Reverse osmosis systems rely on a membrane to separate the contaminates within the water to produce pure water. Its a bit like sifting flour through a sieve. The water is forced through the membrane. The membrane will only let water molecule size particles through the membrane, which can be as low as 1 nano meter. Anything larger is flushed to waste water.
Typical reverse osmosis systems will have a sediment filter, an activated carbon pre filter to capture organic chemicals and chlorine. Chlorine can attack the membrane and cause damage. They may have an additional sediment filter, the reverse osmosis membrane. Some systems can have a post carbon filter to capture chemicals not removed and an optional ultra violet light to neutralize any microbes that may have gotten through the membrane.
The benefits of reverse osmosis systems are your water will have very little toxic metals, toxic chemicals and pathogens. The problems with RO water is the low ph level, which has an acidic effect on the body, lack of trace minerals and the amount of waste water produced.
Cartridge Water Filter
Cartridge filter systems can be single or multi stage filter systems. Single systems can have, sediment, carbon, carbon silver, or multi element filters.
Cartridge water filter systems come in many shapes and sizes from tiny one use only to industrial size. The majority of people use something between a small carbon filter on a drink bottle to a multi stage whole of house system.
The water bottles with the filters installed are great for around work and on the go. The gallon containers that go in the fridge and the single cartridge unit fitted to your tap are viable options for people who have limited space or unable to install an under sink system.
Under sink multi stage filter systems are great permanent systems to install which provide highly filtered water without the waste of reverse osmosis systems. They are easy to use and depending on the size of the filters used can be very economical.
One issue with cartridge systems is the water sits in the filter cartridges for a while depending on usage. This can potentially lead to bacteria buildup. One way to overcome this is to have a carbon filter that has a silver thread through the carbon.
Gravity Water Filter System
Gravity filtration systems utilize gravity to filter the water. The filter material can be the same as that used in the cartridge filter systems or it can be a ceramic filter. Gravity filtration systems can be bench top models, fridge models or stand alone water cooler models.
Gravity systems have 2 water chambers. The first is where the unfiltered water is placed and the second chamber collects the filtered water. The speed at which the water is filtered is dependent on the type of filter used. Generally speaking the faster it processes the water the less contaminates are removed.
The main issues with gravity systems is cleaning of the filter and cleaning of the whole unit. Cleaning of the filter will extend its life but will need to be replaced at some stage. If the unit is not cleaned regularly then there is potential for bacteria to build up in the filtered water.
The advantages of this system is you can filter your water over night and it is ready to drink the next day. No power is required. There is no wastage of water, and depending on the filter, a high amount of impurities can be removed.
Whole house water filtration
Whole house filtration is the installation of a filtration system into your house main water supply. The benefits of this are your water supply to all area’s of the house has the impurities removed. This is particularly important if you are trying to reduce your bodies toxic burden from environmental factors, like having a shower.
Your skin is your biggest organ and it will readily absorb nutrients and toxins through surface contact and this includes when you are showering or bathing.
Installing a whole house system will usually require a licensed plumber to install the unit. There are 2 choices which can be used and these are cartridge filtration system or a reverse osmosis system. The cartridge system will have minimal effect on your water flow and will remove a large amount of contaminates. The Reverse Osmosis system will require a storage tank and pump. The majority of whole house systems are the cartridge system.