Having a good water filtration system in your home has various benefits. It not only impacts costs and reduces them by not having to purchase other means of drinking water, but it also decreases the usage of plastic, therefore constituting an ecological choice. Although water filtration systems are key to drinking purified water, it’s important to know that the filter that you’re using abides by certain tap water filter standards as well. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) originally passed The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) in 1974 to regulate the nation’s public drinking water supply. The EPA and water systems then work together to ensure that these standards are met.
|It’s also important to ensure that the pipes of your condominiums or homes are effectively free of pollutants. These could in fact bring in heavy metal solutions such as lead, or increase the hardness of the water, and therefore the amount of dissolved calcium carbonate.
This could then lead to health complications in those who drink this water, as they are at risk of kidney stones. When faced with the different substances to be filtered prior to drinking tap water, what are the best types of tap water filters available in the market and do they comply with the standards?
Activated Carbon Filters
Whether they are carafes or appliances that are mounted directly on the end of the tap, the principle on which they are based on remains the same. The so-called activated carbon is none other than amorphous carbon having a high porosity and a high specific surface. These chemical-physical characteristics allow it to absorb and retain species undissolved in water. The pores, having a certain diameter, are able to retain species such as chlorates and trihalomethanes, but they are not able to filter nitrates and calcium ions. The pros of this filter are certainly how simple it is to use, and the change of filters. The one applied directly onto the tap also has the convenience of not having dead times in which filtration occurs, unlike that used in the pitchers. Although both are low in costs, they don’t do much in disinfecting the water or change the taste.
Ion Exchange Resin Filters
One of the most effective and widespread methods to soften water is to use ion-exchange resins. These are essentially constituted by a polymeric matrix of a few diameter centers in which ions are trapped. These will in fact serve to exchange between the matrix itself and the solution that passes through it. In our case, exchange resins are necessary, since the concentration of Ca2+ ions must be reduced, which will then pass from the solution (water) to the matrix, releasing Na+ for instance. These filters work well when it comes to the hardness of water, greatly improve the taste, but need constant maintenance and replacement. They are also very practical and are applied directly to the tap mouth.
Reverse Osmosis Plants
The last remedy is certainly the most expensive as it involves a professional water specialist to allow the installation, but certainly the most durable, free of maintenance problems in the short term and is effective. The operating principle is that of reverse osmosis. This process allows the passage of the solvent molecules of the most concentrated solution to the less concentrated one. The substances that can pass are the so-called hydrophilic substances, or similar to water, like alcohols. The filters, on the other hand, are selective for substances such as calcium, heavy metals and phosphates. The fixed residues (i.e. the substances that remain undissolved purify in water at a certain temperature) are very low and negligible. This makes them the finest and most effective system for filtration. The only negative points to this system are its price and installation.
On the contrary, these filters are the most economical solution, being simple physical filters with holes that do not allow the passage to more massive substances (such as limestone). Being of extremely low cost, they are very useful for reducing excessive hardness.
It’s important to note that regardless of whichever tap water filter system you opt for, that it complies with the filter standards. Not only will this leave you rest assured that you’re drinking safe water, but it will also prevent any other pollutants from damaging the environment. The EPA and water systems work hand in hand to maintain the safety of public drinking water, and what they adhere to should always be in the back of your mind when choosing a tap water filter.