Amid the hustle and bustle of modern life, finding pure drinking water has become one of the most pressing concerns. As a result, new methods and techniques for purifying drinking water have emerged. In some parts of the world contamination of water is more severe than its scarcity.
We’ll share a few tips on how to purify your tap water in this article so you can have pure drinking water without concern.
Common Contaminants of Water
Before we look for ways to purify the water we need to know who we are fighting against. We can describe the contaminants of water categorically and generally.
Contaminants in Category:
There are four major types of elements that can make our drinking water impure. They are:
Contaminants in General:
The following elements are most common to find in our drinking water:
- Bacteria & Viruses
Even the super valuable elements like uranium and radium can turn to be toxic (such as kidney inflammation, change in urine composition, and even cancer due to their radioactive properties) when mixed into our drinking water.
How Dangerous They Can be?
Looking at the statistics on the water pollution around the world (killing 1.8 million people only in 2015 and making 1 billion seriously sick with a variety of diseases each year) we might very well come to the blunt conclusion that polluted water is the most dangerous killer (which, in turn, passively confirms that we’re deliberately killing ourselves!)
a person drinking polluted water regularly can develop the following health issues:
- hormone disruption
- altered brain function
- damageTrusted Source to immune and reproductive systems
- cardiovascular and kidney problems
Is there anything left that we can count as healthy?
Ways To Purify Drinking Water
Modern technology has presented us with various ways to purify our drinking water. However, not all of them are applicable or, for some people, affordable.
Here are some of the most common and most applicable methods of purifying your home drinking water.
One of the most effective forms of purifying drinking water filtration involves both chemical and physical processes to clean water from various contaminating agents. There are mainly five types of filtration methods:
- Mechanical Filters: This method uses one or more porous layers which allow water to flow through, and block the tiniest microbes. There are standards or ratings of pores for filtration like 5 microns, 1 micron and .5 micron removing all kinds of bodies that are mixed, and not dissolved, in water.
- Absorption Filters: This method uses mostly carbon. As carbon has, internally, many nooks and crannies that absorb most of the chemical impurities like chlorine. Granular activated carbon (GAC) is used in most common domestic filters. Carbon block elements are a little expensive and can effectively remove microparticles. So, a carbon filtered water system might be an excellent solution for purifying tap water.
- Sequestration Filters: This is a process of chemically isolating contaminants from water so that they do not remain in the water in any harmful form. In the most common sequestration process, food-grade polyphosphate is used in a way so that elements like magnesium and calcium don’t cause any corrosion.
Sequestration is not as useful as ion exchange.
- Ion Exchange Filters: Unlike scale inhibition used in the sequestration process, ion exchange ‘really’ softens the hard water and reduces limescale.
- Reverse Osmosis Filters: This method is used to filter dissolved solids like magnesium and calcium from the water. In this process, a special semipermeable membrane is used to flow water through it under pressure resulting in a kind of absorption of the dissolved metals and nonmetals and the clean water passing through it.
This is a low-cost and effective method where moderate chlorine concentration (typically 4% to 6% for household purposes) is used to eliminate a variety of contaminants.
After applying two drops for a liter and eight drops for a gallon you need to wait about half an hour for the chlorine to kill the microbial waterborne pathogens. But some viruses and parasites like norovirus and Giardia are genetically protective enough to withstand the chlorine invasion for a long time, calling for the waiting period to extend up to 1 hour.
Chlorine tablets are useful for those who travel a lot.
This system involves concentrating the ultraviolet ray to kill almost all kinds of viruses, bacteria, molds and parasites. More powerful than chlorination and all other purification processes, it had long been used by water purifying authorities, but now it has been made available for home use also.
It takes the least amount of time to purify water. The only demerit of this process is it cannot remove heavy metals from water.
The oldest known method of boiling water is the safest because almost all the germs that can make us sick get killed at the boiling temperature of water (generally 100oC or 212oF). You’ll need to keep your water boiling at a high temperature for a couple of minutes to ensure the micro-villains are dead. Some devices, like a pressure cooker and electric heater, can get the temperature even higher, up to 120oC (248oF) leaving no harmful microbes alive.
Altitude matters here. If you live in high altitudes (about half a mile above the sea level), you need to keep it boiling a couple of minutes longer because water boils at a lower temperature at high altitudes.
After completion of the boiling process, all you need is to keep your drinking water covered.
Curiously, boiled water doesn’t remove some heavy metals dissolved into it but, during the cooling process, the metals are deposited as sediment, which can be easily removed using other methods or just by collecting water from the upper level.
Boiled water can only remove solids and bacteria. To remove substances like lead and chlorine you need to apply filtration.
Along with the advancement of technology newer methods and systems of water purification are being introduced at short intervals. A recent study claims that certain researchers at cutting-edge water purification technology have turned seawater into drinkable water. So, finding the best solution should not be a big deal for us.