Filtration is the most effective type of water treatment and purification currently available. Carbon and multimedia filters build upon the treatment capabilities of reverse osmosis and distillation.
They retain all of the good filtration qualities of these two systems while efficiently removing additional water contaminants. They are able to rid water of the larger compound materials, like salt, while selectively removing much smaller and dangerous chemicals, like chlorine and pesticides, that reverse osmosis and distillation systems cannot remove.
Because carbon and multimedia filters utilize both chemical and physical filtration processes, they are able to selectively remove a large number of drinking water contaminants. Water filters can remove the small, but dangerous pesticide and herbicide chemicals while allowing larger, trace minerals to safely pass through the filter with the water. The retention of trace minerals in water provides a much healthier source of drinking water. The chemical adsorption process, which carbon and multimedia filters use, is the only filtration process that can selectively filter unwanted materials from water.
Also, the slow filtration process of carbon and multimedia filters does not require costly energy sources like reverse osmosis and distillation systems. Because carbon and multimedia filtration systems do not require a heat or pressure source, they are fairly cost-effective. Carbon and multimedia water filters waste relatively little water in the filtration process.
Filtration, like reverse osmosis and distillation, is a fairly slow process as it requires several stages of water purification. Although the process is slow, once the water has been through the required stages, it is freer from contaminants than the water product of any other purification technique.
Besides the relatively slow process, there are a few other aspects to filtration that may make it less than ideal. Depending upon the type of filter used, water may have limited contact time with the filter media, resulting in only partial removal of drinking water contaminants. Also the type of filter media may affect the number of contaminants that can pass through the filtration process. Rapid filters and granular filters are less effective than solid block carbon filters.
Rapid filters allow for only brief contact time with the filter media, limiting the amount of contaminants that may be removed through the adsorption process. Granular filters contain fairly large pores and allow several contaminants to pass through the filter media. For the most reliable and efficient filtration, solid block carbon or multimedia filters should be used.
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