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Improving the Quality of Water

Though 75 percent of the surface of our planet is covered with water, many areas of the world face critical shortages of clean drinking water. Much of the natural supply of potable water that is accessible faces stress from a growing world population. Especially the major population centers in developing nations without well established waste treatment or water treatment infrastructures often suffer from epidemics of waterborne diseases. In such areas, raw sewage often directly contaminates the rivers and streams used for drinking, washing, and cooking. Unchecked industrialization often leads to water contamination through improperly disposed chemical wastes.

Some good news about this problem is that individuals can take control of their own water quality, and treat their water for nearly all biological & chemical contaminants, unpleasant tastes, colours and odours.

Point of use and point of entry water treatment equipment can effectively treat the water used in the home, by a small community, or business.

Point of use equipment treats the water that is used at a single tap, while the rest of the water in the building remains untreated. Point of use equipment is primarily used to treat drinking and cooking water for health contaminants like bacteria, lead etc. and aesthetic contaminants like sulphur and chlorine.

Point of entry equipment treats most or all of the water before it is distributed in the building. The point of entry equipment treats for health contaminants like volatile organic compounds that can be absorbed through the skin, or contaminants like radon which exist as a harmful vapor suspended in the water that can be inhaled during showering. It is used for whole house water filtering and softening, which inhibits scale formation in plumbing while increasing the efficiency and longevity of water related appliances like water heaters.

There are many effective technologies used to provide point of use and entry treatment solutions but no single technology is effective for treating all of the possible contaminants. A specific technology or combination of technologies is usually applied to treat the specific problem at hand.

A typical domestic bacteria free chemical containment filter system may consist of:

  1. A coarse or medium particulate size first stage prefilter. This prefilter is especially necessary if the water contains a lot of suspended impurities.
  2. A fine particulate size second stage filter.
  3. An activated carbon adsorption filter to remove chemical contaminants and unwanted odours.
  4. An ultraviolet sterilization unit to kill bacteria and other micro organisms. Amongst the more significant of the harmful bacteria that need to be killed are Salmonella typhi (the cause of typhoid fever) and Faecal coliform (a sewage indicator).

Wound cartridge filters

Different levels of performance can be found between the various brands of products using each technology. If a product is to be used to treat a health contaminant, it is important that the specific product be tested successfully for the reduction of that contaminant. A brief description of the main technologies and what they are typically used to treat are discussed further on.

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