Everything You Need to Know About Water Filtration and Why it Matters
Water is often referred to as the building block of life, and for good reason – there’s simply no substance more valuable to human survival than water. Having access to clean, pure water that’s free from harmful contaminants is essential not only for our health, but for the well-being of the environment too. However, many water sources are polluted with various toxins including chemicals, pesticides, and heavy metals that are dangerous for humans and the environment alike. Fortunately, water filtration provides an effective solution to this problem, removing harmful impurities and contaminants and leaving clean, pure, and safe drinking water. However, when it comes to water filtration, there are several things you should know to ensure that you choose the best system for your needs.
We’ve all been there: taking a sip of drinking water, only to grimace from the unpleasant taste. While filtered water tastes clean and fresh, unfiltered water often reeks of chemicals, sulfur, or saltiness. However, water filtration does more than simply improve the taste of your drinking water – it provides various health and safety benefits too, such as reducing harmful chemicals and bacteria and protecting you from dangerous waterborne diseases. Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits that come from filtering your water.
One of the primary benefits of water filtration is the ability to remove harmful contaminants from our drinking water. There are a variety of contaminants that can be found in our water supply including chlorine, lead, and various organic chemicals. These contaminants can cause a range of health issues including headaches and nausea, and even long-term health problems like cancer. By removing these harmful contaminants, water filtration helps reduce the risk of illness and promotes better overall health.
Unfiltered water often has an unpleasant taste, which can make it less appealing to drink. Water filtration helps by improving the taste and smell of drinking water. Because filtered water is more enjoyable to drink, you’re more likely to consume the recommended daily quantity, which is more beneficial for your overall health.
Another benefit of water filtration is that it’s an environmentally friendly option for improving the quality of our drinking water. Water filtration systems reduce the need for bottled water, which is often produced using unsustainable methods and contributes to plastic waste in our environment. Overall, water filtration is a critical aspect of ensuring that our drinking water is clean and free from harmful contaminants. With its ability to remove impurities and improve the taste and smell of water, water filtration helps promote better health and a more sustainable future for our planet.
Now that you understand the basics of water filtration, it’s time to consider what type of water filtration system is best for you. When it comes to choosing the right water filtration media, it’s important to consider your specific needs and circumstances. Different types of filtration media have varying benefits and capabilities, so whether you’re looking for a residential or commercial water filtration system, it’s important to choose a filtration system that fits your needs.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common types of water filtration media, along with the benefits of each.
One of the most common types of filtration media is activated charcoal, which is known for its effectiveness at removing impurities. But what is activated charcoal, and how does it work?
Activated charcoal is a form of carbon that has been treated with oxygen to make it highly porous and effective at absorbing impurities in water. This filtration media is commonly used in water filtration systems because of its ability to remove chlorine, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and other chemicals that can affect the taste and odor of water.
Activated charcoal is also effective at removing bacteria and other microorganisms from water, making it a popular choice for residential and commercial water filtration systems alike. There are several different types of activated charcoal available, each with unique benefits.
- Coconut shell activated charcoal: Made from coconut shells, coconut shell activated charcoal is known for its high surface area and effectiveness at removing impurities.
- Hardwood activated charcoal: Another common type is hardwood activated charcoal, which is made from hardwood trees, making it highly hardy, durable, and perfect for industrial applications.
Microfiltration is another popular type of water filtration, which uses a membrane to remove impurities and contaminants from water. This process is effective in removing bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms from water, making it a popular choice for drinking water systems in both residential and commercial settings. Here’s a quick look at some of the most common microfiltration membranes:
- Ceramic membrane: Ceramic membrane is one of the most popular types of microfiltration membranes, known for its high durability and resistance to chemicals and other contaminants.
- Polymeric membrane: Made from synthetic materials, polymeric membrane is commonly used in water treatment systems due to its effectiveness in removing impurities.
Although water filtration is most commonly known for purifying drinking water, it also plays a crucial role in addressing the environmental and health impacts of chemical spills. Over the past several decades, various states across the U.S. have witnessed numerous chemical spill incidents, which can contaminate water sources and pose serious risks to human health. By understanding chemical spills and the importance of water filtration in addressing them, we can gain a better understanding of the measures needed to protect our water sources and prevent future spills from occurring. Here’s a look at some of the most notable chemical spills in states across the U.S. over the past 50 years.
- February 23, 1971: A pipeline rupture in San Gabriel, California released approximately 200,000 gallons of crude oil into the Aliso Creek and San Gabriel River.
- February 13, 1976: A train derailment in San Bernardino, California released approximately 19,000 gallons of anhydrous ammonia, a toxic gas, causing one fatality and injuring dozens.
- July 17, 1976: A pipeline rupture in Carson, California released approximately 375,000 gallons of crude oil into the Dominguez Channel and the Los Angeles Harbor.
