Water found in nature is a precious resource, but it does not mean that it is always pure enough for human consumption. In many parts of the world, most water typically should be filtered before it is consumed by anyone. While some particles found in water simply do not taste good, others are actually harmful and need to be filtered out. Fortunately, commercial water filtration exists, and the types range from those dealing with carbon and reverse osmosis to simple pitchers and homemade filters.
One of the most common types of commercial water filtration is the carbon filter. The naturally occurring carbon absorbs most contaminants as the fluid passes through. The good news is that this type of filter allows healthy minerals to stay in the water, such as calcium and magnesium. Carbon filters also are typically inexpensive, easy for the average homeowner to install, and can last most families up to about nine months. Filters should be replaced often, and this kind of commercial water filtration system should not be left unused for more than a few days or mold might grow.
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Another popular type of filtration system involves reverse osmosis. This kind slowly and steadily filters water through a small membrane. It requires a lot of pressure and time to work, but it is typically effective in creating finely filtered water. The process results in distilled water, meaning it allows very few minerals through. For this reason, along with the fact that it tends to waste some water during the filtering process, this kind of commercial water filtration has been somewhat criticized. Additionally, the tiny membrane tends to get clogged easily, but the low cost of this system still appeals to many consumers.
For those that cannot spend much money on filtration, there are small pitchers on the market that fit into refrigerators. The user simply fills it to the top with tap water and places it in the refrigerator. The result will be cold, filtered water, thanks to the small filter at the top that allows the clean water to slowly pass through. Such pitchers typically can hold five to ten glasses of water depending on the size, and the filter usually needs to be changed every few months. Most pitchers include an indicator that shows when the filter should be changed, and this type of product can be found at grocery stores in most countries.
Some consumers prefer to make their own systems rather than purchasing a commercial water filtration product. Such systems usually require a plastic bottle, cotton balls, a coffee filter, activated charcoal, a rubber band, sand, gravel, and bleach. Instructions for making this type of filtration system or other similar ones usually can be found on the Internet.