When it comes to drinking water, many of us feel some sort of complacency that water flowing through our faucets is safe from Contamination. But is it the case? If so then why on the other hand, many people are too much concerned with the probable presence of several impurities which include heavy metals, fluoride, biological contaminants, and chemical contaminants in their household or drinking water? What are the several modern technologies available to purify the water we drink or use? Let’s know some of these technologies from this article.
Modern Water Treatment Technologies
Since drinking pure water is a pre-condition of staying healthy, scientists around the world took it to challenge to ensure safe drinking water. The outcome of their relentless scientific effort is below new modern water treatment methods
1. RO Purification
People who can still remember their high school chemistry lesson know what is osmosis? It is a process by which molecules of solvent pass through a semipermeable membrane from a less dense solution to a less concentrated part. Reverse means the opposite. In the reverse osmosis system, water flows from a more concentrated solution through the RO membrane to the less concentrated part of the solution producing clean, contaminants free water.
In a reverse osmosis system, water is pre-filter to remove chlorine and sediment from it. Water is then forced through a semipermeable membrane to get rid of dissolved solids. When water leaves the RO membrane, it then undergoes a post-filter process before entering into a faucet. A reverse osmosis system could be divided into several stages. A system could include how many stages depends on the number of pre-filters and post-filters.
Though RO is the most widely used water purification system, but it is not completely free of limitations. There are two drawbacks of RO purification- it changes the taste of water and is responsible for removing some essential minerals from water. However, some manufacturers claimed that their RO water purifiers retain necessary minerals during the filtration process
2. Fluoride Water Filters
Before starting my discussion regarding this type of water filter, let’s give you some insights about fluoride. Fluoride is not a harmful substance at all. It’s a mineral that is found freely in the earth’s crust. If a small amount of fluoride is added to the drinking water, it is scientifically proven that it strengthens teeth and prevents decay. According to the world health organization, the acceptable level of fluoride in water is 0.5 to 1.5mg/liter of water. Proven health benefits of Fluoride convinced municipalities in the US to add this mineral in the household water supply. But people started to concerned with fluoridewhen several harmful effects of presence of excess of this mineral in drinking water were discovered. Below are those damaging effects
- Dental Fluorosis-
- Skeletal Fluorosis
- Thyroid Hitches
- Neurological Obstacles
The good news is there are fluoride water filters in the market to remove this mineral from drinking water.
3. UV Purification
This water purification system uses ultraviolet light to kill germs like bacteria, cysts, and microbes in water. UV light is invisible to the human eye. It can destroy 99.99% of pathogens dissolved in water. UV light has other practical applications. It is used in Infrared saunas to warm our body in winter. The UV purification process is a small mercury lamp installed inside the purifier. This light produces UV radiation. These radiations lighten the water, penetrate through the cells of viruses and bacteria, and destroy their reproducing ability. As these microorganisms lose their replication ability, they failed to proliferate and eventually die. UV radiations are quite effective killing germs but they can’t remove bodies of these germs from the water. A separate filtration process is required to remove impotent germs from the water. This is why UV water purification of water can’t work as a stand-alone process of purification. It incorporates other forms of filtration system like reverse osmosis and activated carbon filters.
4. UF Purification
Similar to the reverse osmosis process, UF purification also uses membrane but the pores of the membrane of this process are much bigger. This membrane can remove colloidal particles including pathogenic organisms as well as turbidity but unable to discard dissolved salt from water. The colloidal particles are microscopic solid particles which are 1 nanometer to 1 micrometer. If the supplied water to the house does not too much hard or the TDS level is significantly low, UF purification of water is equally effective as a reverse osmosis system. TDS refers to the total concentration of dissolved substances in water. Dissolved substances of water include both organic matter and inorganic salts. Inorganic salts are calcium, magnesium and sodium, carbonates, bicarbonates, chlorides, nitrates, and, sulfates.
5. Activated Carbon Filter
As the name implies, this water purification system uses activated carbon filters to purify water. The carbon filters are quite effective to remove high amounts of inorganic materials like chlorine as well as pesticides but failed to remove microbes from drinking water. This system of purification alters the odor and taste of water. This purification system requires no electricity to keep the filtration system up and running.