A Guide to Water Purifiers

All public water systems are supposed to furnish safe drinking water to local residents. Public water supplies generally are quite safe in that they are free of pathogens and many harmful chemicals. Most are not free of the remains of citizens’ prescription medications or bad taste or smell from treatment chemicals such as chlorine, however. There are many types of water purifiers available for home use. Some only filter out the smell and taste of antibacterial treatment agents but others filter out the remains of other local residents’ cast off pharmaceuticals and whatever heavy metals that public water supplies can pick up merely by traveling through the public water system. Water purification is more important now than in any other time in the past in the modern era. There are many home appliances that can make water purification an easy and safe process.

Following are several water purification systems and home appliances that enhance the quality and safety of families’ home water supplies. Whether water comes from a public water supply or from a private well, there are water purification systems available that enhance safety and taste.

Featured Water Purification Systems and Appliances

Unilever’s Pureit water purification home appliance is the best selling such unit in the world. The Pureit filter addresses both macro- and microscopic problems and then “polishes” the water, all without the need for either gas or electricity. The Pureit filter system uses Unilever’s patented “Germkill technology” to ensure that the water emerging from its four-stage filtering and treatment system is as safe to drink as boiled water – all without the need to have the means to boil water.

The Pureit water purification system employs four stages. The first stage, the Micro Fibre Filter, removes all visible dirt. This means that those in rural areas can be as assured as city residents that their water is sparkling clear and free of any visible contaminant. The second stage is the Activated Carbon Filter that removes pesticides and particles too small for the pores of the Micro Fibre Filter. Those small particles include parasites. The water exits from the Activated Carbon Filter and enters the third stage, the Germkill Processor. The Germkill Processor contains chlorine. It kills and removes bacteria and viruses. The water then enters the fourth stage, the Polisher. The Polisher removes any residual chlorine, improves taste and improves clarity of the water.

The Germkill Processor is a consumable item that has to be replaced at regular intervals. The filter has a germkill display on the front of the unit that indicates the remaining life of the Germkill Processor. The unit stops accepting water when the processor has reached its germ killing capacity so that no one accidentally consumes water that has not been properly purified. The Germkill Processor’s capacity varies with the temperature of the water entering the filter. At 25 degrees C the processor’s capacity is 1,500 liters. Capacity is less where water is warmer than that but it increases when water is cooler.

The Pureit filter is effective against most contaminants including oil. It is not effective in removing dissolved salts, however. Introducing brackish or ocean water to the filter can clog it and render it useless. It is effective with water from nearly every other source, however. It is an ideal water purification system for home use.

Nano-Technology Ceramic Cartridge Faucet Water Purifier
Another water purifier appliance appropriate for the Sri Lankan market is the instant ceramic water purifier that attaches to the home tap. It is effective in removing the relatively large particles of parasites but does not have the ability to actively kill much smaller organisms such as bacteria and viruses. That inability is not an issue in cities with effective water treatment facilities, of course. A water purifier that attaches to the kitchen or bathroom tap can be highly effective at relatively low cost.

One of the best benefits of this type of water purifier is that it is instant. The user can turn on the tap and instantly collect water from the attached water filter. More complex gravity fed filters require significant time for water to travel through their various stages. The Nano-Technology ceramic cartridge faucet water purifier uses a two stage filtration process. The first stage consists of a ceramic cartridge that consists of a combination of tourmaline and elements such as aluminum, lithium, potassium, magnesium, iron or sodium. Tourmaline is a semi-precious stone that can supply a small micro-current that enhances the other elements’ interaction with the water passing over the substrate. Each of the elements contained in the ceramic portion of the filter attracts different types of water contaminants and works according to the chemical properties of contaminants in the water. The owner needs to clean the tourmaline substrate occasionally through a simple process of removing the ceramic piece, cleaning its surfaces and then reinserting it in the water filter’s housing.

The second stage of this filter consists of Nano-KDF technology that removes residual chlorine and heavy metal ions. Together, the two stages of this instant faucet filter can purify up to 10,000 liters of water. Users can switch easily between filtered and straight tap water and so save the filter’s capacity for water used for drinking and cooking rather than for washing floors.

Reverse Osmosis Water Purification
Home appliances that direct water through one or more filter stages are good at what they do and most are very affordable. None of those types of filters are ideal in every situation, however, and most are ineffective in one or more areas. This is not the case with Reverse Osmosis water purifiers. Reverse osmosis is one of the processes used to desalinate ocean water and is the only type of home appliance water purifier that can turn brackish or ocean water into potable water safe for consumption. Osmosis is the process by which water moves across some type of membrane in an effort to achieve equilibrium on each side of the membrane. It is the process that allows water molecules to enter or leave an individual cell. Reverse osmosis uses pressure to inhibit reaching equilibrium. Pressure pushes water through a semi-permeable membrane that will not allow contaminants to pass. The contaminants are isolated and disposed of, leaving only completely clean and pure water behind.

The primary benefit of a reverse osmosis water purifier is that nothing but water molecules can pass through the membrane. The water collected on the other side of the membrane is water only and does not contain particles of any kind. All dirt, clay, rust, parasite cysts, bacteria, viruses and all other particles remain on the entry side of the membrane along with molecules of dissolved contaminants including salt, chlorine, pesticides and other substances that humans should not be drinking.

For all of the benefits of reverse osmosis, there are two negative features. The first is that the membranes or filters need to be replaced regularly and most often where the beginning water is of extremely poor quality. Another detriment of reverse osmosis arises from its very effectiveness. Safe water contains various minerals that humans need, including calcium, iron, copper and other natural elements. Reverse osmosis removes all of those beneficial minerals so users may need to supplement their diets or eat foods rich in the minerals they no longer gain from their drinking water. Finally, reverse osmosis water purification systems are far more costly than other types of water purifying home appliances. They cost much more to buy and filter replacements can be costly.

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