Five Home Water Filtration Systems to Consider

Once you know what you need to filter, choose the system that stops those toxins.

| September/October 2010

  • Absorptive media (include carbon filters)
  • Distillation
  • Reverse osmosis
  • Ultraviolet disinfection
  • Water softeners (cation exchange)

Filter type
1. Absorptive media (includes carbon filters)

How it works
Solid, porous, highly absorbent material such as charcoal traps liquids, solids, and dissolved or suspended matter

What it removes
■ Foul taste and odor
■ Some cleaning solvents
■ Some pesticides, parasites and radon
■ Heavy metals such as lead, copper and mercury
■ Some types remove chlorination byproducts
■ Some volatile organic chemicals
■ Arsenic and protozoan cysts

Limitations
■ Does not remove nitrates, bacteria or dissolved minerals
■ Carbon filters must be replaced regularly



Filter type
2. Water softeners (cation exchange)

How it works
Uses sodium (either sodium chloride or potassium chloride) to replace calcium and magnesium ions



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