There are different types of water treatment systems, and knowing the difference between them can help you make an informed decision on just what type of treatment you’ll need if you're looking for residential treatment. So what is the best home water treatment system? There is no best system that will meet everyone’s specific parameters—each system has its benefits and deficiencies. Here are a few of the most common types of water treatment systems.
Treatment Systems for Residential Drinking Water
There are treatment systems that will only make water potable without doing much more for the quality of the water. Sediment filtration will get rid of suspended particles and improve the overall appearance of the water, but it’s the lowest on the water treatment systems’ totem pole.
Carbon filtration will not only rid your water of suspended particles, it will also improve the overall taste, odor and transparency of the drinking water. Carbon filtration utilizes carbon to absorb various chemicals floating in the water. But while carbon does removal certain organic contaminants, it doesn’t remove mineral salts that have completely dissolved in the water.
To remove dissolved mineral salts from water, you can use reverse osmosis technology. This process uses a holding tank, your household’s pressure, a sediment filter, a semi-permeable membrane and a carbon filter to remove most minerals and chemicals. This leaves your water pure, odorless and clear with a superior, quality taste.
Yet another water treatment system is distillation. With this system, the water is evaporated and condensed back into liquid form elsewhere, leaving behind all impurities in the water. Distilled water has various uses but you should not drink distilled water exclusively for a long period of time. Consult your water quality improvement professional or physician to discuss how much distilled water is safe to drink.
When you have “hard” water—water that has excessive minerals and gaseous and bacterial impurities—it can be “softened” by using various detergents, chemicals and other compounds. While water softening can often be expensive, the negative effects of hard water on pipes, tubing, appliances and even clothing may justify the expense. The most affordable method to “soften” water is by using an ion exchange softening system. Aside from its affordability, this water treatment system allows the consumer to utilize more natural types of cleaning products due to the water’s softness, saving the consumer even more money in the long run.
How to Choose the Right Water Treatment System
There are other types of water treatment systems that are commonly used to treat bottled water, such as ozonation and ultraviolet sterilization; however, there is no fixed standard for treating bottled water. Some companies use carbon filtration while others use reverse osmosis; and still, others may not treat the water at all. The treatment approach used usually depends on the quality of the source water and the type of taste the bottled water company is trying to achieve.
Much like bottled water companies, each resident will have to decide for themselves what type of treatment system they’ll use on their water. Each person will have a taste preference—some like the mineral taste of water, while others want a clean, crisp taste. Some will decide based on the water’s utility—soft water decreases wear on pipes, tubing, appliances and clothing and allows for the use of more natural cleaning products. Each resident will have to make his or her own choice, but knowing the difference between the different treatment technologies is key.