The development of advanced treatment technologies in the water filtration system has given impetus to the emerging water purification system market in industrial, commercial, and residential buildings, globally. In a country like UAE, a number of factors have contributed to the rising demand for water purification systems such as climatic conditions, increasing population, scarcity of freshwater sources, energy-intensive and high costs associated with desalination, and high costs and environmental impacts of bottled water. The introduction of purification systems providing Reverse Osmosis (RO) and Ultraviolet (UV) treatment has revolutionized the water purification market. The use of point-of-entry (POE) or point-of-use (POU) water purifiers has emerged as a good solution for people to have access to clean drinking water in their homes at a minimal cost. Most of the water purification systems available in the market today require replacement of filter cartridges as opposed to the replacement of the whole unit. With a wide spectrum of options available, it is imperative to choose the right home filter system for each individual homeowner. This article provides a comprehensive guide in selecting the appropriate water filter, gives an overview of the various treatment options adopted by the water filtration systems and the types and uses of different home water filtration systems.
There are a number of treatment options available in the market today. A thorough understanding of those treatment methods and their applicability is essential in selecting the suitable water purification system for any household. Following are some of the most commonly available treatment technologies adopted by water purification systems:
- REVERSE OSMOSIS (RO) –Reverse Osmosis is a water treatment process that uses applied pressure and semi-permeable membrane to separate contaminants with higher concentration with lower concentration thus removing impurities from water. Reverse Osmosis systems are effective in removing bacteria (E. coli, Samonella), protozoa (Guardia, Cryptosporidium), common chemical contaminants such as sodium, chloride, lead, fluoride, etc.
- ULTRAVIOLET TREATMENT (UV) –Ultraviolet treatment uses UV light to remove organic contaminants. Light at 254 nm wavelength is used to disrupt the genetic composition of the microorganisms eliminating the possibility of reproduction. UV treatment is highly effective in removing bacteria (E.coli, Samonella), protozoa (Guardia, Cryptosporidium), and some viruses. This treatment is however not useful in removing chemical contaminants.
- FILTRATION – Filtration is a physical process in which contaminants (particles) adhere to the surface of or in the pores of an absorbent media and clear water flows through the filter media. The type of filter media determines the type of contaminant that will be removed from that specific filter. Some filters are effective in removing harmful chemicals such as lead whereas others resolve taste and odor issues.
- ACTIVATED CARBON – Activated carbon is one of the most commonly used filter media in water purification systems. Water purification systems with activated carbon filters are used to adsorb natural organic matter, taste and odor inducing chemicals, and other synthetic organic chemicals in drinking water treatment.
- WATER SOFTENERS (ION EXCHANGE) –Water Softeners typically use Ion Exchange treatment to reduce the hardness causing chemicals such as calcium and magnesium. It can also be used to remove iron contaminants to some extent. Hard water results in clogging of water pipes, staining of dishes and laundry, and difficulty in using soaps and detergents. Water Softener removes the hardness inducing calcium and magnesium chemicals in its conditioning tank and flushes those periodically to the drain.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT HOME WATER FILTER
The above discussion provided a brief overview of the varied range of treatment options available for water purification systems. It is therefore imperative that homeowners have a thorough understanding of their water quality to identify the best treatment solution that meets their needs. The following are some of the points to take into consideration before installing a water filtration system.
- WATER QUALITY –The preliminary step a homeowner should take before installing a water purification system is to evaluate the water quality of their house. Homeowners can either request the local water utility to provide a copy of the water quality report or have the water quality parameters testing from a certified laboratory.
- TYPE OF CONTAMINANTS TO REMOVE –Depending upon the results of the water quality testing, the homeowners can select the appropriate water purification system for their house. Homeowners can also request Sani Services for consultation on recommendations for water purification systems for their house. For e.g. taste and odor issues can be removed from Activated Carbon filters provided by 3M. Bacteriological and viral contaminants can be removed from Reverse Osmosis systems by Blue Pluser.
- POU vs. POE –Lastly, the homeowners can make a selection if they want to treat water at the point of use such as kitchen sink faucet or if they would like to treat water when it enters the house.
The sections above provide a comprehensive overview of the different types of treatment technologies available for water purification systems and guide on how to select the right purification system based on individual needs. Home water purification systems will help customers save money (from bottled water costs) and also provide a sustainable eco-friendly solution to preserve the environment.