Choosing the Right Water Filter for Your Family
Despite all the efforts by the government to make our tap water safer and cleaner, there are still numerous pollutants in the water that may not have too serious an effect on healthy adults, but that could really endanger the health of children, pregnant women and elderly people. One of the largest ironies in this matter is that even some of the chemicals that are introduced to the water supply in order to purify it can react with organic matter in the water, such as dead animals and manure, and create an entirely new set of toxins, so called disinfection byproducts. Buying bottled water is one possible solution, but when you consider the price and hassle that you have to go through, installing a water filter in your home seems to be the only reasonable option left if you want to have clean drinking water. But how to choose the right kind of filter for your household?
In order to find the right filter, you first have to know exactly what contaminants are present in your water. You can ask your water utility company for a copy of their report on the contents of your water, but you should also make sure to check the water in your house for lead, as the amounts of lead in the water are specific to your house, and you can’t get a good idea on the quantities just by looking it up in the report. Once you have determined what exactly is it that your water contains, you can go on to finding the right filter for you.
Types of Filters
There are different types of filters, both when it comes to the way of installment and coverage, as well as when it comes to the mechanism of action.
When it comes to the way they are installed and the area they cover, we can differentiate between point of use units which only filter the water at one point of use, which is to say one faucet, and they come in different variants, like under the sink units, faucet filters and filter pitchers; and point of entry units which regulate the water in the entire household.
When it comes to their mechanism of action (filtration) they are divided into:
- Distillers, which work by boiling the water and then condensing it again. They are mostly used for the removal of sodium, selenium, fluoride barium and arsenic as well as heavy metals such as mercury, lead, chromium and cadmium.
- Ultraviolet disinfection filters, which, as their name implies use ultraviolet light to destroy microorganisms and bacteria. They are divided into class A, which protects from viruses and harmful bacteria and class B filter which make bacteria inactive.
- Reverse osmosis filters rely on a membrane that prevents the contaminants from passing through. It is effective against selenium, perchlorate, nitrate, arsenic, heavy metals, and certain parasites.
- Cation exchange softners, which work by softening hard water through the exchange of minerals. It is mostly used for the removal of different harmful ions, barium, magnesium and calcium.
- Activated carbon filters, which contain highly absorbent, positively charged carbon, which removes chlorine and makes the water taste better. They are also capable of decreasing the concentrations of numerous other pollutants.
Some filters use a combination of the listed mechanisms of action, so make sure to pick the right type for your household, and that the filter you are considering meets NSF/ANSI standard 53, as even though this is not a foolproof guarantee of their effectiveness, it is an indication of quality.
Ariel Bellamy is a creative writer and enthusiastic blogger who loves exploring health benefits of a well functioning and designed home. She is dedicated to make a green contribution to the world. Currently is closely collaborating with Plumbing services Sydney.