Importance of Water Filtration System
Water is unquestionably vital to human life. Most of the surface of our planet is made of water — and the majority of the human body is too.
But though this essential, hydrating fluid should be clear, refreshing and healthful, it isn’t always. Pollution, pesticides, other chemicals, heavy metals, and organic waste can all potentially seep into our water supplies. At best, they impart a mildly unpleasant tang or smell to our water. At worst, they compromise our short-term and long-term health.
Fortunately, water filtration and purification systems provide a convenient and cost-effective way to make sure you have clean, refreshing water in your home and even on the go. According to the EPA and the Water Quality Association, 40% of Americans use some form of water filtration in their homes to enhance the quality of their water. Below, we’ll discuss the importance of purifying or filtering drinking water and show you the benefits of doing so.
Why do we use water filters? Filtering your water is important for both aesthetic and health-related reasons. Filtered water helps provide these essential benefits:
Filtered water generally tastes better than unfiltered water. Chlorine, pesticides, bacteria, and heavy metals can all contribute to water that has an unpleasant taste or aftertaste.
Municipal tap water is usually safe to drink. But just because your water will not harm your health does not mean it is of high quality. Safe tap water may still contain contaminants that give your water an unpleasant taste, smell, or cloudy appearance. A water filtration system reduces these contaminants to provide you with clean, great-tasting drinking water.
Chlorine, pesticides, bacteria, and heavy metals also contribute to bad-smelling water. Have you ever been to an old farmhouse in the country where all the water coming out of the taps smelled like pennies? Metals like zinc, iron, and copper can leach into groundwater and lead to rust stains in the bathroom and metallic-smelling water coming out of the taps. Chlorine or Chloramine – which are added to most municipally supplied water to prevent microbiological contamination – both have strong chemical odors that can make the water unpleasant to consume.
Not all contaminants give off a bad smell. But some, like volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which include formaldehyde and ethylene, can give your water a distinctively unpleasant odor. VOCs have been implicated in effects ranging from skin irritation to liver and kidney damage to carcinogenic effects, so if your water smells off, you will undoubtedly want to invest in water filtration. Plus, better-smelling water is just more pleasant for the senses.
Though some people turn to bottled water in an attempt to ensure that their drinking water is contaminant-free, buying cases of bottled water becomes environmentally expensive very quickly. Filling our landfills with plastic bottles is also harmful to the environment, and many areas don’t have the resources or infrastructure to recycle plastic bottles properly. Because the United States can no longer ship as much trash abroad, some cities have turned to throwing away or incinerating the materials that residents put out to be recycled. Using water filtration systems instead of bottled water helps keep nonbiodegradable plastic bottles out of our landfills and incinerators.
Flooding and construction can add all kinds of contaminants to your water supply, especially if your water is well water. Recently, flooding in the Midwest led to a high incidence of well-water contamination, and similar effects are possible no matter where you live. As floodwaters sweep across the landscape, they can pick up chemicals, waste products, and other harmful contaminants and eventually deposit them in human water supplies. Wells and reservoirs that become overtopped by floodwater are at particularly high risk of water contamination, but floodwaters that merely saturate the surrounding soil can also seep into a well if it is older and not adequately sealed.
Construction can also lead to high levels of water contaminants. Construction materials such as chemicals, plastics, and adhesives leach into the soil and from there into the groundwater, where they can have adverse effects on human health if they make it into drinking water without being filtered out. If the construction project is a renovation of an older building, asbestos contamination, in particular, poses a serious risk.
Lead, chlorine, pesticides, viruses, and more — all these contaminants can have serious adverse effects on your health if they make it into your home’s drinking water. Water can also contain microbiological contaminants such as bacteria, giardia and cryptosporidium. A water purifier can help protect against these harmful microorganisms so that you don’t get sick from ingesting these organisms.
Don’t forget about cooking, too. If your water is unsafe to drink, it’s also unsafe to cook with, brush your teeth with or wash vegetables in. Filtering your water also helps protect your health in these often-overlooked areas.
And showering in contaminated water can also make you feel rundown. If your water contains chlorine, inhaling chlorine as you shower can lead to respiratory ailments.
