Water filtration is a general term that refers to any system or process that is used to filter out particles and pollutants from water. It doesn't necessarily need to be a purifier to make the cut. Anything that removes any amount of particles, sediment, bacteria and removes the chlorine taste, can be called water filtration. If it has a filter of any type, it's a filtration system.
Filtration systems can include activated carbon charcoal filters either designed within a pitcher or included as part of a faucet-mount or tap-installed filter, Ultra Violet (UV) light units, reverse osmosis, water distillers (whole system or portable counter), or another form of water treatment process.
The term incorporates home filter systems, as well as much larger scale municipal or public water treatment plants. Some appliances are also designed with water filtration features such as refrigerator models which come with onboard filtered water/ice or freestanding water cooler/dispensers.
There are many different types of water filters available, and your buying decisions will be influenced by the present condition of your water. If it's not potable, you'll need a process to remove or destroy harmful bacteria, minerals, and pollutants for starters. Your local water expert is the best professional to help you evaluate your choices.
Once water testing has confirmed what is in your water, you will be given remedy options to make your drinking water safe (potable). Installation requirements and costs will be discussed, based on needs and whether you own your home or not. Today, there are many choices, and these systems are much more affordable than they were a decade ago.
Water does not need to qualify as not being potable, to benefit from some filtration system. One of the biggest consumer concerns is the chlorine taste left by town water treatment plants. It's a necessary evil that results from measures taken to make your drinking water safe. You can, however, add an economical and simple filter system to reduce that if you wish to.
A good alternative is also keeping a filtered water pitcher in the refrigerator.
Note that not all carbon filters (or larger units) have the same efficiency. There are differences in filtration layers or stages, as well as in quality of materials. That's where the product details should be reviewed, so you know what the product will do for your water.
The Pur New Advanced Faucet-Mount Water Filter featured is a good example of a simple measure to improve the quality of water. This is a popular choice for many because of its performance, easy install and affordable price.
Whether you choose a small filter or a large unit, maintenance is key to keeping that system working efficiently. That means routine filter changes by yourself or by your chosen water specialist. If you have hard water or for some reason, there is more sediment and particles in your water, it may require more frequent filter changes. Being proactive with care is an important part of any filtration process. Water filtration systems differ in size, price, installation, and efficiency, but they all in some way improve our water's quality. For more about drinking water, water filtration, water filters, how to make tap water drinkable, hard water tips and bottled water concerns, read Water 101.