Whether you’re looking to address bad taste, foul smells, or hard water, there’s a water treatment system that’s right for your home. Knowing which ones are available and how they work is an important step towards ensuring that you have healthy water throughout your home, no matter where you live. Here’s an easy guide to the most popular water filtration systems, so you can decide which one fits the needs of your home the best.
Filtering your water is essential for making sure it’s clean and safe from groundwater contaminants. Groundwater contaminants occur naturally in the environment, and some occur due to human activities. Each state has different contaminants, and the EPA notes that low levels of most contaminants are not considered harmful. However, higher than normal levels can easily be found in water supplies across the country. In Arizona, the following contaminants are most common:
High levels of arsenic are found throughout Arizona, especially in the western and central regions.
Leaking septic systems and animal waste can introduce bacteria to groundwater.
Leaching from fluoride-rich minerals makes fluoride present in most water sources.
Nitrates enter the water due to agricultural activities or septic systems, along with natural sources.
Radioactive elements, including uranium, exist in groundwater.
Before you can decide on a water treatment system, there are a few questions you need to ask about your water. Your water treatment options may differ depending on your answers to the following:
If your water comes from a private well instead of a municipal water line, your water treatment needs will differ. Since well water doesn’t come from the city, it’s not subject to city-wide filtration procedures. As a private well owner, you’re responsible for testing your well water annually to ensure it meets quality regulations and health standards, and for making sure you have a proper filtration system in place.
Not all water treatment systems are also water softening systems. Water softening systems focus on removing the sediment buildup that causes hard water, while water treatment systems also remove additional contaminants and pathogens.
Hard water isn’t necessarily dangerous, but it can create unwanted mineral deposits on your dishes, faucets, tub, and toilet. Hard water also makes it more difficult to remove soap scum, and can cause dry skin and dandruff. To soften your water, you’ll need to use a system like ion exchange.
Water treatment systems remove contaminants in order to make your water safer to drink. But, safe to drink tap water may not necessarily be good-tasting tap water to your taste buds. If good-tasting water is a priority, make sure and choose a filtration system that focuses on improving taste, such as distillation.
At Chas Roberts, we specialize in the following water treatment systems. Each one uses a unique process to ensure that the water in your home is free from contaminants and safe for you and your family.
Particle filters remove rust, dirt, and sand from your water. Particle filters can also remove sediments from well water. The process involves contaminants being physically trapped in the pores of a filter and then broken down before they pass through your faucet.
Particle filters are rated in microns. A micron rating indicates how well the filter can remove contaminants according to their size. A small micron rating indicates that the filter can remove small particles. Filters with the smallest micron ratings can also impede water flow. Typically, you’ll encounter micron ratings of anywhere from 50 to 1. We recommend you look for a filter with a rating between 30-50, in order to effectively filter out all particles visible to the naked eye.
If you don’t like the taste of the tap water in your home, consider activated carbon filtration. Activated carbon filtration systems are used to remove unwanted taste and odor from water, and minimize health hazards. High quality activated carbon filters can remove up to 95% of chlorine in tap water, improving the taste and odor.
Despite the high number of contaminants that activated carbon can filter, there are some that it can’t remove. These include minerals, metals, and salts (including iron), as well as bacteria.
Distillation is one of the oldest water treatment methods still in use today. It is commonly used to purify water for drinking and cooking. The distillation process removes microorganisms, minerals, and metals from water. The process kills bacteria and leaves very few contaminants. Some home distillation units with carbon filters can remove volatile organic chemicals.
Distillation units generally consists of a boiling chamber, condensing chamber, and a storage tank. Water enters the boiling chamber, where it is heated and vaporized. Water is then cooled and converted back to liquid water when it passes through the condensing chamber. Finally, the journey ends in the storage tank with the newly purified water.
Five-stage reverse osmosis (RO) is the most popular water treatment in Phoenix, because many residents wish to improve the taste and purity of their drinking water. Fluoride, lead, pesticides, chlorine, nitrates, sulfates, and other impurities are easily removed through reverse osmosis. Reverse osmosis systems produce pure and great tasting water through an intricate process.
Reverse osmosis is accomplished through water pressure pushing tap water through a semipermeable membrane. The membrane removes contaminants while allowing the water itself to flow through. What separates five-stage reverse osmosis from three or four stage variants is the final post-filtration stage. During this stage, water passes through an additional membrane filter before it reaches a faucet. This catches any particles that may have accumulated inside the tank from making it into your water supply.
Water softening refers to the removal of magnesium, calcium, and other minerals from water. The most popular method of water softening is through a process called ion exchange. During ion exchange, mineral ions are traded for another type of ion—usually sodium. The result is water that’s been effectively softened by removing nearly all traces of the minerals that constitute hard water.
Some homeowners may think of water softeners as a luxury item, something that’s “nice to have” but not altogether necessary. However, hard water can cause everything from minor annoyances, like spots on dishes or soap scum, to major problems like a shorter lifespan for your water heater, dishwasher, and other essential home appliances. For these reasons and others, a water softener can be a useful investment for your home.
Water softeners can also remove metals. However, they cannot remove organic chemicals, pathogens, particles, or radon gas in order to make your water safe to drink. If potable water is a concern, consider other water treatment methods.
At Chas Roberts, we understand the importance of having access to healthy, safe, contaminant-free water. If you’re looking to decide on a water filtration system for your home, contact us and we’ll be happy to discuss your options.