Let’s Clearify Water Purification Methods

Shopping for home water purifiers and filters? Frightened by media reports about drugs and hormones in the water? Worried that bottled water is damaging the environment?

If you are like most people, you answered yes to all three questions. Home water purifiers and filters provide safe, good tasting drinking water without doing more damage to the planet.

When you start shopping, you’ll see that you have many choices. It can all be a bit confusing. We hope to clear some of that up for you. Here’s what you should know.

Purification Methods

Home water purifiers and filters use reverse osmosis, activated carbon, distillation, ion exchange or a combination of systems to clean your tap water. Activated carbon filters are the most common. They are sometimes referred to as charcoal, because a type of charcoal is sometimes used in the filter, not the type that you use in your outdoor grill.

Distillation was, at one time, considered the safest way to remove bacteria and other elements from tap water, but now we know better. Distillation does not remove chlorine, which is the causes odor, bad taste and causes or contributes to a variety of health problems. It does render trace minerals that are essential to human health useless.

Reverse osmosis is used primarily by water treatment facilities as part of their water reclamation process. Some of the better companies use a similar component, a micro filter that further purifies the water.

Ion exchange really does nothing to purify your water. It’s a softening technique. When used properly, in the right system, it balances the mineral content, so that you get what’s good for your health without ending up with calcium deposits on your fixtures.

The best home water purifiers and filters use a combination of ion exchange, activated carbon and micron filters to provide the cleanest, healthiest, best tasting water possible.

Product Choices

Companies that sell home water purifiers and filters have a variety of products to choose from. While most people go with an under the counter filter for their kitchen tap, there are additional health and cosmetic advantages to shower filters and whole house filters.

During a hot shower, the chlorine and other chemicals in your tap water turn into steam. The concentration of chemicals in the steam is far greater than that in the water itself. Most of the water goes down the drain. Most of the chemicals go into the air.

If you suffer from asthma, allergies or sinus problems, the chemicals in the steam from the shower can be extremely irritating. Studies have shown that kids with asthma that swim in indoor chlorinated pools have twice as many attacks as others.

The chlorine content of public drinking water exceeds what you find in swimming pools. Water purifiers and filters designed for the shower may reduce the incidence of asthma attacks and improve the overall health of the family.

Instead of buying separate filters for the kitchen and each of your showers, you could invest in a whole house filter. Installation has to be completed by a plumber. It’s not a do-it-yourself job, but it could be cost effective, depending on how many separate showers and taps you have in your home.

Other Considerations

Showering in filtered water will mean softer skin and hair. If you color your hair, your color will stay true longer. Chlorine is really just bleach. It can lighten or change your color entirely.

Chlorinated water can cause digestive problems for your dogs, cats and other pets. Everyone in your family will benefit in some way, probably more than one, from whole home water purifiers and filters. But, at the very least you need to purify the water that you use for cooking and drinking. It’s just better for your health.

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