Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Water Purifier: Methods

Water purifier is a tool to battle against many dangerous substances in our water source like our tap water and well. These dangerous substances are including bacteria, heavy metals, and toxic chemicals. Being exposed to these dangerous substances can have bad effects and very serious in long term health conditions. Water purifier methods which are the most popular nowadays are reverse osmosis and carbon filtering.

The water purification methods that are still popular today are boiling water, chemicals usage, carbon filters, and reverse osmosis.

Boiling water and using chemicals for water treatments are consider traditional methods to purify water. These traditional methods are able to remove some water contaminants but the methods are still able to leave unhealthy substance since there is no filtration system to filter the water.

Boiling method needs to have the water heated long enough and hot enough to eliminate the microorganisms. At a near sea level, water needs to be boiled at least one minute. At higher places, three minutes of boiling is much recommended. Boiling water remains effective to eliminate protozoa and bacteria but there are still other microorganisms that could survive the boiling process. Boiling is considered a non efficient method of filtration and could not remove dangerous chemicals, if there's any, like chlorine. Boiled water should not be stored for long time as it may acquire other pathogens due to the effects of boiling. Water that is boiled does not have any residual disinfectant left.

Chemicals such as iodine and chlorine are the chemicals that are being used in water purification. Iodine and chlorine are cheap and easy to use. The use of chlorine can kill viruses, bacteria and protozoa but it could also leaves a bad taste and not recommended for water purification in long term. While chlorine can make the water looks clearer, it is poisonous and can create serious side effects for health if it is being used too much.

The traditional water treatment methods are proved to be ineffective and considered dangerous for health. There are new water purifier systems to deliver clean water without side effects. Methods which are popular nowadays are carbon filters, distillation and reverse osmosis. These are considered new methods of water purifier.

Carbon filters is using filter cartridges that is made from carbon for absorbing contaminants, including many toxic compounds like chlorine and microorganisms. In regions with many organic contamination, taste or smells, activated carbon is used as filter, passing through water. There are several ways to use carbon filters, mounting it to faucets or to integrate it with refrigerators are some of the ways. Carbon filters will not be leaving bad tastes and often being used with reverse osmosis in home water purifier.

Distillation is a process of producing water vapor by boiling the water. The water vapor will then be condensed as liquid after contacting a cool surface. Distillation could achieve 99.9% of pure water.

Reverse osmosis very effective to filter water impurities, including dissolved solids, nitrates, lead, turbidity, asbestos, radium and organic matter. It can even eliminate radioactive substances and chlorine. Reverse osmosis process works by giving pressure to a solution and to squeeze it through a membrane, leaving the contaminants trapped.