Do you know whats in your tap water?
Have you ever gone to reach for a tall glass of water, only to find specks of dirt and debris floating around?
This is not an uncommon occurrence as there are numerous contaminants present in water. While the water impurities in tap water may not always be harmful, it can be helpful to know where these water impurities come from and what to do about them.
This is especially true when you take into account the fact that the average household in America uses approximately 300 gallons of water per day.
In this article, we'll explore some common household water impurities and how the use of filters can help with getting rid of water impurities. Let's dive in with...
Types of Water Impurities
While suspended particles like dirt or debris mentioned above can be found in water, in general, the other impurities or contaminants found in water are invisible to the naked eye.
Contaminants such as heavy metals like lead or cadmium aren't visible in the water, nor are certain materials such as nitrate or mercury. Other types of water impurities in tap water include:
The wide variety of impurities stems anywhere from old pipes to agricultural runoff.
What Causes These Impurities?
So, what causes these impurities to show up in your drinking water? It depends on a few factors such as where your water gets sourced, how recent your plumbing infrastructure is, or even breaks in the water main.
In general, water gets sourced from three main areas: From above-ground lakes and rivers down to groundwater. Your specific tap water will come from one of these three, or even a combination, depending upon where you live.
Did you know that there are over a quarter of a million rivers located in the United States? Many cities source their water from these rivers which then gets sent off to treatment facilities before arriving at your tap.
Before it even reaches your faucet, impure water is processed through a treatment facility. While there are a variety of methods used today when it comes to providing safe drinking water, there are some common steps used regarding how to get rid of water impurities. These steps include:
Water gets treated depending upon its initial state as it enters treatment. For example, heavy treatment is generally needed for surface water such as lakes and rivers due to heavy potential contaminants. Whereas groundwater may contain fewer pollutants or impurities.
Household Water Filters
How then do household water filters help once water does reach the faucet? There are several water-filtration types available today that help filter water once it's gone through a municipal system.
From under-sink filters to countertop filters, it may simply come down to what works best for your home. Certain filters are built to remove and filter through various impurities.
For example, sediment filtration systems are great for filtering large particles from the water like rust or sand. Alternately, systems like UV systems are good for killing microorganisms present in water.
Types of Systems
Whether or not you're hoping to treat just your household drinking water or hoping to focus on purifying specific impurities, there is a water filtration system for you. Systems available today may include:
- Reverse osmosis systems
- Anti-scale systems
- Alkaline ionizers
- Ultraviolet light systems
- Sediment filtration systems
- Carbon filter systems
Let's take a closer look at a couple of these systems in particular.
Reverse Osmosis Systems
Reverse osmosis systems work at a molecular level. Water gets forced through a membrane, which in turn separates clean water from any impurities present. Reverse osmosis systems are excellent for removing impurities such as heavy metals or excess sulfates or chloride.
It is generally considered powerful enough to remove almost all minerals from the water. While this does include the removal of good minerals, as well as bad, these water filtration systems are highly effective for creating clean water.
The membrane that the water passes through contains small pores with which contaminants get trapped or blocked. The pores allow water molecules to flow through, trapping impurities behind.
Sediment Filtration Systems
Sediment filtration systems are common systems used both for commercial and home use. As the name stipulates, the system is great for removing sediments such as sand or heavy metals. It helps to remove large particles present in water.
Sediment filters can function as a sort of pre-filter to other system types. For example, a sediment filter can be used before a reverse osmosis system to help protect the main system from getting clogged with too many large particles.
These types of filters are generally simple to replace.
We've all seen hard-water scale: That white residue buildup on your showerhead or taps. Anti-scale systems are built to lessen scale buildup from hard water.
Scale forms when excess minerals like calcium begin to buildup on surfaces. Scale itself is relatively harmless, but too much of it can eventually lead to blocked pipes and decreased efficiency in your machines and appliances. Think dishwashers, coffee makers, and washing machines.
Anti-scale filter systems eliminate minerals as well as additional impurities within the water.
Carbon Filter Systems
Carbon filtration systems are good for removing the taste of chlorine in water, as well as reducing specific contaminants such as lead.
This system works via water flowing through an activated block of carbon. Similar to how particles get trapped during reverse osmosis, any particles larger than the pores get mechanically adsorbed and accumulate on the carbon.
These systems have a few advantages such as having high filtration capabilities, being good for retaining minerals, and having a long filter life.
Why is Clean Water Important?
Why should it matter that these various systems clean things like excess calcium and copper from the water? Both short-term and long-term exposure to various impurities and contaminants can impact your health in a variety of ways.
For example, certain microorganisms found in water can cause gastrointestinal illness. Inorganic chemicals found in water as a result of pollution can cause various irritations from damaged skin to fragile bones, among other potential long-term damages to the body.
Water filtration systems help clean out additional chemicals such as:
Clean water is fundamental to the building blocks of a properly functioning body and removing contaminants and impurities is a key part of that process.
The Big Five
While entirely pure water is rarely found in nature, water quality does play a significant role when it comes to health. When it comes to elements removed by water filters, the following significantly impact whether or not the water you use is quality.
- Filtered microscopic particles such as sand or gravel
- Chlorine as a sanitation agent
- Radium removal
- Lead removal
- Arsenic removal
Things like arsenic are found in water supplies due to agricultural runoff or natural rock formations. Radium is found naturally in the earth as well, however can cause severe symptoms.
Exposure to each of the above in the long term can lead to weakened immune systems, high blood pressure, cancer, and even damage to the brain.
You may be wondering why water filtration systems are necessary if water goes through a treatment process before arriving at the tap.
Public water systems are still susceptible to contamination and outbreaks such as salmonella or E. coli. In addition to outbreaks, certain byproducts do linger in the water as a result of treatments themselves.
The Environmental Protection Agency regulates tap water, but not all systems are regulated fairly. Certain contaminants are not always regularly looked at and may fall outside of the EPA's scope of recommendation.
Positive Bonus to Filter Systems
Filtered water has a lower environmental impact than bottled water!
Bottled water not only uses large amounts of plastic but also requires large amounts of energy to produce and transport. Many of the plastic bottles used don't end up getting recycled and end up being generally more expensive than regular tap water.
Clean Up Dirty Tap Water With...
A water filtration system! While water impurities include minerals that occur naturally, high levels of impurities can contribute to the degradation of your pipes over time. Not to mention, excess impurities can negatively impact your health down the road.
Water filters are an excellent way to be sure the water you use every day is clean, healthy, and provide a more environmentally friendly alternative to bottled water. At Supreme Water Sales, we offer a wide variety of filtration systems built to take care of those common water impurities.
If you're ready to invest in a high-quality filtration system, don't hesitate to browse through the many systems we have available today! You'll be sure to find the right fit for your filtration needs.