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Water filtration systems have become much more effective and complicated than in the past. It’s common to see three to five separate filtration chambers on a single filter system. For multi-stage filtration, different types of filter cartridges are used in each canister. Each filter will remove a specific type of compound from your water, resulting in a thoroughly purified drinking water. Some remove sediment and particles, others filter out chemicals, another one may kill bacteria, and so on. Once the water is stripped, an alkalization ionizer can even reintroduce the essential minerals that some filters strip from your water. After reading this article, you’ll understand what each of these filter cartridges does and how they work, which will help you decide which ones are best suited for your situation.
No one wants to take a big swig of water just to end up with a mouthful of sand and dirt! Sediment filters are meant to filter out these types of particles in your water. They can remove sand, dust, dirt, silt, rust, scale, and more. With a filtering size of one-micron, this type of filter cartridge won’t remove microscopic organisms, bacteria, chemicals, or anything else though. It only removes solid particles that are over one-micron in size, and they are generally the first filter in a multi-stage system.
Ceramic filters are unique in that they’re positively charged to attract bacteria to them. Once they contact the ceramic, silver infused in the filter distributes positively charged metal ions that destroy the bacteria. They last longer than many other filter types since they don’t get filled up with contaminants like pass-through filter cartridges. Ceramic filters will only remove bacteria and don’t do anything to filter out particles.
Reverse Osmosis Membrane
The membrane of a reverse osmosis filter cartridge is extremely dense, making it able to filter out even the tiniest particles. Some can remove contaminants such as microorganisms and viruses as small as 1/10,000th of a micron. These filters are extremely effective at removing almost everything from your water, including pesticides, chemicals, odors, and foul tastes.
Alkaline Ionizer Filter
After passing through several water filters or even just a reverse osmosis filter, your water is likely stripped of the essential minerals that you need to get from drinking it. Alkaline ionizers add in natural minerals by passing the water through ionically activated mineral rocks. The water picks up mineral content from these rocks, which boosts the pH to balance out your water. This will result in an improvement in your overall health. Alkaline ionization helps the water to have more oxygen than regular water, as well as antioxidants and electrolytes that your body will thank you for.
Activated Carbon Filters
Carbon filters are generally made with charcoal and they’re an inexpensive way to remove the most harmful toxins from your water. Better yet, carbon filters leave the mineral content of your water intact so that it’s not devoid of the essential minerals that you need. These filters are great for removing chlorine, VOCs, and many other chemicals, including those that cause bad tastes and foul odors. However, carbon filters are not very effective for removing salts, minerals, or sediment.
Ultraviolet filters are different from the other cartridge filters in that the water doesn’t actually pass through it. It’s a lightbulb that fits inside of the cannister and kills bacteria and microorganisms by exposing them to ultra-violet light that destroys their DNA. Ultra-violet filters are the best way to kill fungi, salmonella, cysts, dysentery, algae, and all sorts of viruses and bacteria. These bulbs are designed to stay on all the time and will have a lifespan that’s measured in hours of run time instead of gallons of water purified like other filters.
From sediment filters that remove particles from your water, to ultra-violet filters that kill bacteria and microorganisms, many different filter cartridges exist to set your water filtration system up however you desire. For maximum effectiveness, several different types of filters should be used in conjunction. This will allow you to create a multi-stage filter system capable of removing any and all contaminants from your water. In the end, you’ll have beautifully clear, crisp, and delicious tasting drinking water that’s free of any undesirable chemicals, bacteria, viruses, tastes, odors, and more. You can’t put a price on health, but you can put a price on water filtration.
Featured image credit: Activated Carbon Filter Cartridge by Emilian Robert Vicol licensed by CC 2.0.
David Slone runs the TapIt Water blog. He first learned about water filtration and the impact it has on the world in College. Ever since that day he has worked towards making the world a better place. He writes to inform you about water filtration, the consequences of plastics, bottled water, and how we can do things better.
He loves to spend time with his beloved wife, 3 kids, and dog when he’s not writing.