Why Do We Need to Filter Water?

There is a demand to filter water for many reasons, such as health and protection.

Water can contain dirt, minerals, chemicals and other impurities. Some of these contaminants can endanger your health, especially when they include microscopic organisms and bacteria that can cause serious illness. They can also damage your property and equipment. Filtering water can help purify water, removing these impurities and making it safe for use.

Sediment Removal

Mechanical filters are used to remove leaves and other debris from water, along with dirt, silt and clay particles in water. Mechanical filters may be made from metal screens, fabric, ceramic or paper. These impurities, called sediment, can cause an unpleasant taste but aren’t usually a health risk.

Reducing Minerals

Iron and other minerals, such as calcium and manganese, are not hazardous to human health, but they can cause drinking water to taste metallic or just unpleasant.

Iron or manganese can cause stains when water (e.g. wash water) contains these elements, and they can even discolour porcelain and other dishes washed in the mineral-rich water.

These minerals can build up in water pipes, gradually clogging them and reducing water pressure, possibly causing plumbing problems.

Pathogen Removal

It is essential to filter water in order to keep harmful bacteria and parasites from drinking water.

Giardiasis, for example, is a type of illness that causes diarrhea and can last as long as six weeks. The microscopic parasite that causes the disease is Giardia intenstinalis, an organism that can survive in the environment for many months. It can be ingested from water that has become contaminated with animal or human feces.

Another parasite that can cause similar symptoms is cryptosporidium. Cryptosporidium is resistant to chlorine and must be filtered out with mechanical filters. These pathogens are effectively removed by passing water through filters listed as micro-, ultra- and nano-filters.

Lowering Chlorine

Most municipal water utility companies use chlorine to treat and filter water because it’s inexpensive, easy to use and highly effective at killing many of the bacteria found in water. It can also eliminate some viruses.

While it’s a good disinfectant, using chlorine may result in toxic byproducts, reacting with some metals to form hazardous compounds.

An activated carbon filter removes the chlorine smell and taste from water.

Removing Dangerous Lead

Lead is toxic when ingested, and it’s essential to remove it from drinking water. Lead commonly gets into drinking water when it seeps into the water supply from old plumbing pipes or the solder used to join them together.

It can be removed from water through reverse osmosis filters, distillation, and carbon filters designed specifically to remove the metal.

Pesticide and Chemical Removal

Before the 1940s most common pesticides contained heavy metals that did not readily dissolve in water, but today pesticide residue in drinking water may be on the rise because modern organic pesticides dissolve in water and can easily get into the water supply.

Activated carbon filters, when used to filter water, can remove pesticides and volatile organic compounds from the water.

Want to know more about water filtration and water filtration systems? Contact the water filtration experts at Water Purification Solutions at 021 851 2451 or info@wps.co.za to discuss your application in more detail.

Source: Livestrong

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