If you're concerned about the water quality of your home tap water, you don't need to resort to bottled water or a water delivery service. Home filtration systems are available to give you clean water, free of chemicals, heavy minerals, bacteria, and parasites. Here are the four popular filtration techniques to give you a healthy drink of water out of your kitchen faucet.
This is the simplest filtration technique. Water flows over carbon granules and removes large particles, pesticides and chlorine. Carbon filters come in water pitchers that you fill from the tap and allow to sit as water moves through the filter. They also come in units that attach to your faucet, filtering your water every time you turn on the tap.
Maintenance of the filter requires periodically buying a new filter. Each manufacturer suggests how many gallons of water their filter will be effective on before needing replacement. Carbon filters are often used in conjunction with other home filtration systems.
Ceramic has tiny pores that, when used to filter water, will trap small particles, minerals, and parasites. This is purely a physical filter so it won't remove pesticides or chlorine. To remove these, a combination of ceramic and carbon can be used. These also come in small sizes that attach to your kitchen faucet or to the water line coming up to the faucet.
It takes time to force water through the tiny ceramic pores so your water pressure will be reduced. The ceramic portion of the filter must be periodically replaced or cleaned because the pores become clogged with material. This filter will soften the water slightly because it does remove some of the heavy minerals.
These filters are designed to remove bacteria and viruses from your water. These organisms are killed by ultraviolet (UV) light. The water flows around UV tubes, killing disease-producing organisms.
These filters tend to be installed as whole house systems so you'll have safe water from any faucet. A plumbing service that specializes in filtration systems will install this where the city water comes into your house. When installed with a ceramic and carbon filter, the system will remove minerals, pesticides, bacteria, parasites, and some viruses. The UV tubes need to be replaced periodically to maintain the filter's effectiveness.
Zinc and Copper Filters
These are large whole house filtration systems that remove minerals, heavy metals, chlorine, bacteria, and parasites. Water flows through tanks of copper and zinc which cause a chemical reaction in the water, killing hazardous organisms. A carbon filter may be added to remove pesticides.
This system softens your water by removing minerals and heavy metals. The copper and zinc needs to be replaced periodically or recharged through a process called backwashing. Each manufacturer has a different technique for cleaning their filters. A plumbing service (such as Walt's Plumbing) that installs this system will show you the steps for maintaining the filter.