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What Water Purification Process Should You Rely On?

Jun 5, 2008
There are several different types of water purification process in common use.

It would take much more than this article to explain water purification properly, but here are some explanations of some of the main ways that impurities and contaminants are removed from water these days.

Filtration is used in many different ways to remove contaminants from water and make it fit for human consumption. The most common filtration process is reverse osmosis.

In reverse osmosis (sometimes known as reversed osmosis or RO), a very fine plastic membrane is used to filter the water. It is capable of separating very fine particles with a particle size of 0.001 microns and removing metal ions and aqueous salts.

Cartridge filtration is a very popular household water purification process. Cartridge filtration units consist of fibres and work best where the water contamination levels are less than 100ppm. If the contamination is greater than this, a cartridge water filter would just be used as the final stage in the process e.g. in a home system you would expect your municipal water supplier to have done most of the heavy-duty filtering so that your home unit was just left to do the final clean up.

There are various methods of chemical water purification and which one is best is dependent upon exactly what contaminants are present in the water. Some examples are chelating agents which can be added to neutralize the negative effects of hardness if the water has too much calcium or magnesium in it. Oxidizing agents can be added to act as a biocide or to neutralize reducing agents. Reducing agents are added to neutralize oxidizing agents like ozone and chlorine. They can also help to prevent damage to purification membranes used in processes like reverse osmosis.

Clarification is another type of water purification process. It is designed to remove suspended solids. Coagulants are used to reduce the charges of ions. The ions then accumulate as larger particles called flocs. These flocs then settle at the bottom of settling tanks or can be removed using gravity filters. Clarification isn't perfect and doesn't remove particles smaller than 25 microns. For this reason it is usually only the first stage in a multi-stage water purification process.

Other common types of water purification process are de-ionization and water softening, disinfection (with chlorine, ozone or UV radiation), distillation, electro-dialysis, PH-adjustment, scavenging and biological water purification.

Because of some of the horror stories concerning contaminants found in home water supplies, more and more people are becoming proactive and installing some kind of home water filter to complete the water purification process. You should seriously consider joining them.
About the Author
Alan Allport has been investigating water purification for many years. To find out more water purification process facts check his Website at http://www.waterfilterpurifiers.com.
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