What Contaminants Can Under-Counter Filtration Remove

Water filters can be quite successful at removing a variety of contaminants from water, but what contaminants they remove is dependent on the type of filter you use. There is no one water filter that can remove everything from water, but you may create a filtering system that offers you nearly nothing but pure water by combining treatment methods.

Physical filtration and active or chemical filtration are the two major modes of operation for water filters. The majority of filters combine these two methods: an "active" filter alters the contaminant in some way before physically filtering it out of the water. You can remove practically everything from your water by combining these sorts of filters with one or more different treatment procedures. Here are the contaminants that under counter filters can remove!

Removing Sand, Silt, and Sediment

Water filters that are simply physical remove dirt, silt, sand, and sediment from your water. Large particles can readily damage more delicate water treatment devices like reverse osmosis membranes, hence these filters are included in most types of water treatment systems. To remove sediment, you can use either a backwashing filter or a cartridge filter. While each has its own design, they both work in the same way: water passes into the filter and through some form of filtering media, such as filtering sand or pleated polyester. Because the larger silt particles are unable to pass through the filter, they become trapped inside. The water that comes out the other side is cleaner.

Active or Chemical Filters

You'll almost always require an active or chemical filter to remove pollutants and ions that have dissolved in your water. The name "chemical filter" is a little misleading because most of these systems don't actually add anything to the water—the filtering medium has been treated in some way such that it induces a change in specific impurities when exposed to untreated water. The filter can usually physically trap and keep impurities once they've been replaced, removing them from the water supply. Active filters come in a variety of forms, from granular activated carbon to bone char to ion exchange, and each method is optimal for a specific water issue.

Removing Chlorine and Chloramines

Chlorine is one of the most common contaminants that people desire to eliminate from their water. Chlorine and a related chemical, chloramine, are used as disinfectants in municipal water treatment systems around the United States to kill bacteria and other microbes. Although these compounds are normally effective disinfectants, they might stay in the water supply. Chlorine can make water taste and smell terrible, and it can cause skin irritation in certain people. In water, chloramine has a similar impact and can harm fish and other marine species. These disinfectants are removed by various types of carbon water filters.

One of the most effective techniques to remove chlorine from water is to use granular activated carbon (GAC). GAC is a type of carbon that has been processed to create a porous surface with a large surface area that collects chlorine and organic pollutants. Chlorine molecules and many other pollutants become stuck in the microscopic pores of the GAC as untreated water passes through, eliminating them from the water through a process known as adsorption.

While GAC is quite good at decreasing chlorine in water, it is less effective at removing chloramines. What water filters are effective in removing chloramines? Carbon catalytic. Like GAC, catalytic carbon media is treated to change the electrical structure of its surface, allowing it to operate as a catalyst. Catalysts are chemicals that speed up chemical reactions; in this example, the carbon medium accelerates the decomposition of chloramines, making them easier to remove. This sort of filter may also remove chlorine and many pesticides, and can be used in a system to remove iron, magnesium, and sulfur when paired with an oxidizing agent like hydrogen peroxide.

What Water Filters Remove Fluoride?

Fluoride, a chemical that is added to water in many regions to help prevent tooth decay, can be difficult to remove. GAC or catalytic carbon will not be able to remove it. A bone char filter or a reverse osmosis system are the most effective and cost-effective ways to remove fluoride from your water, and a combination of the two is frequently the best option.

Bone char is a type of activated carbon that is made from animal bones that have been carefully picked and cleaned. A substance called hydroxylapatite is abundant in most animal bones. This is a type of calcium apatite that is particularly fluoride-attractive. When bone char is exposed to fluoride-containing water, the filter exchanges the fluoride ions for hydroxide ions, effectively eliminating the fluoride ions from the water. This filter is capable of removing up to 90% of fluoride from drinking water.

A reverse osmosis system can help reduce the quantity of fluoride in drinking water. Reverse osmosis (RO) is a process that drives water through a membrane with extremely small holes that restrict almost everything but clean water from going through. RO filters, like bone char filters, are thought to remove roughly 90% of fluoride. The most effective treatment strategy may be a mix of RO and bone char.

Water Filters Remove Pesticides and Other Chemicals?

A GAC filter is one of the best water filters for removing pesticides and other contaminants because of its efficacy at removing organic molecules. Also effective is catalytic carbon, which is a form of activated carbon. Many pesticides, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), arsenic, and silt are attracted to and retained by these filters.

What Water Filters Remove Iron and Sulfur?

While carbon filters are typically effective at removing organic molecules, they aren't as effective at eliminating metals. An oxidizing filter may remove iron and manganese, a mineral commonly found in iron-containing water. When these minerals are oxidized, they solidify in the water and can be filtered out more easily. A GAC filter may often remove sulfur in water, although an oxidizing media is often more successful. Iron filters, for example, are designed to remove iron, manganese, and sulfur from your water in many circumstances.

Hard Water

If you want to eliminate hardness from your water, you'll need a water softener rather than a water filter. A water softener exchanges the hardness minerals calcium and magnesium for sodium ions rather than filtering them out. This is what softens your water and gets rid of limescale and other issues.

We hope you have enjoyed our recap of what contaminants can under-counter filtration remove! If you are looking to purchase water filters for under the counter, be sure to reach out to Premier H2O today!

What Contaminants Can Under-Counter Filtration Remove