Water Purification Technology: Different Methods, Different Results It seems like every time you turn your head someone is talking about our polluted environment and how it is affecting our food, air and water. Nothing has had a greater impact on protecting us from environmental contamination than water purification system. However, not all methods of water purification are created equally. Different methods produce different results. So how can you be sure to pick the method that is best suited to meet the needs of you and your family? In order to help answer that question, let's look at a brief description of some of the different methods of water purification and their different results. Chlorination Chlorination is one of the oldest and most widely-used water treatment methods. 100 years ago, the discovery of chlorine as an effective disinfectant meant that devastating, water-borne epidemics such as cholera and typhoid could finally be wiped out. But as times have changed, so have our water purification needs. The threat of disease has been replaced by environmental toxins. As such, the need for disinfection has been replaced by the need for filtration. Unfortunately, chlorine has now also been identified as having its own toxic properties, including releasing dangerous chloroform gas, and causing leaching of lead when coming into contact with aging home plumbing. Chlorine also fails to disinfect intestinal parasites such as cryptosporidium, and guardian, which can be especially tough on a child's developing intestinal tract. As far as water purification technology goes, chlorination is definitely out-dated. Bottled Water No one knows what types of methods of water purification, if any, are used to produce bottled water. The government does not require bottled water to be any cleaner than tap water. You basically have to take the word of the bottled water company that you're getting safe, clean water. Bottled water can also be expensive and results in an inordinate amount of environmental waste. Over 60,000,000 plastic bottles are produced, transported and disposed of EVERY DAY in the U.S. alone! Despite having some major drawbacks, this so-called water purification technology, continues to be popular with consumers. Distillation
One of the methods of water purification that still enjoys wide-spread use is distillation. This is a complex process where water is passed over a hot coil, in order to create water vapor. This vapor is sent to a cooling chamber so that it condenses back into liquid form. This process results in a separation between water and inorganic substances like lead, calcium, magnesium etc. Bacteria are also destroyed. Distillation is a water purification technology that was originally developed for industrial use. But because of the increase in demand for in-home water treatment, distillation companies took advantage of the marketing opportunity. However this process is not very effective removing organic chemicals, so a carbon filtration system must be added to make the water truly safe for drinking. Carbon filters require regular changing since they can quickly become breeding grounds for bacterial growth. While distilled water is safe, it isn't healthy, since it has been de-mineralized. This form of water purification technology is also very slow and costs approximately 20 - 26 cents per gallon. Add to that the cost of the carbon filter and the result is an unwieldy water purification system. Reverse Osmosis Reverse osmosis is a fancy term to describe a process whereby water is forced, by pressure, through a fine-porous membrane that traps harmful contaminants. This is another water purification technology that was designed to address industrial requirements and then adapted for home use. One result of using reverse osmosis in your home is that, like distillation, it strips out much needed trace amounts of calcium, magnesium and potassium. Water processed by reverse osmosis is, in fact, dead water. Minerals in water are Nature's way of protecting our health by preventing mineral deficiencies. Reverse osmosis is a complex form of water purification technology that also results in a lot of upkeep. Case in point: you can expect to pay around 800 just to get a replacement filter. Read More
Published on Oct 20, 2010
It seems like every time you turn your head someone is talking about our polluted environment and how it is effecting our food.