While southern Nevada’s public water supply meets all safe drinking-water standards, the water quality is less than ideal. Approximately 90 percent of water supply for Las Vegas comes from Lake Mead, where it picks up trace minerals, such as lime, calcium and magnesium. This results in hard water. Hard water typically reduces the effectiveness of soap and can leave a white residues on dishes, fixtures and even clothes. An effective solution to both bad-tasting and hard water is to install a home water filtration system.
Types of Water Filtration Systems
There are four main types of water filters, each having its own pros and cons:
Whole-house filters are designed to remove contaminates from the water supply before the water travels into the home’s plumbing system. They are designed to keep contaminates out of drinking water and water used for washing. Another plus for a whole-house system is it removes having multiple filters throughout the home. However, whole-house filters are typically the most expensive to install, requiring the expertise of a professional.
An under-sink system has many advantages over other types of filters:
- The entire unit stores under the sink, so there aren’t any bulky components sitting atop the counter.
- Requires little maintenance, with the filter needing to be changed infrequently.
- Removes most contaminants while still maintaining a natural pH balance.
There are also some disadvantages of under-sink systems:
- Cost is slightly higher than counter-top units.
- Requires the installation of a special faucet, involving cutting a hole in the countertop or sink ledge.
Faucet filters are fairly inexpensive, produce a large amount of filtered water and are a simple to install, typically screwing or snapping over the faucet. Most faucet filters have a setting that allows for filtered or unfiltered water. The filter's life is increased when drawing water that doesn’t require filtering. However, faucet-mount filters can be prone to leakage or breakage. The water flow in also slowed considerably when being filtered. Some faucet filters require an adapter.
Counter-top units are very effective at reducing chlorine, organic chemicals, water-borne pathogens, like bacteria and cysts, heavy metals, such as lead, and dissolved minerals. Counter-top units are easy to install; they attach to most faucets in just a few seconds. Counter-top systems can filter a higher volume of water than faucet-mount filters before the cartridge needs to be replaced. On the downside, counter-top filters do take up space on the counter and can be unsightly.
Common Water Filtration Technologies
Reverse osmosis systems removes contaminants by moving water across a semipermeable membrane, filtering out the contaminants. The reverse-osmosis process works so well that is is the technology used to remove salt from sea water on ships at sea.
Water softeners treat water using a salt brine and special resin beads. During normal operation, hard water is drawn into the tank where the hard minerals attach to ions on resin beads, removing the hard minerals from the water which are replaced with sodium, softening the water. The treated water will typically have a "slippery" feel.
Activated carbon filters work by the carbon absorbing the contaminants in the water. Activated-carbon filters contain either granular or powdered-block carbon, with carbon-block filters generally producing a greater contaminant-removal ratio, as the water remains in contact with the carbon for s longer time.
Coconut Shell Carbon Filtration
Coconut shells have become increasingly popular among plumbing companies. They have a natural form of carbon that is both highly effective at removing contaminants from water and environmentally friendly. Coconut-shell carbon produces tasty filtered water, as it is highly effective at removing chemicals and THMs, or trihalomethanes, harmful chlorine byproducts, from water supply.
With all the types of water-treatment systems and the different technologies on the market, it can be a little confusing for a homeowner to know which water filtration system is best for their needs. If you need help deciding on what type of what water filtration system is right for you give Pure Plumbing a call for personal and professional assistance and a free estimate!