«With all the different types of water out there and the hype that goes with each, it can be very easy to get confused about which water is really best for your health. So, if you find yourself struggling with the environmental concerns of bottled water versus the potentially dangerous chemicals in tap water, I understand.
Unfortunately, not all of us live close to a mountain stream where we can fill up our water bottles and drink some of the best water on the planet for free – the way nature designed it. Most of us live in large urban areas and need to rely on commercial water distribution systems that are often loaded with chlorine, disinfection byproducts, fluoride, and many other toxins. Here's the sobering truth.
Every year, a greater number of contaminants are uncovered in public and private water supplies. And with each passing day, we learn more about how these substances have the potential to jeopardize your well-being. Let me ask you when was the last time you checked to ensure the water you and your family are drinking is truly safe? And I mean, really checked?
WHAT'S IN YOUR GLASS OF WATER?
If you're like most people, you probably take your drinking water for granted. You crack open a bottle or turn on the filter on your tap and pour yourself a nice tall glass of cool, sparkling water. Did you know that the cleanest-looking water isn't necessarily the healthiest? Sometimes, the greatest dangers with drinking water can't be seen, tasted, or even smelled. Impurities in your drinking water can come from a number of sources. There are many different toxic synthetic chemicals used in society today. And, unfortunately, the list grows longer every year. To make matters worse, even somenaturally occurring substances can be harmful when they end up in your drinking water.
Then there's the question of water treatment and the myriad contaminants that can result from the process of disinfection. Finally, distribution systems and pipes create hazards all on their own. To be sure, your drinking water is subject to many, many potential points of contamination. And honestly, these potential hazards can vary from water source to water source.
FIVE SOURCES OF WATER – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EACH
Tap Water – Easy, quick, convenient. But how many pollutants lurk in your water? And what is your associated health risk? More on this in just a moment…
Bottled Water – Did you know that 40% of bottled water is actually TAP WATER? With or without added filtration – you're paying through the nose for it. Worse, an independent test by the Environmental Working Group found arsenic, DPBs, and 36 other harmful pollutants hiding in bottled water.
Distilled Water – Use with caution… Long-term use can invite health problems, because its minerals are evaporated out. So to try to maintain mineral balance, it sucks minerals out of your body.
Alkaline Water –this water should be used for short-term detoxification only (1-2 weeks max). Additionally, the alkalinization process does not filter the water so you need to carefully evaluate the water filter for the specific alkaline water unit it's using.
Vitamin Waters – Don't be fooled. Vitamin waters can contain high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), artificial colors, additives, preservatives, and caffeine. Even worse they use distilled water to produce these products – which as you just read, is one of the worst types of water you can consume.»
THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF WATER FILTERS
ACTIVATED CARBON FILTERS
«Carbon filtering is a method of filtering that uses a bed of activated carbon to remove contaminants and impurities, using chemical adsorption.
Each particle/granule of carbon provides a large surface area/pore structure, allowing contaminants the maximum possible exposure to the active sites within the filter media. One pound (454 g) of activated carbon contains a surface area of approximately 100 acres (~40 Hectares).
Activated carbon works via a process called adsorption, whereby pollutant molecules in the fluid to be treated are trapped inside the pore structure of the carbon substrate.
Active charcoal carbon filters are most effective at removing chlorine, sediment, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), taste and odor from water. They are not effective at removing minerals, salts, and dissolved inorganic compounds.»
«Reverse osmosis (RO) is a water purification technology that uses a semipermeable membrane to remove ions, molecules, and larger particles from drinking water. In reverse osmosis, an applied pressure is used to overcome osmotic pressure, a colligative property, that is driven by chemical potential differences of the solvent, a thermodynamic parameter.
Reverse osmosis can remove many types of dissolved and suspended species from water, including bacteria, and is used in both industrial processes and the production of potable water. The result is that the solute is retained on the pressurized side of the membrane and the pure solvent is allowed to pass to the other side.
To be "selective", this membrane should not allow large molecules or ions through the pores (holes), but should allow smaller components of the solution (such as solvent molecules) to pass freely.
In the normal osmosis process, the solvent naturally moves from an area of low solute concentration (high water potential), through a membrane, to an area of high solute concentration (low water potential). The driving force for the movement of the solvent is the reduction in the free energy of the system when the difference in solvent concentration on either side of a membrane is reduced, generating osmotic pressure due to the solvent moving into the more concentrated solution.
Applying an external pressure to reverse the natural flow of pure solvent, thus, is reverse osmosis. The process is similar to other membrane technology applications. However, key differences are found between reverse osmosis and filtration.
The predominant removal mechanism in membrane filtration is straining, or size exclusion, so the process can theoretically achieve perfect efficiency regardless of parameters such as the solution's pressure and concentration.
Reverse osmosis also involves diffusion, making the process dependent on pressure, flow rate, and other conditions.Reverse osmosis is most commonly known for its use in drinking water purification from seawater, removing the salt and other effluent materials from the water molecules»
«Distillers are great at removing most chemical and biological contaminants. They work by evaporating water into a chamber where it cools and can be used. All of the contaminants are left in the bottom chamber and are flushed from the system.
The problem with distillers are their high cost and low volume output. They also require a lot of electricity to run. Most distillers are available as countertop models and may be the best option if your drinking water has numerous quality issues.
Water filters are an excellent investment depending on the quality of water in your home. Keep in mind that most of these options should be installed by a professional and require some upkeep, so be sure to research your filter completely before buying one.»
«These filters use a process known as electrolysis. What this means is the water is passed over plates which are electrically charged, and it’s separated into two streams. One is alkaline and the other is acidic.
Not only do you get softer water as a result, water that’s low in acidity is much better for your skin as well.
These types of filters are possibly one of the newest technologies on the market. When ultraviolet radiation is used to treat water, it has the ability to destroy various bacteria that can be damaging to your health.
If you want a more environmentally friendly way of purifying your water, this filter may well be the answer because it doesn’t need any chemicals or additional heat to be effective.
As with alkaline filters, this technology is used to help soften your water, so if you live in a hard water area, infrared technology will help. Much like alkaline filters, infrared uses heat and light to negatively charge the water, and give it a softer feel.»