- January 25, 1983: A tanker truck accident on the Golden State Freeway in Los Angeles, California released approximately 7,500 gallons of hydrochloric acid, causing injuries and evacuations.
- March 24, 1989: The Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska resulted in the release of approximately 11 million gallons of crude oil, much of which ultimately reached the shores of California.
- August 5, 1995: A train derailment in Dunsmuir, California released approximately 19,000 gallons of diesel fuel into the Sacramento River.
- June 14, 1997: A truck accident in Oroville, California spilled approximately 4,000 gallons of sulfuric acid onto Highway 70.
- November 7, 2002: A storage tank failure in Avila Beach, California released approximately 2,000 gallons of crude oil into the Pacific Ocean.
- November 7, 2007: A tanker truck accident on the Golden State Freeway in Los Angeles, California released approximately 8,000 gallons of gasoline, causing a large fire and resulting in injuries and evacuations.
- May 19, 2015: A pipeline rupture in Santa Barbara County, California released approximately 100,000 gallons of crude oil into the Pacific Ocean, causing significant environmental damage.
- October 9, 1971: A train derailment in Goliad, Texas released approximately 11,000 gallons of liquid propane, causing a fire and resulting in multiple fatalities and injuries.
- January 28, 1980: A storage tank failure in Pasadena, Texas released approximately 26,000 gallons of benzene into a nearby ditch and the Houston Ship Channel.
- December 20, 1984: A pesticide plant explosion in Bhopal, India released approximately 40 tons of toxic methyl isocyanate gas, killing thousands and injuring many more. The plant was owned by Union Carbide Corporation, which had a large presence in Texas.
- July 5, 1987: A pipeline rupture in Odessa, Texas released approximately 3,000 gallons of crude oil into the Pecos River.
- March 24, 1989: The Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska resulted in the release of approximately 11 million gallons of crude oil, much of which ultimately reached the shores of Texas.
- October 16, 1991: A train derailment in San Antonio, Texas released approximately 10,000 gallons of hazardous chemicals, including hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide.
- July 5, 1994: A train derailment in South Houston, Texas released approximately 19,000 gallons of ethylene dichloride and other hazardous chemicals, causing a fire and resulting in evacuations.
- September 1, 2000: A pipeline rupture in Carlsbad, Texas released approximately 18,000 gallons of crude oil into the nearby San Solomon Springs, a popular swimming and recreation area.
- March 23, 2005: A train derailment in McCallum, Texas released approximately 4,000 gallons of hydrochloric acid, resulting in a large-scale evacuation and cleanup effort.
- April 17, 2013: An explosion and fire at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas released approximately 40 tons of ammonium nitrate, killing 15 and injuring hundreds more.
- December 22, 1972: A train derailment in Memphis, Tennessee resulted in the release of approximately 65,000 gallons of propane and butane, causing a massive explosion and resulting in multiple fatalities and injuries.
- December 31, 1985: A train derailment in Maryville, Tennessee released approximately 4,000 gallons of anhydrous ammonia, causing evacuations and multiple injuries.
- December 21, 1988: A barge collision on the Tennessee River near Chattanooga, Tennessee released approximately 3,000 gallons of hazardous chemicals, including ethylene glycol and propylene glycol.
- December 22, 1988: A pipeline rupture in Harriman, Tennessee released approximately 8,000 gallons of jet fuel into the Emory River, resulting in a large-scale cleanup effort.
- October 11, 1990: A train derailment in Rockwood, Tennessee released approximately 17,000 gallons of a mixture of hazardous chemicals, including acetone and toluene.
- July 29, 2008: A train derailment in Maryville, Tennessee released approximately 2,400 gallons of hydrochloric acid, causing a large-scale evacuation and cleanup effort.
- December 22, 2008: A coal ash spill at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston Fossil Plant released approximately 5.4 million cubic yards of coal ash and contaminated water into the Emory River, resulting in significant environmental damage and health concerns for nearby communities.
- July 2, 2015: A train derailment and subsequent fire in Maryville, Tennessee released approximately 30,000 gallons of acetone and other hazardous chemicals, causing a large-scale evacuation and cleanup effort.
In light of the many incidents of chemical spills across various states, implementing water filtration systems is not simply a need – it’s a necessity. The use of advanced filtration technologies, combined with proactive measures such as early warning systems and strict regulations, can help prevent the occurrence of chemical spills and minimize their impact on the environment and our health. Water filtration is an essential tool when it comes to safeguarding our health and ensuring access to safe drinking water for everyone.
Do you have questions about water filtration or water testing in your area? Clean Water Pros offers water filtration installation services for commercial and residential clients across the U.S. Reach out to us today to learn more.