Increasingly, people are beginning to take more notice of where their drinking water comes from. In many parts of the world, there are genuine concerns about the toxins and dangerous chemicals leaching into the groundwater. As a result, more households install water filtration systems, in an attempt to protect families from harm. Water filtration systems remove harmful impurities and chemicals, providing a ready source of clean, safe drinking water.
There are a number of filtration options available, depending upon the type of impurity present and upon personal preference and convenience. Of course, budget is always a major concern, but the safety and security of your family is far more important than saving a few dollars.
Water companies generally filter out most of the impurities present in the water supply, but many people question the effectiveness of their measures. Chemicals and heavy metals often accumulate in the body gradually, and this build up has been linked to cancer and other long-term health problems. If you have concerns, buy a testing kit and assess the cleanliness of your water supply.
Testing Drinking Water for Pollutants
Testing drinking water is a useful pursuit before investing in a water filter, because finding out which particular impurities and pollutants are a problem will ensure that you choose the best filter for the task. It is easy to find testing kits, for a reasonable price, and they test for a wide range of common contaminants, including pesticides, heavy metals, and microbes.
Which Water Filtration System is the Answer?
There are a few types of water filtration system available, and they all possess their own specific advantages or disadvantages. Filter jugs are increasingly common, as an easy way of filtering water, and faucet systems do away with the hassle of constantly refilling jugs. For large families, inline systems fitted to the water supply purify the water, with a minimum of fuss.
If you want a cheap and easy solution, the familiar filter jug is a perfectly adequate water filtration system and the higher quality jugs, with both carbon and ceramic filters, remove most impurities. The major disadvantage is that they are very slow, taking a few minutes to filter a jug full of water. The filters need replacing on at least a monthly basis, adding to the cost. However, the fact that many types fit into the refrigerator guarantees cool water all year round, and many families buy two jugs, one to drink from whilst the other cools.
Faucet Mounted Water Filtration Systems
The faucet-mounted system water filtration system is a boon for larger families, with a higher capacity than filter jugs. Faucet filtration systems are cheap and easy to install, requiring little knowledge of plumbing, and these filtration systems remove most of the impurities from the water, efficiently and quickly. The main disadvantage of the faucet water filtration system is that it only filters one faucet so, if you want potable water from more than one tap, you need to buy a separate faucet filter for each.
The Inline Water Filtration System
The in-line water filtration system is more expensive to install than the other options, but provides the most complete solution. Whilst an inline water filtration system is expensive, these systems require fewer filter changes and provide a much more effective solution to filtering contaminants. In addition, they filter all of the water entering the house, so every tap will provide clean and drinkable water.
Where pollution of the water supply is a real problem, inline water filtration systems are the only safe option, but you need to establish which type fulfills your needs. Inline water filtration systems use one of two filtration methods, a carbon filter or a reverse osmosis filter. The best type depends upon the type of pollution that you want to remove, one of the reasons why testing drinking water for pollutants is so important.
Carbon Filter System or Reverse Osmosis Filter?
In the vast majority of cases, a carbon filter system is perfectly adequate, and will remove organic contaminants, chlorine, and pesticides from your water supply. Carbon filter systems are much cheaper to buy, and the replacement filters are reasonably priced. The better quality carbon filters, as found in the best filter jugs, also incorporate a pre-filter, consisting of ceramic coated with silver, well known for its antibiotic properties. This set up will remove the vast majority of contaminants from the water, making it perfectly safe to drink.
For many microbes, nitrates and heavy metals, a reverse osmosis water filtration system is the best option. Reverse osmosis water filtration systems use a permeable membrane, which allows water to pass through, whilst leaving contaminants behind. These systems do waste a lot of water, which can be a problem if you are metered, and they are at the very top end of the budgetary range. However, reverse osmosis filtration systems are extremely efficient at preventing lead, cadmium and fluorine from contaminating your drinking water supply.
Summary – The Best Water Filtration Systems
The inline water filtration systems are certainly the safest method, and prove to be cost effective, in the long term. However, they are expensive to buy and, if money is short, faucet filters and filter jugs are perfectly acceptable. For extremely impure water, a reverse osmosis filter is a safer option but, for most households, the carbon filter is adequate.
One note of caution is that, with in-line water filtration systems, it is good practice to also install a water softener if your water is hard. Hard water furring will soon destroy the filters, meaning that you have to spend a lot of money on replacements.
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