Options for Improving Your Drinking Water
If you choose to install home water treatment equipment, it’s a better investment in terms of money and peace of mind to select a quality system that solves a wide range of problems. The following is a look at some of the more popular technologies available to improve your drinking water:
Filters made of carbon reduce contaminants such as chlorine, pesticides and organic chemicals from water. These filters also eliminate tastes and odors. Carbon filters are connected directly to the tap or connected to the supply lines and can vary in size. Note, though, that filters must be changed regularly to maintain effectiveness and are not designated to remove a wide variety of contaminants.
To reduce impurities in water by distillation, an electric heating element first boils the water, then the steam is condensed and collected in a storage tank. Metals, salts and suspended solids don’t vaporize and are removed. Distillers are generally placed at the point of water use and are independent of the house plumbing. Relative to other drinking water treatment methods, these units are expensive because they are energy intensive. Distillers also give off heat and must be cleaned regularly.
Ultraviolet Disinfection (UV) systems destroy microorganisms by exposing them to intense ultraviolet light. UV systems have been proven very effective against bacterial contamination. However, since they disinfect the water rather than remove contaminants, UV systems are usually installed along with another filter. This type of system may be of most value where water is obtained from a private well. It is, however, less effective in water that’s cloudy or high in turbidity. The lamp in a UV system must be changed periodically.
Reverse Osmosis Systems
Reverse Osmosis Systems:
The Center for Disease Control recommends boiling water and reverse osmosis (RO) systems as the most effective ways of treating residential water. These very popular water treatment systems employ a semi-permeable membrane. Water is forced against the membrane, a portion of it passes through, leaving the impurities behind to be carried away. RO systems are effective in removing dissolved salts, suspended solids, dissolved chemicals and a wide variety of other contaminants. When choosing an RO system, look for units with a high recovery rate to reduce water usage and waste. A rate of 25 percent is generally considered efficient.
Regardless of what type of water system you select, check to see if the system is third party certified before making your final decision. NSF International, an independent testing organization, is internationally recognized for its experience in testing and certifying products to ensure they perform as claimed. The Water Quality Association, the regulatory body of the water quality industry, also validates products.
Just because a manufacturer displays the WQA logo, signifying that the company is a member of the Water Quality Association, doesn’t mean its products are validated. And just because a product is NSF certified for some contaminants doesn’t mean it protects you against all of them. If you are concerned about very specific contaminants, you must check to determine that the system you choose is specifically certified to reduce them.
Added Protection for Your Family
Contaminants may never enter your water supply. Your tap water may meet all applicable standards and may be free of unhealthy organisms and chemicals. However, in order to guarantee peace of mind that you’ve done everything you can to protect the water your family drinks, even against the unexpected, contact us to learn more about Kinetico drinking water systems.