Water Filter Systems
The water that flows from the tap is chlorinated in the municipal water-treatment plants. Chlorine kills bacteria almost instantly. This is why we do not get sick from typhus, cholera, and dysentery. However, if connected with organic substances that cannot be fully removed from the water, they form trihalomethanes – carcinogenic compounds that can cause cancer.
Studies conducted by American scientists headed by Dr. Robert Morris demonstrate a stable relationship between the consumption of chlorinated water and the risk of cancer. The probability of cancer among people who drank tap water in the past 40 years is 70% higher than among those who drank water without chlorine.
The problem of industrial pollution is relevant worldwide. Chromium, nickel, mercury, lead, iron, sodium, sulfates, asbestos, arsenic, copper, pesticides, herbicides, radionuclides – this is not even a complete list of compounds that may be contained in tap water. Even small concentrations of these substances are hazardous to health. They accumulate over years and decades, forever settling in the human body.
For example, all citizens over the age of 25 have industrial cadmium present in their bones. How? It’s a mystery. Why isn’t it present in children and adolescents? Most likely, because young organisms are still not tired of fighting it. However, over time people’s vital forces run out, including those that are necessary for the recycling of cadmium.
The water manages to pick up a lot of things: rust, sand, etc. while it runs through the pipes to the consumer. And it would be unfair to blame the local water supply companies: they’re doing everything they can. What can we do on our end? The answer is obvious: we need to filter the water.
A filter pitcher takes up the place of the table and percolates water very slowly. A faucet adapter requires no additional space and does the job much faster – up to 2 liters per minute.
Faucet adapters are not fundamentally different from the pitchers. Usually, their cartridges are also combined: coal plus ion exchange resin. However, the materials used are of much higher class and, therefore, the filtration efficiency is much higher. Faucet adapter cartridges trap 98% of chlorine and 95% of lead, while for the pitchers these numbers are in the 85-90% range.
Faucet adapters can be either stationary or removable. Stationary ones wound on the faucet “for life”. All you have to do is to change cartridges. However, before washing dishes or fruits and vegetables, you must use a switch to direct the flow of the water past the filter element. Otherwise, the cartridge’s capacity will be wasted. However, if you pass hot water through the filter, you risk damaging it or reducing the effectiveness of its work.Perhaps, this is the only inconvenience, caused by a stationary adapter. Removable filters are much easier to use: you put use them before each consumption of drinking water. However, that’s what makes them cumbersome.
Filters for the Sink
The filter can be placed over by the sink or it can hang on the wall, while being connected to the faucet with a flexible hose. The volume of the filter material in this design is increased. Therefore, the cartridges will last longer. The rate of filtration also increases.
There are no fundamental differences in filtering quality between the faucet adapters and water-and-desktop type devices. However, there is one caveat: the larger the cartridge, the longer it retains its original filtering properties at the beginning of operation of fresh cartridges. Moreover, it rarely comes to that critical point when the quality of the water being passed through the filter becomes unsatisfactory, yet you still do not notice and continue to use it.
In other words, water-and-desktop filters are preferable to faucet adapters made by the same brands. However, they are more expensive and, therefore, are economical only for large families.
An even higher degree of purification of water is achieved by integrated filters – the ones that connect directly to the water pipe.
Integrated filters have three fundamental advantages:
Firstly, they are designed to filter large volumes of water and to last a long time through the use of large-format cartridges. Their reserves consist of thousands of liters, which is ten times more than pitcher-type filters, and 5-10 times more than faucet adapters.
Secondly, the integrated filters have multiple stages of cleaning (the water passes through at least two cartridges). First comes the mechanical cleaning cartridge. It is designed to preserve the filter resources in subsequent stages of the system. Of course, the charcoal cartridge will trap and the usual dirt. After that, it will not effectively filter thinner impurities – for example, organochlorine compounds.
Thirdly, manufacturers use the best filter materials in integrated filters. This, in fact, directly affects the cleaning efficiency. If the Instapure faucet adapter retains 95% of lead and 80% of iron, an integrated filter of the same brand retains 99% of both.
All integrated filters have their own faucets for water flow. It is very convenient because you do not need to perform manipulations related to the direction of the water in the filter or past it. However, these devices are not without a drawback – it is not so simple to connect them to the water supply.
Installation of an integrated filter can be performed only by the experts. The fate of not only your apartment but the apartments of the neighbors below depends on their accuracy. It is enough to confuse the input and the output of the bulb in the integrated filter for a water hammer to happen. In that case, you risk pouring the purest water on the extensive living space under you.
Unfortunately, water hammers are not rare in high-rise buildings where water is supplied under high pressure. It is impossible to forecast them in advance. The proof of the incident cannot be obtained, just like it is impossible to record the fact that the water hammer actually happened. So, you will not succeed in writing off the accident on force majeure circumstances. However, if all the documents are processed by the rules, you can shift the burden of responsibility for the catastrophe on the company that installed the filter.
Reverse Osmosis Filters
Reverse osmosis filters by Watts, Pentek, Hydrotech, and H2O are the absolute tools for water treatment. It is unlikely that humanity will achieve something better than them. Most likely, only the materials and components of these filters will improve. Equivalent designs are based on a four- or five-step purification system. Mechanical, charcoal and prefilter made of compressed coal protect the reverse osmosis membrane from mechanical and chemical loads, prolonging the service life of up to two to three years. And so, the filtering levels that are usually considered to be basic perform only the preliminary work here.
The main task is performed by a semi-permeable membrane which passes through molecules and atoms of very small size – not bigger than H2O. Under pressure, pure water enriched with the oxygen penetrates the membrane completely. Then, it goes in the tank and waits for you to open a separate faucet, as in all integrated filters.
Filters of all other types are critical to the water pressure: the greater the flow, the lower the filtration efficiency. In reverse osmosis filters is quite the opposite: the higher pressure at the inlet, the more water flows through the membrane, and the better the device gets the job done.
The bacteria can settle in the tanks-drives of the filters operating on the principle of reverse osmosis. However, when you open the faucet, they will be destroyed with the help of the post-filter and the UV lamp. These elements are mandatory. It is only necessary to timely change the post filter for the owner of this device.