Various types of water filtration systems to provide clean water for drinking, cooking and bathing at home have become necessary in modern society. For those who have a health concern about the purity of water at home, a water purification system is increasingly deemed a necessity, along with other standard home appliances.
There are many types of water filtration systems available for almost any use, whether it’s well water or municipal water. There are also different purification methods that can be matched with a variety of common water contamination concerns such as chloroform, arsenic, lead, nitrate, radon, nitrite, and E. coli bacteria.
Even bottled water isn’t always that pure…in fact, some of it is merely filtered tap water, not to mention BPA leeching from some plastic containers. Bottled water is regulated even less by the EPA than city water supplies.
Basic Types of Water Filtration Systems
Here are the basic types of water purification options from which to choose that can help you decide which is best for your family.
1. Carafe Filters – These are just simple pitcher-type containers with a filter cartridge. Water is poured into the container, drained through the replaceable cartridge and fresh water is produced in the holding area. You can store a couple of these in your refrigerator for extra water all day.
Even though most of these brands are adequate to filter out lead, chloroform and some other contaminates, they can be less practical for more than two people in a household. Plus, if your family uses several gallons of water day, this can be quite a hassle. Carafes can be good for a short-term solution for drinking water, but do not address contaminated water for lots of cooking or bathing.
2. Faucet Mounted Filters – These are handy in a pinch when you’ve just got to get your water filtered for drinking and cooking at point of use. They perform moderately well in filtering contaminated tap water, but generally slow the water flow.
Also, some faucet mounted filters don’t always fit each type of faucet and can be a hassle. The cartridge must be changed regularly and sometimes quite often, depending on how contaminated your water is.
3. Countertop Filters – A countertop filter typically offers more advanced filtering than a carafe or faucet mounted filter. They also can produce larger amounts of clean water more quickly.
However, they do take up precious counter space, but are easy to install and don’t require calling a plumber. Not all brands fit all faucets.
A countertop filter can be one of the best portable water purifier solutions since they can be removed easily and moved to another location. They offer more heavy duty purification, faster water flow. There are many brands and filtering options available.
4. Undercounter Filters – There are many quality brands of under sink water purification models that are great for point of use filtration. They offer a more permanent way to filter your water.
Similar to counter top filters, they produce quick flow water and some brands offer superior purification guarantees for various contaminates.
This type requires professional plumbing modifications to the sink or countertop. A hole is typically drilled where a separate water dispenser is placed next to the original water faucet. Under sink filters free up the counter space, but do take up a small amount of cabinet space, depending on the model you choose.
5. Reverse Osmosis Filters – Water purification by reverse osmosis is typically used when it’s necessary to filter heavily contaminated water. This is the only type of water purifier that is certified to remove arsenic. It can also remove dissolved solids.
Water is pushed through a semi-permeable membrane that removes heavy contaminates. Mineral nutrients are also stripped from the water as well during the treatment.
The process is extremely slow, produces waste water of more than double the produced clean water and takes up a lot of space under a counter. These units require a professional plumber to installl. You will also need to periodically replace the membrane and keep the purifier clean by sanitizing it with bleach from time to time.
6. Whole House Filters – Today’s whole house filters are easy to install, located outside the living space of a house, offer long filter life and produce purified water at a low cost.
There’s also a large variety of purifiers developed for specific needs such as for municipal water and well water.
Not only can they filter sediment, rust and chlorine, but some whole house filters can remove volatile organic compounds, fluoride, metals, cysts and other harmful contaminants.
A whole house filter must be professionally installed by a plumber. Many models use multiple filters for different contaminants, which will need to be replaced on a specified basis for best service.
This is the only comprehensive water filtration method that produces purified water for bathing, cooking and drinking. From the moment the water hits the faucets, it’s filtered.
In order to choose the best type of water filtration system for your home, you will need to consider how much water you use daily, what contaminates need filtering, how much your budget will allow and what models offer you the most benefits overall.