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The Quest For Great Drinking Water

July 8th, 2009 · No Comments

Clean Drinking Water

Americans spend millions of dollars on the water they drink, and not just for bottles of Evian. We spend countless dollars each year in search of just the right home water treatment system. In fact, according to an association that monitors water quality, one out of every ten Americans now uses a home water treatment unit, so it’s a good idea for real estate professionals to know a little bit about the various units. These units can range from simple pitchers to costing less than twenty dollars to sophisticated whole-house water filtration systems costing several thousand dollars.

There are a variety of reasons homeowners purchase a home water treatment system. Some people use this feature to improve the taste of their tap water. Others are looking to treat their water because of health concerns. Drinking water can reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants, picked up as the water journeys from its original destination into water purifying stations and eventually through plumbing systems and out the tap. As long as contaminants remain at levels no higher than EPA standards, our water is considered safe to drink.

Some contaminant levels remain constant throughout the year, while others vary according to the season, weather or from house to house. For example, lead typically makes its way into the water supply when it leaches from lead pipes and solder that are in some homes. If water comes from a household well, the EPA recommends annual water testing for nitrates and bacteria.

Different treatment systems will vary greatly in price, performance and look. A water treatment device can be rather free-standing home water treatment device. Most water pitchers use granular-activated carbon and resins to bond with and trap contaminants. These filters are effective at improving the taste of water, and many will also reduce lead and other contaminants.

Filters attached to a faucet or installed under the sink:
These filters use the same technologies as pour-through pitchers. Some filters use fabrics, fiber, or ceramic screening to physically remove contaminants. The most common types use a molded block of activated carbon. These filters are effective at improving at improving the taste of tap water, and some will also reduce lead, protozoan cysts and many other contaminants.

Distillers: Distillers heat water to the boiling point, and then collect the water vapor as it condenses, killing disease causing microbes and leaving most chemical contaminants behind. Distilled water tastes flat to some people because the water’s natural minerals and oxygen often have been removed.

Reverse Osmosis Units: Reverse osmosis units force water through a semi-permeable membrane under pressure, leaving contaminants behind. Reverse osmosis units use a significant amount of water. They recover only a small percentage of the water entering the system and the remainder is discharged as waste water, but they are effective in eliminating disease-causing organisms as well as most chemical contaminants.

Aerators: Aerators force water to travel over air jets. Contaminants easily turn into gases, such as gasoline components and radon, are removed. Other contaminants are not. The water may additionally filtered after it passes through its system to remove additional contaminants.

Water Softeners: Water softeners use sodium chloride or potassium chloride to reduce the amount of hardness (calcium, magnesium) in water. The hardness ions in the water are replaced with sodium or potassium ions. Ion exchange water softeners simultaneously remove radium and barium while removing water hardness.

Whole House Filters: The whole house water system looks similar to a typical hot water heater and can supply filtered water throughout the entire home. Different companies use various techniques to filter the water. Most whole house systems also soften or condition the water, many doing so without the use of salt, chemicals or magnets. These systems generally use carbon for filtration, but each company has their own, unique process to soften water, some using ions and minerals to accomplish the job.

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Tags: Future Trends · Going Green · Selling Your Home

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