Water Treatment Systems 101

How often do you stop to think of what might be lurking in your drinking water? Probably not too often. Fortunately, most of us don’t have to worry about water treatment systems, as the majority of residents use a public drinking water supply. This means that your drinking water meets national safety standards and doesn’t require treatment. However, if you are a homeowner using a private water supply, you are responsible for asking these questions and monitoring the quality of your own drinking water.  

Water treatment systems and devices can greatly improve the quality of water by reducing and ridding it of hazardous contaminants, like bacteria, chemical pollutants, and all sorts of other toxic substances. They can also help remove such problems as hardness and odor.  

Now, if you’re thinking that this sounds like an option you might be interested in, wait. The first thing that you must know is the quality of your water supply before investing and implementing a treatment system. This requires thorough testing conducted through a series of laboratory tests. Then, if any undesirable qualities are identified in your water, you have one of three options: remove the source of contamination, find a new water source, or implement a water treatment system to purify your supply.  

After carefully weighing your options, you may conclude that a home water treatment system is your safest and most economical choice. So, now you’re ready to look at your purchasing options and learn about the various treatment systems.

Types of Treatment Systems

The types of water treatment systems that you will likely encounter will be one of the following, or a combination of these categories:  

  • Disinfection: The disinfection method kills most harmful bacteria, viruses, cysts and worms that can cause illness. These methods include chlorination, pasteurization, ultraviolet light and boiling.
  • Filtration: Filtration systems include mechanical filters, activated carbon filters, oxidizing filters and neutralizing filters that act to control a wide variety of contaminants. These systems only work on potable water, however, so your water supply must already be clean and contaminant-free.
  • Reverse Osmosis:  Reverse osmosis removes about 90 percent of water impurities, including those that are mineral and biological. The process also removes most inorganic chemicals, like metals, minerals and salts, as well as most organic chemicals and microorganisms.
  • Distillation: The distillation process heats water until it vaporizes into steam. In addition to making your water taste flat, distillers remove all sorts of bacteria, minerals, metals, nitrates and organic chemicals.
  • Ion Exchange:  Ion exchange systems are essentially water softeners. They remove those minerals that cause hardness and make it difficult to remove soaps and detergents that cause buildup in your pipes, water heaters and fixtures.

Considerations Before Purchasing

Before you make any decisions to purchase a water treatment system, you must get your water tested so that you know which treatment (or treatments) is needed. So, before you jump in, consider the following:  

  • There is no single test to determine if your water is safe. Your safest option is to have your water supply tested for contaminants through a certified testing laboratory.
  • Check that your chosen system is designed to treat your specific problem. Look at the NSF rating for performance standards.
  • Determine how many gallons of treated water your chosen system will produce each day. How much water will your household use each day?
  • Check that your chosen system has an indicator to alarm of any malfunctions.
  • Find out what kind of maintenance is required. The greater and more involved your treatment system is, the more responsibility you will have to maintain it.
  • Ask if your chosen system comes with a service contract. Routine servicing can be expected, and it’s best to do so through a qualified professional.
  • Find out what your warranty covers.
  • Consider the overall cost. What is the lifespan of your chosen system? Are there installation costs, operation costs or maintenance fees?

Though all of the available information about water treatment systems may seem overwhelming, the truth is that your main focus is simply on getting your water tested, first. After that, let a professional walk you through the process and guide you to your best options to keep you and your loved ones contaminant-free.

For further questions and information, contact our team of experts. We have all of the answers you need.  So, if and when you’re ready to purchase a new water treatment system, give Tritan a call at 815-515-4062


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