polluted, but simply that it has a high concentration of minerals. Other times, though, the bad taste (often described as “pool water” or “like metal”) is a sign of something potentially harmful.

With all the chemicals in our environment, it would be foolish to think that none of those chemicals make their way into the water supply. Many water supply companies combat these pollutants by treating the water with high amounts of chlorine bleach. This kills any germ and irritants, but it also leave the water full of chlorine—hence the pool water taste.

There have been studies that have shown everything from dissolved pharmaceutical medication to arsenic in tap water.  These same chemicals and others have been found in the water from some bottled water companies. Though it seems store-bought bottled water would have more stringent regulations regarding its sourcing and filtration, the truth is that tap water is the more regulated of the two. Some bottled water companies self regulate (and do a great job of it) but others simple use a fancy label and sell the idea of fresher, cleaner water. Sadly, the two can sometimes be hard to tell apart.

To know what’s in your tap water, you can contact your local water department to gain more information about their testing methods and findings, but these answers will likely give you a general, composite description of the drinking water in your whole city. It won’t give you clarity about the water coming out of your faucets. Though your city may have generally good water, the piping in your house may greatly affect the quality of the water you and your family members end up drinking. They may be contaminating the water by leaching harmful debris.

You can always take your water to an independent lab and have it tested, but that can be inconvenient and costly. The best way to handle this problem is to purchase a high quality water filter. They are cheaper than buying bottled water (which may or may not be filtered) and they come in convenient variations that allow you to filter water as it comes through the faucet. Many skeptics may think that filters are just a waste of money, but the proof is in the product. Satisfied filter users can tell a significant difference in the taste of their water, but more importantly, tested filter water reads much lower on contaminants that could potentially be harmful.

Water filters use various methods to clean the water. A very popular and simple method is to use granulated charcoal as a drain that allow the water to pass whiling catching dissolved solids. The more drains the water has to pass through, the cleaner the water is in the end. Other, more advanced, filters use a mixture of charcoal and carbon-based media to break down the bonds of chemicals like chlorine, allowing it to detach from the water molecules. 

Water is supposed to be the purest substance on earth. It is what our bodies are made of, the one thing (besides air) we need more than anything else. Our bodies use it to cleanse and detox, so we can’t afford to drink contaminated water that can actually end up doing more harm than good.

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Understanding How a Water Filter Deals with Bacteria In the Water
Posted by Ty Woods on 18 January 2012 02:06 PM

One of the most essential things for the human body is clean water. While we need clean water to rinse the filth from our bodies as well as to remove any bacteria or viruses that may be clinging onto the skin, clean drinking water is even more important than clean washing water. A large majority of people are now realizing how important clean water is to the human body, and are purchasing water filtration systems in order to ensure that they get clean drinking water from their taps. Many are also investing in smaller filtration systems so that they can have clean water to drink no matter where they may be.

While it makes sense that a water filtration system can easily remove things like minerals from your water, understanding how this type of filtration system is able to remove bacteria is a bit more complex. For large water treatment centers, the easiest way to remove pesky bacteria is to introduce chemicals into the water that are designed to kill the bacteria. Most homeowners, however, find that they do not want to be responsible for introducing chemicals into their drinking water, which may be the reason why they purchase the filtration systems to begin with. But what types of bacteria may actually be in your drinking water, and how can a common household filtration water system work to move bacteria and viruses from your water?

Pesky Bacteria

There are actually a number of different types of bacteria that may currently be residing in your household water, unfortunately the only way to know exactly what types of bacteria and viruses are in your water is to have it professionally tested. There are a number of different types of commonly found bacteria that may be lurking in your water, starting with giardia lamplia. This pesky microscopic parasite is easily spread through both animal and human feces. It is most often carried downstream through rivers and streams and can cause such symptoms as abdominal cramps, diarrhea, weight loss, and nausea. Most who are affected by this bacteria retain the symptoms for least a week.

Another pesky bacterium is Cryptosporidium. This bacteria is also spread through feces and can also be found in contaminated water. For 2 to 10 days, those who are infected deal with symptoms such as headaches, diarrhea, nausea, low-grade fever, and vomiting. E. coli can also be found in contaminated water and while most people are affected by E. coli only have symptoms for a week or so, there are some people who may be prone to more serious damage from this bacteria.

