Water Purification Technology 101

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Water purification technology may be complicated, but the general idea is simple: Remove contaminants to make the finished product safer to drink.

In order to do this, there are many methods of water purification to choose from. Some accomplish more than others. Here, we present the basics - you might call it Water Purification Technology 101.

Distillation is one of the oldest known methods of water purification. Water is boiled and steam is collected in another container. The vapor cools, condenses, and turns back into water.

The driving idea is that any contaminant will have a higher boiling point than water, and any bacteria will be killed by the heat.

This water purification technology was developed in ancient times. The flaws did not become apparent until much later.

Anything with a boiling point near or less than water will simply pass to the second container, meaning mostchemicals will be unaffected by the process. Also, certain strains of bacteria will not be killed by boiling.

The most obvious problem though, is minerals.

Distillation was designed to remove anything heavier than water, including essential minerals. The distilled water ends up without nutritional merit, as well as being contaminated with chemicals... and possibly microbes.

Much later, methods of water purification were invented for more efficient desalination. This resulted in the development of Reverse Osmosis.

In order for RO to work, water is pressurized mechanically and pushed through a semi-porous membrane to achieve clean water.

While faster than distillation, the reverse osmosis process is still slow. It's also very wasteful, requiring four gallons of unfiltered water to get one gallon of filtered water.

The design is also prone to algae growth, requiring regular cleaning. Water purification technology has advanced beyond RO, no matter what the salesmen say.

One of the newer methods of water purification is known as Sub-Micron Filtration.

Water is passed through a synthetic or ceramic membrane to completely remove chlorine-resistant bacterial cysts and E Coli. Either type of membrane can be reused up to fifty times with regular cleaning, but the design cannot remove chemicals.

Electro-Deionization is another of the newer methods of water purification, although it must be preceded by additional steps to be effective. It is considered to be an advanced water purification technology, because it can transpose toxic lead into a harmless substance.

While this system has a definite impact on chemicals and heavy metals, it has no effect on non-ionic contaminates, such as microbes, bacteria, or cysts. It is also very expensive.

Yet another of the newer methods of water purification is known as Ultra-Filtration. A chemically-constructed membrane is custom created to target specific types of microorganisms. Quite an advancement, but mostly irrelevant to the home market.

We’ve talked a lot about progress in water purification technology, but one of the most effective methods of water purification was developed decades ago, during World War I.

Based around activated carbon, it removes most chemicals, heavy metals, bacterial cysts, and infiltrates. Variations referred to as GAC - or Granular Activated Carbon - add silver to the design, releasing silver ions to kill any bacteria living in the membrane.

The system was not originally invented to purify water, but to negate the effects of chemical weapons. It took many years to apply the idea to water purification technology, and even longer to adapt it for home use.

Sherri Stockman is a Naturopathic Practitioner and avid researcher of healthful living practices. Find out the water purification systems she recommends by visiting her site now at www.Pure-H2O.net

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