Water is life. We rely on water to keep our bodily functions at optimum levels. Drinking enough water every day gives us healthy skin and joints, better brain function, and average body temperatures. It can even aid in weight loss and cure your hangover. Not drinking enough or none can lead to a myriad of diseases such as urinary tract infection, chronic kidney disease, and increased blood pressure. Dehydration is dangerous, and it can even lead to death.
We can obtain water by drinking it pure or through beverages like tea, coffee, milk, and juices. Fruit and vegetables also contain water, and consuming these can help you fulfill your daily water needs. Unfortunately, drinking water can be a problem in certain parts of the world. Water is often tasteless, but tap water can have that odd taste to it.
You might notice that the water in your glass is somewhat murky, or it has sediments. It may also taste salty, metallic, or even bitter. It can feel greasy, or it may even be yellowish. Several factors can cause tap water to appear, taste, and even smell different. Too much chlorine can cause the smell, while contaminants can alter its appearance and taste. If you happen to experience any of these, chances are, you’re going to need a water filter.
What Is A Water Filter?
A water filter is a device that strains out harmful substances in water. Filtration works via two techniques: physical and chemical filtration. Physical filtration strains out large impurities such as sediments and other suspended solids, the same way your strain or colander works in your kitchen. In chemical filtration, water passes through an active material to remove impurities and contaminants.
Types Of Water Filters
Water filter technologies vary in their ability to filter out substances. According to the CDC, the most common types of water treatment devices include:
- Activated carbon: Granular activated carbon or carbon blocks (often known as AC) absorb organic contaminants through adsorption to eliminate taste and odor. Its internal surface area has nooks and crannies that trap contaminants. It even removes metals such as lead, copper, chlorine by-products, cleaning solvents, and pesticides. However, activated carbon doesn’t remove nitrates or dissolved minerals. Replacing carbon filters every six months enables them to remove impurities continuously.
- Ion Exchange: Ion exchange is useful for treating hard water or water with dissolved mineral compounds such as magnesium and calcium and for removing limescale. Ion exchange filters contain sodium ions which compel magnesium and calcium compounds to break down. The sodium ions in the filter trap the magnesium and calcium ions and release their ions in the process. This process makes the water softer and better-tasting. The only drawback to ion exchange is that it requires recharging the filter with a special kind of salt to release more sodium ions. This requires additional costs and effort.
- Reverse Osmosis: This process subjects water to intense pressure for water molecules to travel from a more concentrated solution to a less concentrated one. Untreated water gets pumped into a purification unit that separates water from contaminants. It’s useful in eliminating salt, nitrates, and limescale from tap water. The process also removes unpleasant taste and odor and reduces the presence of pesticides, chloroform, and petrochemicals. However, it doesn’t remove bacteria.
These filter systems are the most common in the market today, and they exist as combinations to efficiently produce pure water. This distinct combination of water filtration systems produces clean, safe, and pure water. Water filters are not only used to treat tap water, as water filtration experts can install them in showers, hot-and-cold water dispensers, or as a complete package for your entire home.
Sugar As Water Filter
Aside from the available home water filter systems, there is a suitable type of filter that’s less expensive and requires lower maintenance. A chemist at Cornell University experimented on the cyclodextrin polymer of sugar molecules with binding power that can rival that of activated carbon. The study showed a 95% adsorption capacity within 10 seconds. The technology is under patent and has spurred a start-up business for cheaper yet more efficient water filters.
Water filters transform tap water into drinking water by eliminating impurities, microorganisms, unpleasant odors, and smells through physical and chemical filtration. There are advantages to each filtration method, and you must decide which among the water filters are appropriate for your needs. You can buy one to eliminate foul odors and smells, strain dissolved and suspended particles, or remove dangerous compounds and bacteria. While it’s best to obtain a combination of filtration technologies to maximize benefits, you need to remember that water filter maintenance is essential. Replacing filters from time to time is key to getting clean and healthy water. In essence, installing one and making sure it’s well-maintained gives you filtered water at its best.