Water is one of the most abundant substances on our planet, which is just as well considering it is essential for all forms of life. The average adult is approximately 60% water!
You may not consider the importance of water, after all, you turn on a tap and there it is. You assume it is clean and safe to drink. In fact, it has been through a chemical process to make sure that it is safe; you may even have a water filter in your house to soften hard water or reduce the salt in soft water. This is actually very common as 80% of households in the US have hard water.
If you are in need of a whole house water filter then you should first understand the difference between sediment filters and drinking water filters:
The Sediment Filter
Water has lots of particles in it that are picked up as it travels through the rocks and soil before reaching the treatment works. If you scoop a handful of water from a stream you will probably see some of these particles.
However, many of them are too small to be seen by the human eye. This is what sediment filters are for. They remove the particles that you can’t see. The effectiveness of a filter is determined by the micron rating; the higher this is the more efficient it is at removing particles.
This is a useful filter to have in your home as many particles can be deposited into your water from the insides of the pipes they travel through.
The water which comes through a sediment filter is generally considered safe for washing purposes but not for drinking.
The Drinking Water Filter
This type of filter usually uses carbon, which would remove the particles that the sediment filter does, but it would quickly become blocked in the process. This is why it is situated after the sediment filter.
Carbon is very effective at removing any bacteria from your water; this is what makes it safe to drink. Bacteria can be exceptionally harmful causing illness and even death; depending upon which bacteria are present.
Charcoal is sometimes used in drinking water filters but carbon is the weapon of choice because it can be superheated to form a specific shape. It s then inserted into your water line via a special cartridge and all water is passed through it. The water which comes out the other side is safe to drink.
It is common for houses to have both types of filter as they work well together to ensure you are drinking the best possible water. You can even add in a water softener or a reverse osmosis filter that will make sure your water I just how you like it!
With very little effort you can even plumb the drinking water filter into a specific tap; this can drastically extend the life of your carbon filter as you will only use it for drinking and cooking.