5 Home Water Treatment Methods

5 Home Water Treatment Methods

Your water source could be a private or community well, or more likely a municipal water system. No matter where you get your water for home use, you should get a water test kit or have a professional test your water for quality and contaminants. If you’re on a municipal system, you’re supposed to get an annual water report with your water bill. However, doing your own test is inexpensive and can point out areas that need correction. Depending on what you find from testing, you may benefit from one of these five water treatment methods or systems.

-1- Filtration

As in the image above, there are water filter cannisters you can buy at big box home stores and load them with filters. Depending on your testing results, you choose a filter that will trap the contaminants you’ve discovered. Filters trap particles in the range of 0.05 to 5 microns in size. Some filter cartridges contain activated carbon to remove odors from water as well.

-2- Reverse Osmosis

Here’s how the CDC describes reverse osmosis: Reverse Osmosis Systems use a process that reverses the flow of water in a natural process of osmosis so that water passes from a more concentrated solution to a more dilute solution through a semi-permeable membrane. Pre- and post-filters are often incorporated along with the reverse osmosis membrane itself. Now for the results that we can understand.

With a pore size as small as 0.0001 micron, the reverse osmosis system can remove living organisms such as protozoa, bacteria, and some viruses from your water. Reverse osmosis systems will also remove common chemical contaminants such as:

  • Metal ions
  • Aqueous salts
  • Sodium chloride
  • Chromium
  • Lead

They may also reduce arsenic, radium, fluoride, and calcium.

-3- Distillation

Distillation systems heat water to the boiling point and then collect the steam/water vapor that condenses. The condensation process removes many contaminants. Distillation is highly effective in removing:

  • Protozoa
  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Chemicals, including
    • Arsenic
    • Cadmium
    • Barium
    • Lead
    • Sodium
    • Nitrate
    • Other organic chemicals

-4- Ultraviolet Water Treatment

Ultraviolet treatment is coupled with pre-filtration, uses ultraviolet light as a disinfectant. The goal is to reduce the number of bacteria present in the water. Ultraviolet light is highly effective at removing protozoa, bacteria, and viruses (including hepatitis A, enteric, norovirus and rotavirus). However, ultraviolet light is not effective in removing chemical contaminants. Pre-filtration is used in conjunction with ultraviolet to remove what the light doesn’t.

-5- Water Softeners

The amount of calcium and magnesium in water is what is referred to as “hardness.” Hard water collects as it precipitates out of the water, leaving deposits in pipes and rings in tubs, sinks, and commodes. Some water softening systems are designed to remove other contaminants such as:

  • Iron
  • Manganese
  • Heavy metals
  • Nitrates
  • Arsenic
  • Chromium
  • Selenium
  • Sulfate
  • Some radioactivity

Hard water is quite common in many areas, and water softeners can help to keep plumbing systems in good shape and free of clogging buildup.

Think of all the uses of water in your home, and you’ll find peace of mind with water testing and treatment. You’ll like the taste of that next cup of coffee even more as well.