There are many reasons you might want or need to filter your drinking water. If you live in an area where your water is sourced from a well, then the water must be filtered to ensure its safety. If you already have access to potable water, there are still many reasons to filter your water. You might want to improve the taste, decrease the presence of unwanted odors, or prevent mineral deposits from damaging plumbing fixtures in your home. In this article, we’ll focus on home water filtration of already potable water.
Many prefer the taste of bottled water over that of tap. The regular purchase of bottled water is both expensive and very harmful to the environment. The production and use of single-use plastics in general is an unsustainable and ecologically harmful practice. Plastic bottles are a large and important subset of this plastic problem. Many plastic bottles are never recycled. In the Ocean Conservancy’s worldwide ocean cleanups, water bottles and caps were ranked third and fourth for most common plastic items found in the water. The manufacturing and shipping of plastic water bottles also contributes to global warming. This waste of resources is not necessary for most people to have great-tasting drinking water. Instead of buying plastic bottles, you can filter the water in your own home.
There are many different types of home filtration systems. They vary both in the amount of water they filter and in the type of filtration they offer. You can buy pitchers, under-sink, or whole home water systems, depending on how much of your home’s water you want to purify. Each of these types could utilize any number of actual filtration systems, each removing different contaminants in your water. One of the most common types of potable filtration systems is carbon, which reduces the amount of sediment and chlorine in your water to improve taste. Home systems vary widely by price, longevity, and other factors. If you’d like a more detailed guide to filtration, especially if you’re decontaminating well water, check out this article.
You may want to decrease the amount of minerals in your potable water. This specific type of filtration is called water softening. Many prefer soft water to hard water, or water with more minerals in solution. Hard water can taste worse, it can dry out your skin, scalp, and hair, and the minerals can damage plumbing by leaving deposits on pipes and fixtures. Some of these minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, are vital for your health in small quantities. However, in large enough quantities they can be harmful to your health, as well as irritating in the ways previously mentioned. There are two basic types of softeners: salt-based and salt-free. Salt-based use salt to reduce the amount of minerals, and salt-free systems use a combination of electricity, magnetism, and reverse osmosis to produce the same result. Generally, the salt-based systems are more effective and correspondingly more expensive than their salt-free counterparts.