How water filters work
Even when water looks perfectly clear and clean, there could still be harmful bacteria, chemicals or microscopic particles in it. This is why it’s essential to have a proper system in place to clean the water you use – whether it’s drinking fountain water filters at the office or a filtration system on your taps at home.
The most common system for cleaning water for domestic use is that of filtration. This is where the water is passed through a porous membrane or substance that isn’t soluble. The membrane or substance used must be so fine that it picks up even the smallest microscopic particles that could be harmful to the person drinking the water.
The different types of water filtration
Cleaning your water is important to live healthily. Here are some options that you can use at home, at work or out and about:
- Activated Carbon – This form of filtration system is made up of a carbon substance that is based on charcoal. It’s similar to a hard sponge in appearance and is full of irregular shapes inside that trap unwanted particles within the granules as the water passes through. This is the ideal system for removing common impurities that are found in most domestic water supplies. It is important to note that the carbon granules must be replaced from time to time as they can get clogged up.
- Reverse Osmosis – This method uses a very fine membrane to filter out impurities. The water is passed through the membrane at a high pressure and the majority of the chemicals and particles are left behind. It also uses a fair amount of electricity to run the pump that forces the water through the membrane.
- Distillation – When you’re on the go – out camping or hiking – this process is very useful at cleaning water you find in streams or lakes. Start by collecting running water as this is usually cleaner to start with than stagnant pools. The next step is to boil the water, which will kill any bacteria or living organisms. In order to then remove the chemicals and non-organic particles, it’s important go one step further and collect the steam. Basically, boil off all of the water and trap the steam in a separate container. When the steam condenses and cools, you’ll have distilled water that is free from most unwanted particles and elements.
Remember, there are some bacteria and elements that are actually good for you. It’s important to not strip your drinking water of all natural elements.