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Water Filtration Explained

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If you’ve spent some time researching water filters, you’re most likely aware of  substances in water like: fluoride, bacteria, viruses, chemicals, pesticides, arsenic, chlorine, mercury, herbicides and a slew of other things. Harmful contaminants in water are not exactly a secret. Initially, you might simply be looking for better tasting water without an odor. But it’s smart to put some thought into what the safest and best water is for you and your family. Water filtration can be a “one size fits all” decision, but for optimal hydration, you’ll want to customize based on your individual needs. At The Wellness Enterprise, after years of exhaustive research, we believe the perfect combination for your water systems should be based on filtering, structuring and mineralizing. 

For this article, we’re going to concentrate on the filtering component and the A, B, C’s of Water Filtration:   

A: Aesthetic – taste, odor, clarity, sediments, chlorine.

B: Biological – harmful microscopic pathogens like cysts and spores.

C: Chemical – toxic chemicals like detergents and pesticides.   

D: Dissolved Solids – heavy metals such as aluminum, asbestos, lead and mercury.

The Two Main Types of Filtration

There are two basic types of filtration, mechanical and adsorption. These are commonly referred to as sediment or activated carbon.

A mechanical, sediment filter traps and removes solids from water.

In an adsorption system, an activated carbon filter dissolves molecules or small particles in water (the adsorbate) which become attached to the surface of something larger (the adsorbent).

Both mechanical and adsorption filters can remove impurities from water. Activated carbon adsorption systems can remove smaller particles than mechanical, sediment filters.   

Both types of water filtration systems come in variety of forms including:

  • Whole house filtration systems
  • Shower filters
  • Faucet mounts
  • Under sink filters
  • Refrigerator filters
  • Garden filters
  • Portable filters
  • Countertop pitchers     

See what filters are available from The Wellness Enterprise

Different Types of Water Filtering, Purifying and Treatment Systems

Boiling Water

Boiling water can kill some germs and other pathogens because heat damages the structural component of them. However, boiling is not actually sterilization and things like lead, nitrates and pesticides won’t be affected by boiling. Boiling will actually reduce the volume of water and raise the concentration of contaminants, so it’s not recommended as a filtering or purifying method.     

Pro: Can work in some emergency situations.

Con: Not an every day purifying method. 

Bottled Water

Most bottled water is not even as pure as tap water because it’s not subjected to the rigorous standards of tap water testing. In addition, bottled water causes billions of tons of waste every year. Less than 25% of plastic bottles are recycled in the United States.   

Pro: None, because it’s not subjected to high testing standards. 

Con: Wasteful and expensive.

Distillation

Distilled water is heated in a chamber in order to produce steam. The steam is then condensed into a refined water product. Distillation removes a great deal of contamination but requires a lot of energy from gas or electricity. So water distillation systems are not cost efficient. 

Pro: Removes contamination, bad taste and can be helpful in avoiding water deposits.

Con: Expensive and not practical for everyday use.

Water Softeners

Water softeners work on the principle of ion exchange by adding sodium ions in exchange for calcium and magnesium ions which create hardness in water. Water softeners reduce the need for soap in sinks, showers and laundry. However, due to the increased sodium content, water softeners are not recommended for drinking water.

Pro: Economical to save on soap and detergent and as a shower water filter.

Con: Not recommended for drinking water.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis is a process by which water is forced against a semi-permeable membrane. The small pore size of the membrane allows the pure water molecules to be separated from the contaminants in the water. Reverse osmosis systems must be used with a pre-filter to keep the membrane clean and a granulated activated carbon (GAC) post-filter to remove various volatile organic compounds. It takes 4-10 gallons of tap water to produce 1 gallon of purified water. 

Pro: Removes contaminants from water.

BIG CON: Many in the health field call reverse osmosis “dead water” and say it is harmful because it strips water of beneficial minerals. We HIGHLY recommend choosing any other water filtration technology. All filters at The Wellness Enterprise are chosen because they remove toxins like reverse osmosis while leaving in beneficial minerals that are essential to your health. 

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