Where you get filtered water for your household is very important. It can define what type of water filtration systems you might need, not only for drinking water, but also for overall use around the house. However, water delivery has many different considerations, which is the reason why you should always do your research about your local area’s water supply before you install your own water filtration systems.
Natural water sources can be divided into two general types:
In this case, the water being used comes from natural water sources above ground. In general, raw water has to be filtered for microorganisms, possibly harmful mineral or metal content, and even small particulates. This is part of why some local areas heavily chlorinate their water supply. Chlorination makes sure that as much of the biological concerns can be brought under control as possible.
However, natural aboveground water sources can be affected by pollution, anywhere from pollution brought in by natural precipitation (rain), to pollutants being dumped into the river from upstream.
Other sources of water can be from underground, though in this case, the extraction of water may be on a far more local or individual basis. In this case, if a place like a farm gets its drinking water from a well on-site, it’s a good idea to test the water first, and then install a whole-house filtration system that will be specifically designed to remove all possible harmful components in the water. This is particularly important if pollutants have already seeped into the underground water reserves.
It should be noted that ground water is linked to either a subterranean catch-basin (basically, an underground formation of impermeable minerals) or an underground river. In other cases, it’s possible that lush vegetation or forests can contribute to a watershed, where water is kept in the earth by the roots and other ecological actions of trees and other plants.
All kinds of natural water sources, while they are technically renewable, do require long-term environmental preservation strategies if they are to remain viable as water sources.
For community-wide water treatment, large facilities are usually used. In function, they are simply scaled-up versions of the filtration tanks that you use for your home water filter systems. Like smaller filter systems, they are also specifically designed for the type of water that they are supposed to treat. Unfortunately, the bigger issue here is that water quality changes over time, and environmental and man-made factors can change the filtration needs for a local body of water.
Large-scale water filtration systems sometimes cannot be upgraded fast enough to deal with these changes, or, in some cases, the upgrade simply can’t be done owing to many issues, such as budget, or design limitations.
One thing that most mass-treatment plants have that many smaller water filtrations don’t have, however, is the use of chlorination to treat the water. Unfortunately, when used in such large amounts, there is also the possibility that the chemical byproducts of chlorine in water will be present once the water reaches households – hence the reason why water filters may be necessary in houses.
Relatively recently, many companies have started offering drinking water as a marketable product. This is no surprise, given that while most treated and filtered water coming from water treatment plants may be harmless for external use, the water may barely be fit for human consumption, if at all.
Delivered or bottled drinking water, then, is essentially large-scale water treatment for water, filtered and treated for drinking. The source of the water can be the same as for water treatment plants, either from surface water sources, or underground ones. These specialized filtering facilities could also use specific filtering processes and materials to come up with a certain “taste” or quality that effectively functions as a form of branding for them.
If you are thinking of preparing anything more than water filter pitchers for your own home, then you should do the following:
From there, you can do further research to find out if there are some health concerns that should be addressed by water filtration and treatment in your own home.
Take water samples from the source (if possible) and from your own home’s tap water supply. Have a professional laboratory do a thorough analysis, so you will know what you’re supposed to filter out of the water. This can be anything from particulates to heavy metals, to excess levels of chlorine. You may also have to use filters that can remove unusual smells or tastes from the water, and perhaps even slight discolorations, even if these are nominally harmless to the human body.
Before you install water filters in your own home, find out, too, how much water volume you need. If you are a family of three, then perhaps all you need is a simple countertop water filter, or even a water filter pitcher, if there are very few or no serious issues with the local water supply. On the other hand, if your water supply has many contaminants, or if you have a big family, then an under-counter water filtration system or even a whole-house filtration system may be necessary.
You should also cost of installing a water filtration system, combined with the practicality of doing so. For example, if you live in an apartment, then your landlord may only allow water filter pitchers, or countertop water filters that can be attached to the faucet without permanent modifications. These kinds of filters should cost well below $100 normally.
However, once you go into larger-scale filtration options, do expect anywhere from $150 for under-counter water filters to practically $2000 for whole-house filtration systems. And that’s not counting your replacement of used filters over time.
Do remember that it is important to know where your water comes from, and what treatment and filtering steps (if applicable) it goes through before it comes out of your faucet.