Water comes from natural sources. These sources can have contaminants that will make those who drink the water sick, so most sources of water have treatment facilities that filter out the most harmful materials. After this, though, water can still contain chemicals, bacteria and odors that can reduce the quality of the water. To help combat this, property owners sometimes use added water filtration to improve water quality.
Some property owners purchase filters that either go over the faucet or that filter water and let the water drip into a pitcher. With the pitcher, owners can store the pitcher in a refrigerator so that the water remains cold. Water filtration can save money over bottled water because consumers only need to pay for filter replacements periodically (which is generally much less expensive than buying bottled water every day).
People used to have to seek out water that was safe to drink. Sometimes, people boiled water to kill off harmful water-born pathogens, but boiling still left behind harmful heavy metals. Also, as society became more industrialized, industrial plants released chemicals into water supplies, which became health hazards for society. Therefore, filtration systems have developed that can remove the pollutants from the water.
Sand filters are the oldest and most common water filters and are used almost exclusively to treat wastewater after waste passes through a sewer system. These filters only work well when water passes through the sand continually. The sand particles block larger particles, but let water through. These sand filters are a part of large wastewater treatment systems with computerized systems that monitor the water filtration process.
Activated carbon filters remove odors and tastes from water, making the water taste better. These kinds of filters can also remove pollutants. The carbon is very porous, allowing water to pass through. However, the carbon does not let larger particles pass through the filters. These filters mostly remove organic compounds and do not always remove metals.
Some water filters use ultraviolet light to kill bacteria. This efficiently eliminates water-borne pathogens so that they do not spread disease. However, most water is already treated for pathogens and consumers do not have to worry about getting sick from water unless they’re drinking untreated water, such as water from a well.
The most effective way to purify water is to distill it. However, water distillation costs the most money because it requires a lot of energy to generate the heat necessary to boil the water. Also, the water does not always taste as good because the water lacks dissolved oxygen.