Tap water in the UK is safe to drink, however, while the water may look clean, the reality is that it has to travel through pipelines before it reaches your home. This means that the water can easily pick up contaminants from agriculture like pesticides, fertilisers, industrial pollutants, car emissions, road surfaces, pharmaceuticals, personal care products and water treatment chemicals. Leading to a chemical concoction that may not be to your tastes.
How a Filter Helps
A water filter will be able to decrease the number of pollutants and provide you with much cleaner water. There are many ways to filter your water and each filtration system has its pros and cons. Below we will go through some of the most common filtration systems so you can get to grips with all the different types.
For starters, look for one that is certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), as this is an independent, non-profit group that tests and verifies the contaminant-reducing abilities of water filters. Another important fact to consider is when you filter your tap water you don’t want absolutely everything taken out. Our standard tap water is packed full of essential minerals like Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium that our body needs.
The Advantages of Using a Water Filter
Filters out Chlorine
Chlorine disinfects and is predominately used in swimming pools to combat bacteria, it's also the same in tap water. The chlorine is added to stop bacteria being picked up when travelling through the pipes that connect to your house. Nonetheless, Chlorine is not good for you even in small quantities. Chlorine has also been linked to cancer so the more we can prevent intaking it the better.
Preserve Water Quality
Filtering your water will remove the contaminants and when water goes bad it's usually the contaminants decaying. Filtering water takes away the substances that can rot or decay over time.
Tastier Food and Drink
Filtering your water before cooking can actually create tastier food because the natural taste is preserved better. Filtering will also alter the taste of the water, as sometimes you can taste a slight chlorine taste in your drink.
Different Filtration Methods
Depending on the area you live in, filtering your water can differ in importance. Big cities and environments with excessive pollution are more likely to benefit from filtering their water. Whether you choose to use a water pitcher or under the counter filter you will be reducing your carbon footprint especially if you tend to buy bottled water.
Activated Carbon Filters
This technique uses small pieces of carbon, that have been made to be extremely porous. The carbon then attracts and absorbs large particles like sediment and silt from your water. Depending on the size of the contaminants the filter removes, ranging from 50 microns to 0.5 microns, will depend on how effective the filter is. The smaller the contaminants the filter can remove the better, as this will be able to trap large and small particles.
Active carbon is very effective in removing chlorine and other chemicals that make your water taste odd. But It is important to note that carbon filters do not make your water pure. Below is what it can’t filter:
- Dissolved solids including minerals, salts or metals.
- Inorganic contaminants such as arsenic, asbestos and lead
Reverse Osmosis (RO) & UV Filters
Originally RO was developed as a way of separating seawater from salt, but now it is probably one of the most efficient ways of getting rid of a lot of contaminants, as your water will pass through 3 stages before it comes out of your tap.
As water enters the filter, its first stage is to be put through a pre-filter. This traps larger particles such as silt and sediment, just like a carbon filter would. After that, pressurised water is sent through the RO membrane which is the heart of the system. The semipermeable membrane is designed to remove a wide variety of contaminants. After passing through the membrane, the water goes into one more final filter where the odour and taste are removed, leaving you with clean tasteless water.
An RO filter can remove pesticides, bacteria, microplastics, microfibres, heavy metals, fluoride and other pollutants. As UV filters can only Disinfect water, they are usually paired with RO filters or Whole house systems (we will talk about this later) and are usually used if you are sourcing your own water that hasn’t be treated by water farms. A good advantage of a UV Filter is it can disinfectant the water without the need for additional chemicals or heat.
This filter or attachment is a system designed to remove/reduce calcium and magnesium from the water by exchanging it with sodium. Softeners do not remove chemical contamination themselves, but when placed with other water filtration systems they are very beneficial.
If you have hard water where you live you will know that it can cause several problems throughout your home, including clogged pipes, limescale and a decrease in soap lather. This issue can be treated with a water softener to reduce the negative impacts of hard water.
Many RO filters and Whole house systems come with a water softener. This is mainly because softening the water will protect and prolong the life of the RO filter and whole house system. A soft water attachment is advisable if you are thinking about a whole house filter or reverse osmosis filter as hard water can damage filters after prolonged use. This is because hard water has a lot more calcium and magnesium in it, which causes limescale over time.
