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How do Water Filters Work?

Are you worried about the quality of water in your house? Have you noticed a bad odor or unpleasant taste in your tap water? In that case, you need a water treatment method to improve the water’s taste, appearance, and smell. The right water filtration system can treat contaminated water and offer you pure water. Read further to learn how these filters work.

Water Filtration Process Explained

Water filtration systems work in two different ways – chemical filtration and physical filtration.

Physical Filtration

In the case of physical filtration, the system will strain water to remove large particles and impurities. These filters create a barrier for contaminants, so that dust, debris, and other elements stay on the filter when water passes through it, and you get cleaner filtered water. Physical filtration systems offer the simplest way to remove particles in water.

Chemical filtration

Chemical filtration involves passing water through an active material like carbon. The activated carbon filter or other material will remove some chemicals, contaminants, and other elements that should not be present in drinking water.

Why use a Water Filter?

Like any other type of solvent in chemistry, water has the ability to dissolve other substances. This property is helpful in many cases, such as when you need to make Kool-Aid. You can simply add the powdered packet and a ton of sugar to make a delicious drink. However, this ability can also cause several problems and impact the quality of your drinking water. Just think about the long journey your water can experience before reaching your kitchen’s faucet.

For example if you have city water, before you get the water, it is redirected from a natural source to the local treatment center. It undergoes several purification and filtration processes to eliminate dust, debris, bacteria, and other contaminants. Hence, water gets cleaned before it makes it to your faucet. Unfortunately, during its journey from the treatment center, the water can absorb chemicals, dirt, and other microscopic organisms that cause a bad taste, unpleasant odor, and cloudy appearance, sometimes making water even harder.

With well water, there is no treatment before the water arrives at your tap, unless you are the one doing it. Ground water is in general more clean than surface water, but chemical runoff from fields and roads can still cause water problems underground. It is best to get a water test to see what you need to treat your water for.

Overall, the process of water purification and filtration at home treats water problems and converts water into cleaner water free of odor, contaminants, and sediment.

Types of Water Filter Systems

You can use different types of filter systems to treat water depending on your needs.

Reverse Osmosis

This process involves using a semipermeable membrane that allows water to pass through but not the contaminants, parasites, or metals it may be carrying. Reverse Osmosis filters are greatly effective at removing harmful pollutants and improving water quality.

Unfortunately, reverse osmosis systems are more expensive than other types of tap water filters. Also, they tend to waste a significant amount of water for purifying water and require high pressure to operate.

Activated Carbon Filter

cartridge filter
DROP Whole House Cartridge Filter

With a carbon water filter, you can eliminate agriculture chemicals, chloroform, chlorine, sediment, magnesium, and other organic substances. These filter works through an absorption process, as the impurities in water stick to the activated charcoal or carbon while passing through it.

Activated carbon is created by heating high carbon content, such as coconut shells, coal, or wood, with organic matter to turn them into char. Experts treat char further to create a porous material that easily binds to certain impurities and toxins, preventing them from flowing through the system with water. Carbon household water filters are the most common type of filter, as people install them with other filtration systems to maximize contaminate removal.

Ion Exchange

These water filters are also common in the house and have the ability to remove hard water. They work similarly to water softener. The ion exchange filter contains a substance that exchanges one ion for another when water flows through it. For instance, the system will replace magnesium and calcium ions, which cause hard water, with sodium ions. As a result, you will receive soft water.

If the water is leaving stains on washed dishes, this is a sign of hard water. Hard water builds up in your pipes, lowering the life expectancy of kitchen appliances.

While ion exchange is super helpful in turning hard water into soft water, they do not help trap chemical impurities or remove particles, organic materials, or bacteria. This is why you need to integrate other filtration systems with it to get clean drinking water.

Ultraviolet Light

UV light filters are relatively new, but one of the most effective and safest ways to eliminate microorganisms from water, including parasites, bacteria, protozoa, and viruses. This filtration system exposes water to high-frequency UV light radiation. UV light kills the toxic elements present in the water, offering you clean water. However, the ultraviolet filtration method requires great energy and tends to be expensive.

The drawback of UV light filters is that they can’t eliminate non-organic contaminants, as light can’t pass through them. This reduces its effectiveness and requires homeowners to choose additional water filtration methods.

Aeration Filter
DROP Aeration Filter

Aeration Filters

Aeration filters force water through reduction, oxidation, filtration, and precipitation. The filter lets air pass through water with high pressure and then vents the air outside.

During the vent-out process, air removes contaminants like bacteria and viruses. Though the filters are super popular, they may not be a good option for cleaning extremely contaminated water.

Ozone Filters

Ozone filters can help you treat poor-quality water. These filters are designed to use ozone gas to treat water by eliminating contaminants, such as bacteria, viruses, and metals.

The water goes through different stages to purify it. Ozone filters are easy to install and usually lightweight. You can use them as whole-house water filters or install them only with your kitchen tap.

Here is a video explaining how the DROP Aeration Filter and optional Ozone Filter work:

How to Choose the Right Water Filter for You?

Every water filter has its own benefits and drawbacks, and not all of them can completely purify your water. To determine which water filter will be suitable for you, we recommend you test your water to learn what impurities and contaminants are present in it. Once you identify your top concerns, look for a filtration method that specially addresses these issues.

Once you know what you need to treat, take a look at our water filters, or get in touch with one of our specialists who can point you in the right direction.

More To Explore

Do Water Filters Remove Calcium?

Calcium is a very important mineral, and you need it to survive. For example, you probably know that calcium can be found in dairy products,

How To Reduce TDS in Water at Home

Everyone deserves to have a safe, healthy water supply in their homes. While there are some water supplies that can be contaminated, there are also

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