It is easy to get confused when exploring all the ways to treat and filter your water. Below are brief explanations of the most common options on the market today, their capabilities, and their drawbacks.
Reverse Osmosis forces water through fine membranes that filter out impurities. From a health point of view, “R.O.” filtration of city water is questionable because it removes all the good minerals and electrolytes essential for proper digestion. This over filtering takes time and cannot keep up with the demands of whole-house filtration, so it usually filters cold water on one tap only.
Water Softeners treat hard water only. Hard water contains an over abundance of calcium and magnesium. A hardness level of about 0.7 grains per gallon (12 parts per million) or more warrants a softener. Softeners are most often used to combat well water. The unit must be flushed regularly with a salt mix, and as a result, the drinking water supply may contain an unhealthy amount of sodium.
Drip Pitchers use a carbon cartridge to filter a small amount of water at a time. It may seem like a cheap, easy solution, but they are slow, and very limited. The carbon used in these cartridges is of low quality and is not baceteriostatic; consequently, it must be replaced frequently. Also, the pitcher tends to take on the smell of the fridge, is cumbersome, and is definitely not a whole-house answer.
Bottled Water varies greatly from source to source. Many brands simply use distilled or reverse osmosis water, which means the bottle is lacking in essential nutrients. Grabbing a bottle on the go is convenient, but ultimately expensive. Just like with drip pitchers and R.O. units, you are still bathing, cleaning, cooking, and brushing your teeth in unfiltered water.
Carbon Filtration absorbs only the unnatural impurities in the water and is able to produce filtered water on a gallon in – gallon out basis. It does a particularly good job on chemicals and leaves the water tasting good. It is the most natural way to filter water, leaving minerals and electrolytes in, and only costs pennies per gallon. The type of carbon used varies greatly; coconut-shell carbon is one of the most absorptive and effective carbons, whereas simple charcoal carbon is of a lower grade. A whole-house unit allows you to take a bath or shower without having to absorb or inhale those chemicals that cause dry, itchy skin. The filter goes on the water line before the hot water heater. Providing clean, healthful, hot & cold water everywhere.
Combination Carbon Filtration and KDF
Adding KDF media to a carbon filter is greatly considered the ideal water filtration answer. The combination will give you all the benefits of a carbon filter (listed above), the advantages of KDF media, as well as the value of a two-part filtration system. In a combination system, the KDF media removes nearly all heavy metals, most of the chemicals, and controls scale, algae, and bacteria before the water even reaches the carbon. This powerful first step significantly extends the life of the carbon and will allow the carbon to filter more effectively. For further specifications regarding carbon, KDF, and combination filtration systems, click here. To understand how carbon and KDF function harmoniously inside WaterMan Filters, click here.