Most of us assume that the water straight out of our kitchen faucet is free of contaminants, but unfortunately, this is not always the case. Often, minerals and various types of organic materials may be the reason the water tastes or smells a little 'off'. Cloudiness or frothy looking drinking water also indicate that your water may need testing and treatment.
According to the Water Quality Association, four out of ten Americans use some method of home water treatment in their home. Treatment methods range from simple charcoal pitchers to more sophisticated reverse osmosis filtration units. Before considering the installation of a water treatment system, it is essential to have your water tested, enabling water treatment specialists to create a custom treatment solution for your home.
No matter where your water supply comes from (Municipality or Private Well) once it enters your home, you are responsible for ensuring its safety. In this case, routine water testing is recommended to give you peace of mind and identify any potential problems. Read on for a description of water treatment methods and the water issues they resolve.
Point of Use (POU) Water Treatment Systems
Water naturally contains some contaminants, as long as it is not above the EPA standards, the water is considered safe to drink. If you would like to lower specific contaminants in your water to be extra careful or if you have someone in your household with health issues or you want better tasting and odor free water, a point of use system may be an excellent option for your home.
Point of use devices are beneficial for removing contaminants from water that is consumed. This type of water treatment method can be freestanding, attached to the faucet, or plumbed into a dedicated faucet. Common POU devices include:
- Filter Pitchers - Most water pitchers use granular-activated carbon to trap contaminants, and they effectively improve the taste of the water while removing some contaminants and reducing lead. The filters have a specified shelf life and should be replaced regularly.
- Faucet Filters - Under the cabinet or attached to the faucet, faucet filters work in the same manner as filter pitchers. The most common faucet filters use a molded block of carbon to treat the water, although some use fiber or ceramic screen to filter contaminants.
- Distillers - Distillers heat water to a boiling point, then collect the resulting condensed water free from microbes and most chemical contaminants. Distilled water often tastes "flat' because minerals and dissolved oxygen have been removed.
- Ultraviolet Technology Units - Ultraviolet units use ultraviolet light to neutralize pathogens and combined with other systems such as reverse osmosis or carbon block creates crystal clear water.
- Ozone Systems - Ozonation systems use an ozone generator to remove bacteria and pathogens and work exceptionally well when combined with other treatment methods.
- Reverse Osmosis Units - The reverse osmosis process forces water through a semipermeable membrane, leaving contaminants behind. They effectively remove all disease-causing organisms and many pollutants, including disinfection byproducts, lead, nitrates, and radium. With their advanced filtering technology, they produce better than bottled quality drinking water.
Point of Entry (POE) Water Treatment Systems
Water treatment systems attached to the refrigerator or centrally attached to treat all water entering the house are point of entry water systems. These systems are capable of treating thousands of gallons of water a day. Some POU systems can be installed as POE systems, but the most common point of entry systems include:
- Adsorptive Media - Liquids, solids, and organic matter adhere to a solid surface material such as carbon in this whole house water treatment method. This is an excellent choice to remove unwanted odors in water and the taste of chlorine.
- Aerators - Aerators force water through air jets and contaminants that easily turn into gases are removed, such as hydrogen sulfide and radon. This system is often combined with other water treatment methods to remove additional contaminants.
- Water Softeners - Water softeners work by replacing the hardness ions in the water with sodium or potassium ions. Ion exchange water softeners also remove radium and barium while also reducing the hardness of the water.
Contact Certain Services, Inc. and our helpful water treatment experts would be happy to schedule a test and discuss the best water treatment methods for your home.