Water that comes out of your faucets isn’t always good. It is full of chlorine that kills harmful bacteria, but it also adds both taste and smell to the water. There are other more serious problems with tap water as well. Regardless of safety measures, the pipes can still be contaminated with dangerous chemicals such as lead and benzene. The best way to make sure that your family is provided with healthy and clean water is to install additional water filters.
Selecting the right one can be a bit tricky because the choice depends on your personal habits and the condition of your water supply system. Do the proper research, before you choose.
This is the most affordable option and it’s by far the easiest one to “install”. You just place the pitcher under the faucets and that’s it. The pitchers use activated charcoal to cleanse the water. However, the disadvantages are also obvious. It can clean only the amount of water that fits in the pitcher. That means you probably can’t use it for washing the dishes or cooking something that requires a lot of water. The filter cartridges also have to be changed on a regular basis which is a bit of hassle and it adds to the cost. However, if you plan to filter only the water you use for drinking or making tea – it’s the easiest option.
Reverse osmosis (RO)
RO filters are installed beneath the sink and they use a membrane to clean the water from unwanted particles. They are usually paired with Granulated Activated Charcoal which removes the chlorine. This is fairly comprehensive solution – it removes almost all toxins usually found in water. The filters need to be changed from time to time, but the system is rather simple. However, RO filters waste large amounts of water (almost as much as they produce), so it isn’t a particularly eco-friendly option.
Gravity fed filters
Gravity fed filters don’t require electricity to run and they’re one of the most effective solutions out there. They can filter out almost all of the chlorine, pesticides and pharmaceuticals from the water. The key is in carbon-based adsorption filters (not to be confused with absorption). This means that these filters attract and retain unwanted particles until they become completely covered in them. Once the filter is full, it should be replaced with a new one. The biggest downside is that this process is much slower than all the others on this list, which is not great if you want to get a quick glass of water.
UV Water purifier
Latest UV water purifier uses electromagnetic radiation to decontaminate water. The UV light is produced by a mercury vapor lamp. The light passes through a clear surface creating radiation, which eliminates the bacteria and other microorganisms. These filters do not require cleaning. They are effective against every form of bacteria, and the radiation levels can be set based on your water quality. The filters can be installed under your sink, and they are completely safe.
Water is distilled using heat. Intense heat turns water into steam, which then rises through a filter and ends up in a cooling chamber where it’s turned back into liquid. This process effectively deals with larger particles such as minerals and heavy metals. It doesn’t remove chlorine (or its aftertaste) because chlorine gets vaporized with the water and then turned into liquid once again. Distillation systems are also pretty large so you might need to rearrange your kitchen, or bathroom in order to accommodate them.
Solid block carbon filters
Highly absorbent carbon filters can be installed under the sink, inside a tap or over the counter. They use positively charged carbon to attract the impurities. They remove metals, parasites and chlorine effectively, and improve the taste and smell of water. However, they don’t work on chemicals that are not attracted to carbon (sodium or nitrates for instance). Also, they do not last very long, and replacing them is quite easy.
There’s nothing more important than the quality of water you’re drinking. Do the research about the available water filters and find the one that matches your needs. Have in mind that the sticker price isn’t the only expense, as maintenance can add up as well.