How Do Water Filtration Systems Work?

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Everyone wants clear, clean, and great-tasting water. We all know that your local municipal water filtration facility does a reasonably good job of getting all the unmentionable materials out of public tap water. If you are on a well system, you also probably have an external method of making sure that the water that comes through your tap is clean enough to use.

However, for the purposes of consumption, cleaning clothes, washing dishes, and bathing, it is best to have access to water that is more fully purified. This is because water that comes through miles and miles of pipe, or that comes from a well, is bound to be exposed to corroded metals, soil contaminants, and more.

That is where home water filtration systems come in handy. These are the last step in the purification process, and a high-quality water filtration system can restore tap water to a nearly pristine state, making it taste great and ensuring it is safe and healthy for cooking, drinking, and cleaning. But how do they work?

The principle of water filtration is pretty simple. But there is more than just a single semi-permeable layer inside the highest quality water filtration systems available today. Here, we will describe how they work. Hopefully, this will help you make the best choice when the time comes to buy a water filtration system for you and your family.

How do Water Filtration Systems Work?

To begin to understand how a water filter works, you could strain some muddy water through an old t-shirt. You will see that the cloth holds back most of the mud and rocks to produce a stream of brownish water. This is basically what most filters do, but a quality filtration system does a much better job by employing a more complex and robust purification process.

Here at Aquaspace Water Systems, we provide a wide range of purification systems and methods, including combination systems to cater to all your clean water needs.

When it comes to choosing the best water filtration system for your home, you have lots of options. We will explain how the five types of commercial home water filtration systems work.

5 Water Filtration System Types

  • Mechanical
  • Absorption
  • Sequestration
  • Ion Exchange
  • Reverse Osmosis

Each system type is designed for a specific type of use. The system that is best for you will depend on what you intend to use the water for, and how clean it is when it arrives at the tap.

Mechanical Filters

Mechanical filters use a static, physical barrier to filter out dirt, sediment, and other particulates. These systems can represent anything from our t-shirt example to a metal mesh all the way up to high-quality ceramic filters which block even exceedingly fine contaminants. Mechanical filter systems usually come with a micron rating which indicates how effective they are at cleaning water. The typical rating levels are:

  • 5 micron: These will remove most particles that you can see with the unaided eye
  • 1 micron: These will catch particles small enough that they can only be seen using a microscope
  • .5 micron: These advanced mechanical systems will remove biological contaminants like crypto-sporidium and giardia

Absorption Filters

This type of filter usually uses a carbon filter system which excels at capturing contaminants carried in water. Carbon is a complex molecule that, when formed into a filter system, offers a total surface area that is much greater than a simple filter mesh of any quality. Most filters of this type come in the form of a cylinder which is filled with granular activated carbon. But carbon block filters are also available. The water has to pass through this elongated filter and is purified more and more as it passes through inside the filter. Generally, the better the filter, the longer it takes for water to pass through it.

Sequestration Filters

This type of filter uses chemical isolation to separate contaminants from the water. With these systems, a food-grade polyphosphate is used to offer scale inhibition to mitigate magnesium, calcium, corrosion, and limescale. These systems are usually referred to as water softening systems and are used frequently in areas where municipal water treatment plants are not available. But they are common in locations anywhere hard water is a common complaint. Sequestration prevents scale from forming and is not considered a complete filtration method for the production of safe drinking water. It is used primarily where hard water damages equipment, reduces the life of clothing, and stains dishes.

Ion Exchange Filters

This type of filtration softens hard water through an exchange of calcium and magnesium with other ions like hydrogen or sodium. Compared to scale inhibition, ion exchange filters physically remove minerals to reduce the production of limescale. This type of filtration is ideal for protecting high-quality coffee makers from scaling, which can cause serious damage to these and other expensive appliances.

Reverse Osmosis Filters

This popular and effective filtration method removes dissolved solids like calcium and magnesium by forcing them through a semi-permeable filter using mechanical pressure. Reverse osmosis is a very effective way to produce clean water, and it is often combined with other systems like a mechanical or absorption filter to deliver the finest purified water.

Combination Systems

Because different systems are best suited to different use cases, a system composed of two or more filtration types may be needed to either deliver fully purified drinking water or to achieve different types of potable water for different uses.

A high-quality water filtration provider will offer a range of single filter types and combination systems to ensure all your filtration needs are met. To learn more about the benefits and uses for these and other top-quality water filtration systems, get in touch today. Our experts are waiting to answer your questions.

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