Understanding the Different Types of Water Filtration Systems
Water filtration systems are an important tool which help in ensuring that the water we use in our homes is safe and clean for consumption. There are several different types of water filtration systems available in the US markets, each which contains its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages.
Here in this article, we will discuss the different types of water filtration systems, their effectiveness, and their costs.
- Carbon filters: These are among the most common types of filtration systems used in households across the country. They work by using activated carbon to remove impurities from the water. Activated carbon is a type of carbon that has been treated with oxygen to make it more porous thus increasing its surface area. This increased surface area helps the carbon to catch impurities such as chlorine, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and other contaminants.
Advantages: Carbon filters are relatively inexpensive and easy to install. They are also low maintenance, as the carbon needs to be replaced every 6 to 12 months, depending on the overall usage.
Disadvantages: Although carbon filters are very effective in removing many types of impurities, certain elements such as salt, minerals, dissolved solids cannot be filtered by them. They are also less effective in removing bacteria and viruses compared to other filtration systems.
- RO (Reverse Osmosis) Systems: Reverse osmosis (RO) systems are another type of water filtration system that is popular in the USA. These systems work by using a semi-permeable membrane to remove impurities from the water. The membrane has tiny pores which allow water molecules to pass through, but block larger molecules i.e impurities such as salt, minerals, among others.
Advantages: RO systems are very effective at removing impurities such as minerals, salts, and dissolved solids. They are also extremely effective at removing bacteria and viruses. However, they are less effective at removing VOCs and other chemicals.
Disadvantages: RO systems are more expensive as compared to carbon filters, and they require professional installation. They also require more maintenance, as the membrane needs to be replaced every 2 to 3 years.
- Ultraviolet Systems: Ultraviolet (UV) water filtration systems treat water by using UV light to disinfect and eliminate harmful microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. The UV light damages the genetic material of these microorganisms, rendering them unable to reproduce and thus killing them.
Advantages: These systems are extremely effective at removing bacteria and viruses and are considered to be inexpensive and cost effective in the longer run.
Disadvantages: These systems are effective at removing bacteria and viruses, but they are not as effective at removing impurities such as minerals, salts, and other chemicals.
- Distillation systems: Distillation systems heat the water to create steam, which is then collected and condensed back into water. This process removes impurities such as minerals, salts, and other chemicals.
Advantages: Distillation systems are very effective at removing bacteria and viruses.
Disadvantages: Distillation systems are a bit expensive and require frequent maintenance. They also require professional cleaning and maintenance and tend to consume a lot of energy.
- Ceramic filters: Ceramic filters use a porous ceramic material that helps them to remove impurities from the water. The pores in the ceramic material are small enough to block bacteria, viruses, and other impurities.
Advantages: Ceramic filters are effective at removing bacteria and viruses and are also inexpensive and easy to install.
Disadvantages: As good as they are in treating bacteria and viruses, they are considered to be less effective for chemicals and minerals.
All in all, there are several different types of water filtration systems available in the US market to choose from, each with its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages. When purchasing a water filtration system, you must consider factors such as the type of impurities that need to be removed, the cost of the system, and the maintenance requirements. It is also important to choose a system that is certified by a reputable organization such as NSF International or the Water Quality Association.