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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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