Water is essential for good health, but it also contains bacteria, viruses, and other hazardous contaminants that are invisible and difficult to spot. Therefore, investing in a water filter to eliminate these from your supply is the best action.
Filters come in wide varieties, from pitchers and water bottles to whole-house models that treat all your tap water. Ultimately, what type of filter you need depends on your specific filtration requirements.
Chlorine added to water is highly effective and cost-effective at eliminating bacteria and other microorganisms that might be present. As a result, chlorine has become one of the go-to disinfectants for those looking for an economical yet effective option for water purification.
Chlorine is an element that naturally exists on Earth in water bodies, plants, animals, and humans. Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele first isolated it in 1774.
Sir Humphry Davy first named chlorine a yellowish-green, toxic gas released when chlorine was exposed to air in 1810. In its unprocessed state, chlorine can be highly hazardous and cause respiratory irritation.
Installing a filter is the most reliable solution to ensure your water is free from lead and contaminants. Filters certified by NSF International are the safest choice for eliminating lead from drinking water.
NSF certification ensures a product meets NSF standards for reducing contaminants and ensuring structural soundness and consistency in production, which are essential factors in avoiding leaks or other issues in the long term.
Water sources that commonly contain lead come from plumbing systems. Homeowners should have their water tested to determine if they are at risk.
Arsenic is a naturally occurring chemical that can harm human health. Consuming large amounts of inorganic arsenic can cause symptoms such as facial swelling, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, coma, or death.
Due to industrial and municipal pollution, arsenic can also be found in some water sources. Typically, communities with high arsenic levels in soil, groundwater, and surface water near industrial sources tend to have the highest concentrations of inorganic arsenic in their drinking water.
Arsenic can be removed from water using several methods. The most popular is reverse osmosis, which forces the water through a semi-permeable membrane. Reverse osmosis eliminates other chemicals, heavy metals, and bacteria in your source water.
Radium is a silvery-white radioactive metal found in small amounts in most soils, rocks, geologic materials, plants, and water. It is produced naturally through the radioactive decay of uranium and thorium.
Radium-226 is the most stable of all isotopes of radium and has a half-life of 1600 years. It decays to either radon-222 through alpha decay or lead-212 when ejecting a carbon-14 nucleus.
Radium can be removed from water via ion exchange or reverse osmosis and by using special activated carbon made of animal bones. As water passes through this carbon filter, it absorbs pollutants until saturation occurs. At this point, a filter will remove them completely.
Viruses are microscopic organisms with a core of genetic information, either DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) or RNA (ribonucleic acid). This nucleic acid is protected by an outer shell known as the capsid.
Viruses enter host cells and replicate, much like how plants and animals multiply.
However, viruses lack adenosine triphosphate, the compound responsible for many biological processes in cells, and lack ribosomes, the building blocks of proteins. As such, viruses act like energy parasites; they cannot generate or store energy and depend solely on their host cell to grow and spread.