Learn how Carbon Filters can improve the taste and quality of drinking water.
Modern improvements in infrastructure and technology have provided much of the developed world access to safe, treated drinking water. The water treatment process removes certain impurities and adds chemicals intended to disinfect or deactivate water-borne contaminants. This process can leave the taste and smell of drinking water less than appealing. By-products of the disinfection process can persist on water sources. While some of these are not directly harmful, there are related health benefits associated with their removal.
How does Chlorine impact Water Quality?
One of the most common methods for addressing “aesthetic” and chemical concerns in drinking water is by using filters that contain Carbon Filtration Media. Carbon is a naturally absorptive material that can improve the taste and smell of drinking water. Additionally, certain kinds of carbon can help reduce the amount of treatment-related chemicals and other unwanted substances in one’s drinking water.
The primary substance used in modern water treatment is chlorine. Chlorine is a well-known and widely used oxidizing agent, which means it contains powerful disinfecting and bleaching properties.
For example, it is used to sterilize swimming pools and is added to drinking water to kill harmful bacteria and viruses.
Continued exposure to high levels of chlorine can raise potential health concerns. Chlorine can cause dry skin, damaged hair, and brittle nails. Chlorine is a very potent chemical that strips hair and skin of its natural oils that keep it from drying out.
In addition, according to the U.S. Council of Environmental Quality, the risk of cancer for people who consume chlorinated water is 93% higher than for those whose water does not include chlorine. Drinking water can be tested for chlorine levels, and city water reports are available in most communities.
Water Filters that contain activated carbon will help to keep your water at safe levels of chlorine as well as improve its taste and smell.
What is Carbon and why is it used in water filters?
Activated carbon is highly porous substance that collects and bonds organic chemicals to itself. Because carbon is so porous, it has an increased amount of surface area available to attract chemicals and contaminants. Factors that affect carbon’s capacity are molecular weigh, pH balace, particle size, flow rate, and temperature. Carbon is made of tiny atoms that bind together. It is usually obtained from coal deposits.
How do Carbon Filters work?
Unfiltered water first enters the filtration system, and flows through the active carbon. When water encounters carbon media, chemical absorption takes place, and water exits the filter purified. Water flows through the filter and the chemicals adhere to the carbon which results in clean water. The flow rate and water temperature of the water determine the effectiveness of this process.
Carbon can diminish multiple toxic chemicals like VOCs (Volitile Organic Compounds), which include Benzene, Toluene, and some chlorinated compounds.
Carbon Filters are also able to eliminate odors and discoloration from water. However, Carbon filters struggle to reduce inorganic contaminants (e.g. arsenic, nitrates) and other heavy metals. These inorganic contaminants require more robust filtration solutions-reverse osmosis systems or specially designed filters. Factors that affect carbon’s capacity are molecular weight, pH balance, particle size, flow rate, and temperature.
The capacity of the active carbon to adsorb the contaminant is what actually diminishes the contaminants in the water, not how much carbon is put in place. The more substantial the ability is, the more contaminants the carbon can adsorb in the process.
How do I remove bad tastes and odors in drinking water?
Drinking water can sometimes give off unusual flavors and odors. When water has a bleach-like taste, it is usually due to the presence of chlorine. The bad taste is because of an insufficient residual or the lack of chlorine in the water. If you can smell or taste chlorine, then there isn’t enough chlorine residual in the water. The correct amount of chlorine to sustain the required minimum residual of “free” chlorine is essential. If the residual falls below the “free” minimum, the reforming of chlororganics and chloramines takes place.
Polishing Filters and "Aesthetic Effects"
Polishing filters reduce small, microscopic particulate material. It diminishes low concentrations of dissolved material from water to improve the taste. The flow of water in the filter is controlled by a regulator that prevents the waste to a portion of the product flow. The aesthetic components of water include: taste, odor, color, hardness. People can easily detect changes in their water, so they can have a big impact on perceptions of water quality. Water filters and polishers can remove discoloration, taste, and hardness.
An important difference: Reduce vs Remove
Very few if any water treatment or water purification systems can completely remove all possible water contaminants that may be active in a water supply. Reduction of contaminants to safe levels is the primary focus of domestic water filtration systems. People can safely drink water with low levels of chemical contaminants. The EPA mandates treated water to have a detectable level of chlorine up to 4 parts per million.
The two kinds of Carbon Filters
There are two primary “formats” to carbon filters: Carbon blocks and Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) filter:
Carbon Block Filters: Carbon Block filters have a greater filtration efficiency as they remove the most contaminants. However, they typically have a slower flow rate because they are more restrictive. Carbon Block filters may expend their filtration abilities sooner as they entrap more particulates and absorb more chemicals. Carbon block filters have a larger surface area than GAC, which enables them to filter out a higher percentage of treated water. They are also more effective at filtering out particles, heavy metals and other contaminants.
Granular Activated Carbon Filters: Also known as GAC, Granular Activated Carbon filters are helpful in diminishing the amount of organic disinfectants that are found in water supplies. GAC improves taste and eliminates health risks while maintaining and preserving the other treatment units such as reverse osmosis membranes and ion exchange resins from breakage or deterioration. GAC filters are created using carbon that has been ground up and is loosely held together inside a cartridge. Carbon block filters are made by grinding activated carbon into a fine powder.
How can I maintain my water quality with Carbon Filters?
It is essential to replace filters in a timely manner, because filter carbon has its own distinctive sufficiency for various contaminants. Other individuals wait for a slight change in their water pressure. Every filter has a specific gallon rating to help a user estimate when the filter should be changed. When in doubt, filters should be changed every 6 months to ensure they are working at full removal capacity.
If you have additional questions, please contact our customer support team.
Send us a message or give us a call at 1-855-809-4123, we look forward to serving you.