Removing Bacteria From Drinking Water

While there are many water filtration systems that promise to remove bacteria from water and yet do not, there are also a number of filtering systems that are perfectly capable of removing these types of bacteria. When you're shopping for a new water filtration system you should learn the difference between a water filter and a water purifier. While both types of systems may remove bacteria from water particles, ultraviolet water filters tend to have a better success rate than your typical water filtration system.

You should look for a system that has a pore size of 0.2 microns. This type of system is recognized in the industry as having the smallest filtering capability possible. This means that no bacteria that is larger than 0.2 microns is able to get through the filtration system, and because most common bacteria is larger than this, a filtration system that has a pore size that small should do a more than decent job of removing any pesky bacteria from your household water supply. It is also important, to make sure that you maintain your water filter system properly and regularly in order to ensure that it is working the way that it should be.

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Why You Need A Water Filtration System
Posted by Ty Woods on 18 January 2012 01:12 PM

A frighteningly wide variety of contaminants, ranging from toxic metals and synthetic chemicals to biological parasites can be found in American tap water. According to a recent EPA report, the United States’ water supply is home to over 2,000 kinds of potentially cancer-causing agents. While this information might prompt you to pick up bottled water the next time you’re thirsty, the solution isn’t that simple. Studies have indicated that bottled water is also home to many invisible contaminants, making it just a more expensive version of the same old problem. This data alone supports the broad benefits of water filtration systems but let’s take a closer look at the specific benefits of filtered water.

The benefits of an in-home water filtration system are vast. Purifying your own water supply is, in most circumstances, the most affordable and convenient means of insuring clean water for you and your family.

As a society that produces 80,000 toxic chemical byproducts on a daily basis, we live in a near-constant cycle of pollution. A large percentage of those pollutants eventually find their way into the water. Because the planet’s water supply is constantly reused and recycled, many of those contaminants are omnipresent in our water supply and, what’s worse, steadily growing. Although we have water treatment plants tasked with cleansing the water supply, the truth is that our current water treatment facilities are not equipped to handle the most potentially harmful toxins.

Municipal water treatment technology has been basically unchanged for over a century. In these plants, water is treated by being filtered through sand beds. The intent of this process is to eliminate visible pollutants to give the water a clean appearance. Afterwards, the water is chlorinated in an effort to purge organic bacteria. However, this process does nothing to combat synthetic chemicals which can be among the most detrimental of pollutants.

A home water filtration system is an easy and economical way to guarantee fresh, healthy water and avoid risking exposure to contaminants. Consider that at the turn of the 20th century, none of these pollutants were in our environment and cancer was only found in one out of every 50 American citizens. Now, just over 100 later, in a time when we’ve since been introduced to thousands of environmental toxins, one-third of Americans are diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives. In the last 25 years alone, the rate of childhood cancer has ballooned by 300 percent.

Because cancer is largely the result of accumulated chemicals in the human body, a water filtration system can be a good first line of defense against future health problems, including cancer and other degenerative diseases. Water is the primary means through which our bodies purify themselves. If the water we drink isn’t pure, we’re never effectively purifying ourselves.

And let’s not forget taste. Water filtration systems eliminate a number of factors that can have an adverse effect on the way water tastes. Most filtration systems eliminate traces of lead, radon, radium, pesticides, and even byproducts of municipal water treatment that can seriously diminish the drinking quality of water in your home. With a home water filtration system, you’re guaranteed a refreshing drink every time.

So now that we know about the necessity of water filtration, what’s the best way to implement a system in your home? Water filtration systems can be broadly divided into two categories: Point of Use versus Point of Entry.

Point of Use systems filter the water a certain location, such as a sink or a shower. This can include anything from a simple filtered water pitcher to a small, faucet-mounted unit to a more complex reverse-osmosis unit. A reverse osmosis water filtration system cleanses water via a pressurized membrane that pulls out all chemicals and other microbes. Although these systems use a considerable amount of water to get the job done, they are highly effective in providing the cleanest water possible.

Point of Entry systems are a bit more involved. This kind of system filters an entire home’s water supply at the source, meaning the water dispensed at every faucet in the house is filtered. This includes things like water softeners and the less-familiar aerators. Aerators are filtration devices that utilize jets of air to remove pollutants.

Of course, there are many options within these two categories, and you’ll get the best results by determining your particular water filtration needs. Everything from a single faucet to a washing machine to an entire home can be outfitted with a water filtration system. In an age when the risks of unfiltered water are so rampant and the solution so relatively simple, it’s time to seriously consider a filtration system of your own.

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