4 Common Water Filter Concepts Explained

4 Common Water Filter Concepts Explained

We need access to clean drinking water every day, so it comes as little surprise that humans have always been pursuing cleaner sources of water. The way that we filter our water is far superior to in ancient times, and it can be hard to understand the latest terminology. In this article, we will explain four common water filter concepts.

1. Understanding Different Water Filters

Before we get into the different types of water filters, it’s worth explaining why we need them. Certain types of water filters are effective in their own right, and other methods rely on a variety of technologies to work. The type of water filter that one person needs may be very different from another person because they may have different water quality issues. Even within a broader group of similar types of filters, the specific contaminants that they can remove may vary. As an example: there are activated carbon filters that can remove chlorine and there are others that cannot. If you’re in any doubt about the type of filters that you need get in touch with a local water treatment professional for detail information.

2. Carbon Water Filters

Carbon has been used in water purification for a very long time. There is strong evidence that ancient Egyptians stored their water in carbon lined barrels. Carbon water filtration can remove unpleasant odors, and improve the appearance and taste of water. The water passes through the carbon and impurities are removed through the process of chemical adsorption. This is different from absorption, during adsorption materials will stick to a solid surface rather than permeating into it. The contaminants are trapped in place by the activated carbon as the water passes through. Activated carbon is preferred because it’s a highly porous material with a large surface area relative to its size. Powdered block filters and granular activated filters (GAC) are the most common types, and the former removes the most contaminants.

3. Reverse Osmosis (RO)

This is a process where the water under pressure is forced through a semipermeable membrane that traps particulates and allows the water to pass. In fact, RO is so effective it can turn any water source (even seawater) into potable and drinkable water. As effective as it is, RO is often used alongside other filtration systems to provide a full spectrum of water filtration.

4. An Ion Exchanger

This is a technology used in water softener and purification systems. The water is passed over a bed of tiny resin beads, the ions of minerals responsible for water hardness are exchanged for benign sodium (salt) ions. This is the exchange process, the mineral ions (primarily calcium and magnesium) are left behind and trapped in the resin bed. Over time the resin will become less effective as the surface of the beads is coated with more unwanted mineral ions. Eventually, the system will need to be flushed or regenerated to clean off the resin beads and make them effective again. The amount of sodium ions added to the water during this process is negligible.

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