Water purification systems are often a tricky bunch for the uninformed consumer, as there are a number of options and brands to choose from in household systems and bottled water. There are charcoal based systems, which use a barrier made from charcoal to cleanse the water of impurities, and most name brands use these charcoal filters. On a larger scale, many local water departments use reverse osmosis systems for the purpose of residential water softening. Reverse osmosis is another method of purifying the water, using intense pressure and a semipermeable membrane to separate the adulteration and the purified water. In some cases, such large scale water purification systems provide a large amount of a given area’s potable water, as is the case in Perth, Australia. Reverse osmosis systems can be installed in your house’s water system, but it is not necessarily a worthwhile investment for many homeowners.
Both charcoal based and reverse osmosis water purification systems focus on removing potentially harmful chemicals from water sources, and each type of system has its own advantages and disadvantages. Reverse osmosis systems, used widely by water companies, can recycle water from a number of different sources, more easily remove chemicals such as fluoride, and be successfully utilized for large amounts of water. However, this type of water purification systems also creates much waste that must be disposed of, is difficult to implement in homes, and require consistent cleaning of the membrane. Charcoal based water purification systems more easily lend themselves to use in the home, which is a giant advantage for many.
However, any water drinker must be aware that residential water softening and reverse osmosis systems often leave minute amounts of certain chemicals that will not harm the population, such as chlorine, in the water to combat the growth of bacteria.