Why is water filtration important for city water?
The water supplied to your home or business, if it is municipal water, is treated and has to fall within the parameters set by regulated standards. That does not mean it is free from VOCs (volatile organic compounds) or that it does not have at least some things within it that you would not want to drink. It simply means it falls within the limits set by the EPA for certain contaminants. It comes in as drinkable or potable, but that does not mean that it is desirable to drink or that it won’t cause issues with your plumbing. Municipal water is treated with chlorine or chloramine (a mix of ammonia and chlorine) in order to keep it from harboring bacteria that can make you sick. This can cause issues with your plumbing and can cause it to taste bad.
Some issues caused by municipal water that can affect your plumbing are premature failure of rubber or plastic components, calcium build-up, and corrosion of certain types of pipe materials. Chlorine or chloramine is needed in order to disinfect the water, but once the water makes it to your property, the disinfectant has done its job. A whole house regenerating carbon filter can improve water quality and make it to where the water you drink, bathe or shower in, is of bottled water quality. That is because activated carbon filters will remove chlorine, chloramine, some heavy metals, and VOCs. With city-supplied water, VOCs can come from chlorine reacting with certain organic materials in water. One VOC that is caused by chlorine is THM (Trihalomethane) which can be carcinogenic. Activated carbon filters have proven to be very effective for removing this potential contaminant.
Many people think they aren’t affected by bad tasting or smelly municipal water because they do not drink it, but they do shower in it and use it to brush their teeth. A whole-house activated carbon filter is a great solution to this issue and can save the property owner money due to not having to buy bottled water and it will help your plumbing fixtures last much longer between repairs. Being able to drink, shower, wash your hair, and brush your teeth with carbon filtered water is a great benefit, especially for those with skin susceptible to issues caused by chlorine in the water. A common issue that chlorine causes is itchy skin after showering. This happens when the chlorinated water dries on the skin so with the chlorine removed, the itchiness caused by the chlorine is eliminated.
Another great benefit of the regenerating version of the carbon filter we offer is that the media (activated carbon) lasts much longer than the types of carbon filters used for refrigerators or point-of-use types. These types of carbon filters have cartridges that need to be replaced periodically once they become exhausted. With our regenerating carbon filter, the carbon is regenerated after a preset amount of water is used by a process that washes the media. What this means is, depending on usage, it may be 15-20 years before the media would need to be replaced. The valve head that controls the flow of water through the filter has a meter on it so it will know when to backwash. Basically, this filter is maintenance-free once it is installed. All it uses is a 110v outlet that uses very little electricity. Even if a power outage occurs, the filter continues to work, but until the power is restored, the meter won’t keep track of usage.
What about filtration systems for well water?
As far as well water goes, its quality is unknown and should be tested for various common contaminants so that the proper filter is installed. Some examples of things we find in well water is high levels of iron, manganese, calcium, and sulfur. All three of these things require a different type of filtration system in order to be removed effectively. Unfortunately, for well water, there is not a one-size-fits-all system. We do not want to guess as to what will work best for well water being the quality varies so getting the water tested at a lab is needed prior to deciding what filtration system is best.
A common issue on well water is bacteria. This type of issue needs to be dealt with by a disinfectant. As stated earlier, municipalities use chlorine, and many people use it for their wells, too. But, there is a better alternative to chlorine for disinfecting well water. UV (ultra-violet) filtration is a much better and less expensive alternative to chlorine. It does not add any chemicals to the water and only requires a bulb to be replaced once a year. Because it is passive, there are no concerns about chemicals in the water with a UV filter. It does not remove particulates or anything being it is simply a disinfectant. A whole house carbon filter or similar filter is highly recommended to be installed upstream of a UV filter in order to maintain the life and effectiveness of the UV filter. We have had great success in cleaning up well water for our customers and getting rid of bad taste and odor with a combination of an activated carbon filter and UV filter, but again, this is not always the solution.
Where will the carbon filter be installed? We can install these units in a convenient place like the garage or even outside and partially buried to keep it out of sight. As long as we connect to the cold water supply upstream of any fixtures, theoretically, the unit can be installed anywhere. Being the unit has a backwash cycle, a location for the drain to dump into has to be planned for. The water that comes out during the backwash cycle is clean and can simply dump onto the ground or any place that makes sense. The typical unit for a residential application is 10” wide by 54” high. It is installed separately from any lawn irrigation system so that it does not get used up prematurely. When we install a new system, we always install a by-pass valve system for future servicing. The unit does come with a by-pass built in but being they are installed on the head, it is a good idea to have a separate one with high-quality ball valves for controlling water flow. In the event the head needs to be serviced or removed for whatever purpose, a by-pass system is much better to accomplish this. The whole house carbon filter is great for residential use, though it can also be a great addition for a restaurant or hotel, for example, to help maintain the plumbing and for guests. Because we get our filters directly from the manufacturer, they can be customized for any need, large or small. If you want to clean up your water, give us a call for an on-site consultation.