What Is Water Filtration: A Beginner's Guide
Water filtration technology may sound like it’s only been around for the last century, but water filtration methods date back thousands of years ago in ancient civilizations like the Egyptians and the Mayans. Cleaner water was crucial for these civilizations, and that hasn’t changed. Water filtration helps improve water quality, but what exactly is modern water filtration?
At Monkey Wrench Plumbing, Heating & Air, we specialize in water filtration, from installations to repairs, and our technicians have decades of combined experience. Since 2007, we've helped families throughout the Los Angeles area with questions regarding water filtration.
Water filtration is a process of reducing or eliminating concentrations of contaminants from water using a filter media. In the following article, we'll examine why water filtration is essential, its benefits, and filtration methods.
All this insider information will help you understand the importance of water filtration as you search for a water filter that is the right fit for your home. Let's dive right in.
Why Is Water Filtration Important?
Water filtration is vital in preventing illness from unsafe levels of impurities. Unfiltered water can carry the following contaminants.
- Physical particles (sand, clay, dirt, etc.)
- Calcium and magnesium (these minerals cause hard water)
Some impurities are naturally picked up as water travels from snowcaps to streams and riverbeds. Other contaminants are caused by animal and human waste, as well as from industrial and agricultural sources.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans drink one to two liters of water a day. If the water is contaminated, people will be exposed to harmful side effects such as upset stomachs, headaches, fevers, and infectious diseases.
The EPA sets regulations on publicly-sourced water to avoid any public health outbreaks from contaminated water. Tap water in Los Angeles and other parts of the country is tested annually for contaminants and treated so it's safe for drinking.
Cities have vast water filtration systems for their municipal water, providing safe drinking water. Still, homeowners can filter out their tap water further by investing in a residential water filter.
Clean drinking water from multi-water filtration systems is already a huge benefit because it protects people from the dangers of unfiltered water. This benefit is just one of the many positive effects of water filtration.
Water Filtration Benefits
Filtered water is already a benefit in itself, but this process can provide other helpful effects too. You'll enjoy the following benefits if your home has a working water filtration system. Here's a comprehensive list of the advantages of water filtration.
- Improved water drinking habits: Having access to filtered drinking water is known to improve water drinking habits. Drinking more water benefits the body and helps maintain hydration.
- Reduction of plastic water bottles: Even with recycling efforts, hundreds of thousands of plastic bottles end up in landfills and oceans. A water filter cuts off the reliance on plastic containers.
- Environmentally friendly: Water filters help the environment by removing the need for plastic water containers.
- Save money: Water filters are cost-effective and can save hundreds of dollars a year, thanks to no longer needing to purchase cases of water bottles.
- Prevents plumbing issues: Some water filters remove minerals in tap water that cause scale. Scale can cause plumbing problems, such as clogs and decreased water flow.
- Protects your appliances: Many appliances are prone to limescale buildup, but water filters can reduce scale buildup and extend the lifespan of your appliances.
- Cleaner dishes: With filtered water, your dishware will have fewer water stains once they dry from washing. Water stains are caused by scale in hard water.
- Reduces risk of illness from water contaminants: Filtered water has an improved taste and removes any impurities that can make you feel sick.
Various water filtration methods can achieve these benefits. Some of these methods are unique to some types of water filters, but what are these filtration methods?
Water Filtration Methods
Some of these methods are available as whole-house systems, which filter all the water entering a home. There are also portable filters, like water pitchers, and point-of-use water filters that are installed at single fixed water fixtures in a home.
The first type of water filter we'll focus on is highly effective at preventing physical particles from flowing into your home's water.
Sediment filtration is a type of water filtration where tap water goes through a cylinder-shaped filter with tiny pores covering its surface. The filter's surface pores are small enough to let water pass through but prevent physical impurities from passing through.
Sediment water filters are available in different micron ratings, with 10 microns as the most common. A filter with a 10-micron rating signifies that anything bigger than 10 microns will not pass through the sediment water filter. For comparison, human hair is 50 microns thick.
The pore surfaces are measured in microns. One micron equals one-millionth of a meter or 1/26,000 of an inch.
This type of water filtration is seen as a pre-filter in multi-filtration systems because they help capture physical contaminants that can clog other types of filters, like carbon filtration.
Carbon filtration is a type of water filtration that filters water through a process called adsorption. Adsorption is when certain contaminants in water are attracted to the carbon filter, similar to a magnet sticking to a refrigerator surface. Water passes through the filter, preventing impurities such as pesticides, organic chemicals, and other dissolved contaminants from remaining in the water.
The interior surface area of this water filter is covered in a carbon material made out of coconut and or wood charcoal. This process is also referred to as activated carbon filtration.
Water filtration using activated carbon is one of the most common filtration systems installed in homes.
Is Water Filtration Suitable for My Home?
Water filtration is widely used in public water systems, and without it, people can get sick from unfiltered water. Although already filtered, at-home water filtration systems can further remove any lingering contaminants from drinking water. Now that you know the definition of water filtration, you can confidently continue searching for a suitable water filter for you and your family.
For over 15 years, we've installed filtration systems in homes across Los Angeles and helped homeowners understand how these filters work. Our certified and experienced technicians are well-versed in all aspects of water filtration.
If you have any questions regarding water filtration, contact us using one of the buttons below or book an appointment through our water filtration scheduler.
You’ll likely see two terms thrown around during your research: filtration and purification. Water filtration and water purification sound similar but involve different processes to treat water, among other differences you can read more about.