When it comes to the basic human need to be able to drink pure water from the supply to your home, there are far too many cases of it becoming contaminated with the many pollutants created by the various industries we all have to live with. Luckily, there are extremely efficient filtration systems that can remove those pollutants and restore the drinking water to the state for which it was intended, that of drinking safely.
There are many different types of household filters available from a whole host of manufactures. They can be installed centrally in homes to filter the whole house mains supply, or they can be installed in the kitchen to just filter the drinking water.
That last system is the most affordable and in many cases the most sensible option. Units can be fitted on counter tops, or beneath counters and it is the fitted filters that we are looking at here.
What Bad Stuff is In the Drinking Water?
Drinking water in most areas is reasonably clean and safe to drink, although it will contain some pollutants that are generally below the World Health Organization (WHO) safe limits. These pollutants can range from certain bacteria (of which there are many water borne strains, most of which are harmless).
There is chlorine and fluorine present in varying amounts, although mostly below safe limits. In some areas there are higher levels of calcium which is naturally occurring. Although safe to drink, high levels of calcium have a tendency to fur up hot water pipes and damage heating elements such as those found in washing machines, electric kettles, electric heaters etc.
There are also certain heavy metals present in drinking water at low levels such as lead, aluminium, zinc, iron, mercury etc that can work their way into the supply, usually after seeping down into the water table from land-fill sites. That's right folks, the trash you throw away is coming right back at you!
Depending upon where your supply comes from, it could also be contaminated with agricultural pesticides, herbicides and fungicides which leech through the soil and into the water table. The long term dangers of the cocktail of chemicals that farmers spray onto crops and the soil is not yet known, although you can probably safely bet that the prognosis will not be good.
Other contaminates that find their way into drinking water are human and animal feces, urine and other bodily fluids as well as those from aquatic life forms such as fish, insect larvae and whatever else lives in your local reservoir. It sounds bad but levels are pretty low as to generally not be a problem, although in areas where there is a high population of rats which carry certain diseases such as Weil's disease, there is no telling how bad the water will be affected and there doesn't seem to be any published data to obtain verification.
Just trust that wherever you are in the world, you are not further away than six feet from a rat!
Most of this information can be obtained from your local authority and the presence of and levels of most contaminates should be published and available to the general public.
Home Water Filters
There are several types of domestic water filters and the kind that fits neatly under the kitchen sink is a very good way to ensure the safety and cleanliness of the water that you and your family will drink.
Under sink filters work on a reverse osmosis filter system which first filters water through a variety of course filters to remove larger particulates such as heavy metals, calcium and other particles that are in solution. Next a finer filter with active ingredients in is used to remove chlorine, urine and other polluting chemicals, such as certain pesticides. Then finally the filter forces the water through a super fine membrane that removes the smaller particulates such as bacteria.
These filters are very efficient at removing most pollutants, although they are not totally effective against all pollutants and extremely low levels of some chemicals may still get through. But these will have been reduced in proportion to such a low level so as to be negligible in most cases.
The benefits to your family's health are obvious, especially with regards to certain water borne bacteria that in some areas have caused outbreaks of gastric related illnesses in supposedly highly advanced countries like the UK, Germany, Japan and the USA.
Disclaimer: While it's true that no water supply anywhere in the world is completely 100% free of all pollutants, the majority of drinking water in most countries is generally tested regularly and certified safe to drink. Domestic filters considerably reduce the risk from drinking water that may from time to time contain higher levels of certain contaminates that is often beyond the control of the water authorities, who do their best to ensure a clean pure water supply for the populace under their jurisdiction.
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