Choosing the Right Water Filter for Your Home
In a previous post we covered some of the things that potentially pollute our water supplies, and offered a few recommendations on what we can do to decrease the chances of drinking contaminated water. So to follow along the same thread I wanted to explore a bit further in order to more clearly define how water filtration works, and identify the differences between a few of the most popular filtration methods.I imagine that most of us who use water filters do so because we want clean, safe water. But it’s important to understand what’s in our water to begin with and then look for filtration systems that will actually improve the quality of the water we have access to. Here’s a quick comparison of some of the most popular ways to filter water in homes. Carbon FiltersThis is the most common household filter, and it’s likely what you’ll get when buying a tap filter (Point of Entry) or water pitcher filter (Point of Use). Granulated Activated Carbon filters are the most commonly used type of filter media. Carbon blocks are also available, but tend to have a slower filtration flow rate. What They Remove:
- Most treatment facilities use chlorine to disinfect water, and carbon filters remove this and other tastes and odors that might be in your tap water. These filters also significantly reduces parasites like Crypto, heavy metals such as lead, as well as radon, pesticides and volatile organic chemicals (VOC’s).
- Despite the process and excess waste, reverse osmosis units remove most contaminants including metals like lead, copper and mercury, bacteria and viruses like Crypto and Giardia, and other toxins like arsenic and barium.
- Water softeners specifically target calcium and magnesium. Although the calcium deposit on your faucets may not show up any more, there are some health and dietary benefits to having both these minerals in your water. Although softeners can also remove elements like barium, don’t look to this method as a means to remove many other contaminants.
- Distillers are efficient at removing most heavy metals such as lead, mercury, copper, etc. They also reduce a smattering of other toxins, compounds and minerals such as sodium, arsenic and fluoride.