What are the Different Types of Water Purification Systems?

A reverse osmosis system uses a semi-permeable filter and water pressure to purify water.
A lack of access to purified water is a major issue in many third world countries.
Reverse osmosis water filters remove most harmful chemicals.
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  • Written By: Margo Upson
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 14 August 2014
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Water purification systems have become a necessity in many parts of the world due to pollution and other contaminants in drinking water supplies. A water filter removes impurities from the water. Different types of water filters do this in different ways.

Distillers are one kind of water purification system. They work by heating the water up until turns into a vapor. When the steam cools, in a different area of the filter, it condenses back into water. This is one of the best ways to get very pure water. Some people, however, feel that distilled water tastes “flat,” as the oxygen has been largely removed by the distilling process. Distilling cannot remove chemicals that have the same boiling point as water, such as ammonia. They are a very slow type of filter, often only able to clean around three liters of water an hour.

Water purification systems may also work through reverse osmosis. This is one of the most widely used methods of water filtering. The water is sent through two different liquids, separated by a permeable film which only allows water to pass through on a molecular level. The water then finishes passing through the system, leaving all impurities behind. Because oxygen also travels through the filter, the water is not flat'tasting. However, this system is also slow, and requires professionals to change the filters on a regular basis.


Whole house water purification systems are another option. These systems use a cartridge to filter the water, and work much faster than other filtering models. This type of filter also usually contains a water softener. They get hooked to incoming water pipes, and provide clean water for the entire house.

Some water purification systems can be used on specific faucets, like the under-faucet filter. This water filter is hooked up to water pipes as they go into the faucet. The water is purified before it reaches the tap. It is easy to both install and change the filters on this type of system.

Other popular types of water purification systems include faucet water filters. These filters are screwed right into a kitchen faucet, and clean the water as it comes out. Most can be switched on and off, and some even allow for different types of sprays, such as stream or shower. Cartridges are fairly inexpensive and easy to change. A similar type of water filter is a jug or pitcher that filters water, and then stores it until it is needed. In most of these, the water is poured in through the top of the filter. It then works its way downward, being filtered, until it is released into the reservoir.

Water purification systems are available to fit almost any budget. They can be used to filter the water for an entire home, or just for a single cup of water. Water filters are even available for water bottles, allowing people to enjoy clean water no matter where they go. Water filters remove many of the dangerous contaminants in water supplies, providing people with clean and fresh water for both drinking and cooking.


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