By: Tara Guillen
There are a number of things that are essential to the survival and well-being of humans (and animals). Aside from breathe which we really do not have to do much to access, the two other most important needs of humans and all living things are food and water. Humans therefore tend to place a lot of emphasis on these two, especially food.
Interestingly, though we take food and feeding very seriously, it has actually been shown that we can live without food for up to 21 days and more. However, we can only live without water for about a week. You can read about it here. This therefore means that water is of great importance to our survival.
Thankfully, there is an abundant supply of water though most of this supply is not safe for direct consumption. They need to go through some form of purification process to make them suitable for human consumption. While this is usually done on a large scale, home filtration systems offer individual homes the ability to really ensure the purity of the water they take.
Types of Home Water Filtration Systems
There are a number of systems or methods employed in the water filtration process. We will however look at just a couple.
This process involves the heating of water until it changes its state to the gaseous state and then is condensed into distilled water. During the process of heating, harmful organisms are killed. It will also eliminate other non-organic substances such as chemicals and heavy metals.
The distillation process ensures that only substances that evaporate at a certain temperature will be collected. In this case, this will mean the temperature at which water evaporates.
As the name suggests, this process is a direct opposite of the principle of osmosis. Osmosis is the transfer of liquids from an area where there is the level of concentration is low through a semi-permeable membrane to an area where there is a higher level of concentration thereby diluting the higher concentration. Osmosis therefore seeks to create a balance between the two sides of the permeable membrane.
This process is the direct opposite of osmosis. Rather than seeking to create a balance, it seeks to further tilt the balance by allowing movement only from the area where the level of concentration is higher through the semi-permeable membrane to the area where the level of concentration is lower. The area where there is a higher level of concentration therefore gets more concentrated while the area with the lower level of concentration gets further diluted.
In the context of this article, the semi-permeable membrane only allows water pass through it. Pressure is applied on one side of the membrane, causing water to pass through it to the other side. As a result of the pressure being applied, water can only move in one direction. You therefore have filtered water on one side of the membrane and contaminated water on the other side.
This is a very effective but pretty expensive method of water filtration. It’s basically a natural method that does not use any chemicals. It kills or disables harmful organisms by attacking their DNA or genetic core. Like we noted, this process is quite expensive to set up.
Carbon Black Filters
This is easily one of the most common types of filter. This system, also known as charcoal water filters, makes use of carbon block and activated carbon. These activated carbon blocks act almost like magnets, attracting the impurities in the water to itself as the water flows over it.
It is very common to find this method used in conjunction with other methods like reverse osmosis or others.
Choosing the Filter that is Right for You
The four methods we have looked above are just some of the major methods used. When you go to purchase a water filtration system, you may not find them displayed with these names. You will likely find them sold as water purifying pitchers, faucet filters, countertop and under sink water filters, gravity fed drip water filters etc.
It is therefore your duty to find out what method each product utilizes. This is very important because the different methods are more efficient in one area than another. The first thing you should therefore do is identify the contamination problem you have.
You can only choose the right method when you know exactly the problem your water has. Do this first and then find out which method will best address that problem.