3rd March 2014
Image Credit: Zeeweez via Flickr (Attribution Licence)
There’s one more reason to call ourselves the lucky country: Australians can be sure that our tap water supply is high quality and safe to drink. There are strict drinking water guidelines that authorities follow to make sure that the water supply remains free of harmful chemicals or micro-organisms.
Nonetheless, some Australians notice that the filtration, coagulation, and disinfection processes used by water authorities lead to the presence of unwanted taste and odour. For this reason, many choose to install a water filter in their home or office.
How Water Filters Work
Your water supply contains tiny particles in various sizes and shapes, including rust, cysts, asbestos fibres, and sediment. Water filters create a barrier to trap these particles before they flow out from your tap. Filtration barriers come in a variety of ratings, which refer to the size of the particles they trap, measured in microns.
Some water filters on the market may also improve water odour and taste, remove chlorine, or soften hard water.
Types of Water Filters Available
Water filters fall into three categories: activated carbon filters, distillers/reverse osmosis filters, and ceramic and polypropylene filters. They can be standalone jugs, tap-mounted units, counter-top filters or professionally installed models under the sink.
Activated carbon filters deal with chemicals such as disinfecting agents, manganese, and chlorine. They introduce carbon into the stream to control these chemicals. Carbon has pores that are good for absorbing chlorine and unwanted odours or tastes. Carbon comes in powder form, granules, or blocks that are formed into a cartridge.
Distillers/reverse osmosis filters remove the majority of undesired chemicals and are also successful in removing bacteria. The water is passed through a thin and sensitive membrane under a very high pressure. On the negative side, reverse osmosis filters consume a lot of energy and may result in lots of water wastage.
In distillers, ceramic and polypropylene fibres form a tight mesh screen that isolates and separates foreign particles from the water flow, and may also soften calcified water. You’ll find disposable filters or replaceable cartridges.
What to Watch Out For When Choosing a Water Filter
Uncertified water filters may not meet the strict industry standards imposed by water authorities, making it essential that you check for certification when selecting a model. If you’re in doubt of which solution to install into your residential or commercial property, call our certified plumbers on 1800 862 565.