If you’ve been thinking about getting added water treatment or filtration for your home tap water, especially drinking water or for hard water, there’s a lot of lingo and options out there. What can you do to know you’ve got clean, safe water in your home? What can be done, that’s affordable and pretty simple, about contaminants in your tap water?
If you have discolored water, it may be rust-colored or yellow, or it has a strange odor or taste, quit using it immediately. Specifically after major rains or other severe weather, water treatment plants may have short-term problems with sanitizing water. Get in touch with a city or municipal official or site to see if a boil water or other water advisory is in effect.
Next, think about installing a water treatment system in your home. If you have to treat your water at home, you have two choices.
Point of Entry
These are water filtration systems that are set up at the water meter or storage tank, so it treats all water entering your residence. They can be more expensive to install and keep up. A point of entry system will guarantee that minerals and other pollutants are removed from the water before it’s in food preparation, bathing and in devices such as washing machines, water heating systems, refrigerators and ice makers.
Point of Use
These are more economical than point of entry systems, and include filtration systems on kitchen sink taps, showerheads or in refrigerators. You can likewise buy water pitchers or kitchen counter filtering systems. Most of these integrate activated charcoal filters that need changing on a schedule. You can install a reverse-osmosis device under the sink that will filter water for food preparation and drinking.
Ways to Make Water Safe
When treating or filtering water, both by public water facilities and in your home, these are the methods or procedures used. It’s possible to use more than one together.
Disinfection removes harmful microorganisms in water. Disinfection can be done by adding chemicals such as chlorine or iodine, by subjecting water to ozone created by currents, boiling water or by subjecting water to UV light. Of the different methods, using ozone is the most powerful for eliminating organic pollutants, minerals and chemicals, but it is offered only at water therapy centers.
Filtration can eliminate many impurities. Options include mechanical filters that remove solid contaminants, such as sediment, from water. Activated carbon filters capture chlorine and natural compounds. There are oxidizing filters and neutralizing filters. The majority of filtration systems do not entirely eliminate bacteria or all chemical and mineral pollutants, so this kind of filtration is generally used in combination with another water treatment method. Filtration units are good for home usage and are good for removing bad tastes and odors from treated water.
- Reverse Osmosis
With reverse osmosis, water is pressurized and sent through a very thin membrane filter. Often, RO units are used with mechanical filtration that eliminates larger particles, and other filter devices to remove remaining impurities. These units, while costly, are suitable for setup in a home, often under a kitchen sink. One consideration is most water run through a reverse osmosis system is not drinkable and it’s wasted, which can bring about high water bills and might not be suitable for areas that experience frequent drought conditions.
A very effective way of purifying water is distillation. In this process, water is heated until it turns to vapor, leaving behind nearly all contaminants. When the water recondenses as liquid, it is without those contaminants. Some solvents and chemicals can remain in water through distillation. Commercial water purification is more detailed than home distillation. Because liquified minerals are eliminated in distilling water, distilled water tastes flat and doesn’t contain healthy, even necessary, minerals we need to consume, usually through water. It’s not suggested to drink nothing but distilled water. While distillation systems can be bought for home usage, they can be costly and they function slowly. Some states may regulate purchase and setup of distilling devices due to the potential for distilling alcohol.
- Ion Exchange (Water Softeners)
High mineral content – specifically calcium, magnesium, iron and manganese – causes what’s commonly called hard water. Hard water is undesirable for a number of reasons. It doesn’t work well with soap, cleaning products, and can cause problems in water heaters and plumbing. Ion exchange works by replacing the minerals in water with sodium. Water conditioners are common in lots of houses, however do require regular upkeep and refilling with sodium chloride (salt). These systems additionally raise the salt content in water, so it’s worth keeping this in mind for people on low-sodium diets or that have heart disease.
Common Harmful Contaminants
Lead is the most prominent contaminant in drinking or tap water. According to the NRDC, America’s aging water infrastructure, built with lead pipes and plumbing components for many years, leaches lead particles into water. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issues alerts when lead levels are more than 15 parts per billion for 10% or more of samples.
The chemical Chromium-6 was first made infamous by Erin Brockovich and affects more than 200 million Americans. California developed a standard goal for chromium-6 of 0.02 parts per billion.
- Byproducts of Water Treatment
250 million Americans are affected by treatment or sanitation byproducts according to the EPA. This is typically from the water chlorination process in treatment. These are linked to increased cancer risks.
South End Water Filtration specializes in HALO Water Filter products including the HALO H2 Zero Whole Home Water Filter. HALO systems solve hard water problems, give your family clear, great-tasting water and are totally maintenance free. We’re just a click away to help and answer any questions. South End Plumbing and South End Water Filtration will give you a free estimate. Call us at 704-486-1988 or contact us online to schedule a visit.