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How to remove contaminants from your water

Posted on: April 14, 2015

When you get water from the tap, you want it to be odorless, tasteless, and perfectly clear. However, this is not always the case. Often, water that comes from the tap can have contaminants in it, such as iron, sediment, and more. So what can you do to remove these types of contaminants from your drinking water?

The first thing you need to do is figure out what you want to filter out of your water. If you are on city water, the most common contaminants you will find are chlorine chemicals, sediment, and hardness minerals. If you are on well water, you will probably have sediment, iron, and hardness minerals in levels that can range from harmless but annoying to mildly toxic. Acidic water is also a common problem in well water in this area.

The different types of contaminants

Sediment – sediment refers to visible particles present in the water, including dirt, dust, rust, and sand. Most city water supplies have filters set up to trap most sediment (the big pieces), but that filtration doesn’t take out everything. Smaller particles always go through—and even though you may not be able to see them—they’re there! Sediment in your water is typically filtered out by a cartridge filtration system (sediment filter).

Chemicals – the most common chemical contaminant found in city water is chlorine, which can be effectively removed using activated carbon filtration. Chlorine is there to kill bacteria, viruses, parasites, and such, but it is not an appealing taste to the palate.  And it’s not particularly good for you. Activated carbon filters do a great job of removing chlorine from the water as well as reducing other volatile organic compounds, pesticides, etc.

Iron – there are two types of iron that can wind up in your water: ferrous (dissolved, clear water iron) and ferric (rust or red water iron). Clear water iron can be removed via oxidation or ion exchange. Red water iron can be removed with a sediment filter.

The first step to removing any particles or contaminants from your water is to have a water test to find out what is present in your water—that will allow you to make the best decision for your water filter.

Which water filter is right for you?

What do you need to take into consideration before choosing a water filter?

Flow rate – your filter’s flow rate is probably the most important thing you should take into consideration before you install a new water filtration system in your home. Flow rate is measured in gallons per minute (GPM) and it determines the amount of water that is available to run your showers, sinks, dishwashers, etc.

To determine your flow requirements, look at the demand ratings on your appliances and your toilets (typical flow requirements for showerheads are 2.5 – 5 GPM, toilets 5 GPM, and dishwashers 3 GPM). For most families, total flow requirements fall in the 15 to 50 GPM range. Make sure your water filtration has a flow rate that will allow for comfortable water pressure even during times of peak demand.

Port size – the ideal port size for a whole house water filtration system is 1”. This will prevent bottlenecks and help eliminate drops in water pressure.

Filter size – as expected, larger water filters will allow for more water flow at greater pressure. The size of your water filter will depend greatly on your port size.

Request a quote for a water filtration system today

If you want to install a water filtration system in Maryland or Washington, DC, request a quote from the experts today!

Contact us online or by phone at 240-399-5051 to schedule an appointment!