Water Filtration 101
There are hundreds if not thousands of manufacturers of drinking water filters. Most produce filters that reduce chlorine only. Only a few manufacturers produce filters that actually effectively reduce numerous contaminants in addition to chlorine. No water filter removes 100 percent of any chemical contaminant.
Quality is the key factor when it comes to water filters. A quality filtration system will not only provide you with better, purer, and healthier water than a cheap filter, but will also save you money in the long run.
Filter lifespan is very important. Look for filters that have a lifespan of at least 6 months or longer. Replacement filters can be expensive. A long life filter will save you money. Compare replacement filter cost also.
I have found an great online store, CleanItSupplies, that sells all sorts of products for not only janitorial needs, but also for restaurants, as well as offering office supplies, products for snack & breakfast rooms, technology products, inks & toners, and office furniture. I was looking for multifold paper towels, but when I typed in a search for water filters, they also offered numerous different types. I have utilized this particular web site to buy number of different products. I particularly like the fact that they offer eco-friendly, “green” products, as well as paper products like toilet paper, paper towels, and tissue paper that are fragrance and chemical free.
Another thing to question, is how long has the manufacturer been in business? Will they be there when you need a replacement filter? If they have been in business for a number of years, 10 at least, they more than likely will be there for you when you need to replace your filter or need a part for your system.
Determine what you are trying to accomplish by using a filter. Chlorine reduction only? Bacteria? Or, do you want to effectively reduce bacterial cysts, chlorine and a wide range of chemical and organic contaminants? Do you want to remove the healthy minerals from your water?
Water Filter Technology
There are a number of different technologies when it comes to water filters. Loose Carbon, Carbon Block, Ultraviolet Lighting, Reverse Osmosis and Distillation.
1) Loose Carbon – This is a bacteria factory. Loose carbon allows oxygen to exist within the filter which encourages, in fact enhances the growth of bacteria. These filters are very cheap to purchase, but expensive in the long run because the filters have to be replaced frequently.
2) Distillation – Can be effective on bacteria, sediments, solids, and any organic or chemical contaminant that will not evaporate. Many contaminants, especially many chemical contaminants found in water today will evaporate.
3) Ultraviolet lighting can effectively kill bacteria. This type of technology should be used in addition to a quality filter.
4) Reverse Osmosis – Reverse Osmosis is a membrane which reduces radium, fluoride and numerous other contaminants to a high degree, but it does have limitations. This type of technology can be used in addition to a quality filter which will increase the range of effectiveness. Reverse Osmosis does remove the healthy minerals from water.
5) Solid Carbon Block – This type of filtration reduces the widest range of chemical contaminants to a very high degree. Some are higher quality than others. The density and quality of the carbon determine the effectiveness. Water passes through a high quality solid carbon block as a molecule instead of a drop. This means all the water touches the carbon. Therefore all the water is subject to proper filtration. Look for a carbon block which will reduce contaminants to at least 1 micron. The smaller the number the better.
Now that you know what you are looking for, how do you know which filters will do the job? NSF International (National Sanitation Foundation) tests and certifies that water filtration products meet certain standards and do exactly as the manufacturer claims. The NSF Certification will show you exactly which contaminants the filter will reduce and to what extent. Never consider buying a water filter that is not certified by NSF.