On the other hand, hydrating yourself with clean, clear water leaves you feeling refreshed and energized. The peace of mind you feel from knowing your water is safely filtered — along with the crisp, clean taste of filtered water — will often encourage you to drink more water and feel healthier.
If you have children in your household, remember that their immune systems are still developing. So filtered water is crucial to keeping your children healthy and thriving.
Removal of Contaminants
The right water filtration or purification system can help reduce the concentration of many types of contaminants in your home’s water:
Lead, a neurotoxin, can also seep into groundwater or leak into tapwater from old lead pipes, fittings and fixtures. Even low levels of lead in water can be harmful to human health, especially for young children whose bodies and nervous systems are still developing. The water crisis in Flint, Michigan showed us just how harmful lead-contaminated water can be to a community’s health. Lead in water can cause minor irritations such as itchy skin, rashes, and hair loss. It also causes serious issues such as high blood pressure, kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, and infertility, along with the profound neurological problems it is notorious for causing in children. Filtering your water is an excellent way to help remove lead and protect your family’s health.
Chlorine is often added to tap water for good reason — it kills bacteria that would make us ill if we ingested them. But chlorine is not ideal for us to consume in high doses either. High levels of chlorine in water can lead to infant congenital abnormalities, for instance. Chlorine also has a drying effect, so filtering the chlorine out of your water leaves you with more moisturized, elastic, younger-looking, and younger-feeling skin and fewer skin rashes and irritation. And filtering the chlorine out of your water will also leave you with more hydrated, softer, and shinier hair.
When chlorine interacts with organic matter, it can also lead to the formation of trihalomethanes (THMs), which have been linked to carcinogenic activity. Fortunately, activated carbon filtration is effective in reducing concentrations of THMs.
High concentrations of mineral contaminants in your water can lead to a mineral buildup and soapy film that remains on your skin even after you’ve showered, causing itching and irritation. The same buildup can leave your hair looking dull and feeling unclean, even if you’ve just showered. Water full of contaminants can make it harder to get your clothes clean. It can also lead to wear and tear on your plumbing because mineral contaminants build up inside the pipes.
Nitrates form when nitrogen and oxygen react. High concentrations of nitrates in water pose serious risks, especially for children and pregnant women. Fertilizers, industrial waste runoff, and improper waste disposal can all lead to high levels of nitrates in groundwater. Especially if your home has well water, you will likely want to invest in a water treatment system that reduces nitrates. Boiling and water filtration will not remove nitrates, but some water treatment systems can.
Viruses, bacteria and cysts like giardia, cryptosporidium, hepatitis, rotavirus, and norovirus can all contaminate water supplies through runoff from waste. Municipal water systems are tested and treated for these microbiological threats. Still, if you’re connected to the municipal water system, a water purification system provides an extra layer of protection and peace of mind. If you use well water, a water purification system is a wise investment. If you have a particular reason to suspect microbiologically contaminated water, it’s also smart to boil your water before drinking it.
Particularly in the northern United States, radon can seep into the groundwater from the soil. Radon is known to have carcinogenic effects, so if you live in an area with a high radon concentration, investing in a water treatment system that can reduce radon is a wise idea.
Arsenic, commonly used as a poison and in fertilizers, can seep into groundwater from industrial and agricultural operations and is toxic to human health. Neither boiling nor chlorine bleaching will remove arsenic from water, but some water treatment systems can. Fortunately, some activated carbon filtration is effective at reducing concentrations of arsenic in water.
The United States applies about a billion pounds of pesticides annually to both farmland and non-cropland. Especially in agricultural regions, pesticide runoff can easily seep into groundwater and contaminate the water that comes into your home. Activated carbon filtration is widely considered the best method of treating pesticides in water.
Not everyone disposes of unused medications safely. Sometimes prescription or over-the-counter medications end up thrown away in landfills or flushed directly into wastewater systems. These improper disposal methods make it more likely that pharmaceutical contamination can seep into your water supply, and pharmaceutical manufacturing waste adds to the risk. Drinking water contaminated with pharmaceuticals is like taking someone else’s medicine, and it may produce unwanted side effects. Fortunately, carbon block filters are an effective way to reduce the concentration of pharmaceuticals in your water.
Multipure’s filtration systems use advanced filtration technologies to reduce contaminants in your home’s water: