Even the most sanitary countries of the world do not have completely safe water in the homes of all their citizens, making it plausible, if not necessary, to use a home water filtration system. These systems filter out unhealthy parts of tap water that can damage a person’s skin or cause them to be ill after drinking it once or repeatedly. There are two main types of home water filtration systems available. Each type works differently and has its benefits and drawbacks.
The first and most popular type of home water filtration system is a carbon filtration system. Carbon water filters are the most effective and least expensive. Units may be installed easily and consumers have the choice of whole house units, shower head units, countertop units and units that fit under the sink.
The water is filtered through charcoal, which is obtained from coconut husks. The average filter will last six to nine months. Although carbon water filters remove dangerous bacteria and contaminants, they do not remove fluoride and nitrates, which may be a drawback for some people. Carbon filters cannot change the acidity of the water and may be susceptible to mold during periods of non-use.
The other type of home water filtration system is a reverse osmosis filtration system. Reverse osmosis systems were designed to purify water in submarines. The water is drawn through a fine membrane which acts as a filter. A reverse osmosis system requires regular maintenance and requires professional installation. The largest drawback of a reverse osmosis home water filtration system is the loss of beneficial minerals in the water when it is purified.
The removal of all the minerals lends to the water becoming more acidic. Drinking too much of this type of water may have long-term health effects, such as mineral deficiency. Additionally, reverse osmosis is an extremely slow process which wastes water. The process yields less than a gallon (3.8 liters) of water per hour and wastes 2 to 3 gallons (7.6 to 11.4 liters) of water for every gallon produced.
There are a variety of other types of home water filtration systems available, but most of them are hybrid models that include a mixture of a carbon and reverse osmosis system. Other systems are extremely expensive and are rarely found in the home, such as a water ionizer, which is a electrolyzed alkaline water filter. These systems are most often found in hospitals and used for wound healing.