Types of Water Filters
These types of water filters are great because they are tucked away out of sight. They do offer a very high-quality filtration but they usually require a professional to install them.
Aquasana OPTIMH2O Reverse Osmosis Filter
This domestic filtration system will remineralise your drinking water after filtering it. As well as remineralisation it also utilises reverse osmosis. By doing so it delivers maximum health benefits and hydration.
Aquasana AQ-5200P Undersink Filter
This filtration system allows you to neatly and easily install the water filter under the sink, with the added bonus of having a chrome push button tap for dispensing filtered water. The unique twin cartridge, three-stage filtration system uses a combination of carbon filtration, ion exchange, and sub-micron filtration.
These filters force water throughout the filtration process, which helps make water safer and tastier. By doing this it removes more contaminants than standard pitcher water filters. These filters still do a very good job, but they will take up room on your countertop and are a cheaper alternative to the under counter filters. Countertop systems require minimal installation as they are mainly made up of a small hose that isn’t a permanent fixture.
Aquasana AQ-4000 Countertop Filter
This filter has a unique filtration system, which uses a combination of carbon filtration, ion exchange, and sub-micron filtration. It can filter out 99.99% of Cryptosporidium and Giardia (chlorine resistant parasites) but still leaves in the natural trace minerals like calcium and magnesium. The filter will last for 500 gallons (2,300 litres) or 6 months.
Whole House Systems
This type of filter provides clean water for the whole house instead of just the kitchen faucets. You can expect clean water for drinking, cooking, washing laundry and clothes and bathing. These systems are great for long-term use and they usually use a 4 step process. The first step prevents clogging and blockages as it removes larger particulates, impurities, and contaminants in your water. This step traps anything that is about five microns in size. The filtered water from the first stage is then put through a chlorine removal process.
This process obviously removes the chlorine that is added in before it reaches your tap, but it also removes any other contaminant like water-soluble heavy metals and scale. Chlorine is added to our water to disinfect any contamination that has occurred. However, the smell and taste of chlorine can make your drinking water unpleasant. Activated charcoal is then used as the third step in filtering your water. This step can eliminate herbicides, pesticides, pharmaceuticals and other chemical compounds that may be present in your water.
Waste removal is the last step in a whole-house water filter system, where the remaining contaminants that have been removed from the incoming water in the previous three steps are flushed away.
Aquasana Rhino EQ-600 Whole House Filter
This filter follows the steps above to provide your home with safe clean water. If you are looking for a larger filtration system that will last a bit longer, we suggest taking a look at the EQ 1000. This whole house system lasts up to 10 years and features the same innovative upflow filtration design as our EQ-600. It also has a larger 20-inch pre-filter to protect your home from water contaminants and chemicals for up to 1,000,000 gallons.
Aquasana Rhino EQ-500-WELL Whole House Filter
The Rhino EQ-500 is designed for well water issues. In addition to removing everything else that the regular Rhino removes, it also removes large quantities of Iron, Sulphur, and Hydrogen Sulphide. The Rhino EQ-500 Well is an upgraded model of the original EQ-600. This model is specifically designed for our customers with well water issues and special water filtration needs.
Chlorine is used throughout your whole house and when you shower you are also washing with chlorine. This can often result in dry, irritated skin which can become itchy, but a shower filter will neutralise the chemicals, leaving your skin naturally subtle. The same goes for your hair. Whenever you’ve been swimming, you may notice your hair is dry and frizzy. This is because the chlorine strips the natural oils from your scalp that moisturise your hair. Shower filters can restore your hair’s natural shine and texture by increasing elasticity.
Aquasana AQ-4100 Shower Filter
The Aquasana shower filter helps your family enjoy bathing in filtered water with a simple attachment to your shower line. The unique two-stage shower filter system uses a combination of copper-zinc oxidation media and coconut shell carbon, to reduce 91% of the chlorine in your water. The Aquasana shower filter cartridges last 6 months or 10,000 gallons.