Water Treatment Systems
Water treatment systems are designed to solve different problems, so consumers need to determine their specific treatment needs before shopping for a water treatment system. Some common issues consumers have that require water treatment include:
- water hardness
- chemical and/or virus removal (UV treatment)
- well water quality
- other water contaminants, or pollutants.
As important as determining the problem you are trying to solve with a water treatment system is finding a reliable, professional installer. Due diligence on the consumer’s part is the best way to assure the success of any trade person’s installation or product. For do-it-yourself projects, make sure your own skills match the project or that professional help is available if the project exceeds them.
This video provides an introduction in to what to consider when purchasing a water treatment system.
Water treatment system systems are used to remove a variety of different contaminants from their water. Note that, while some brands may use the term “purify” in their marketing materials, it is an inaccurate term to describe water treatment. Pure water is H2O, nothing else, which is a rare substance to encounter in its pure state.
Bacteria: Some water treatment systems focus on removing bacteria from water; these companies specialize in UV and other disinfection methods to kill bacteria that infects water and might make drinkers sick.
Minerals: There are also systems that target excess minerals in water, which cause the water to be hard. Companies that specialize in removing minerals use exchange resin.
Multi-contaminant removal: Many water treatment systems companies offer services to remove a wide variety of materials from water. Some of the contaminants removed by water treatment systems include heavy metals from construction projects or damaged pipes that cause water to taste metallic, sediment that has gotten into a water supply through construction work and makes water appear muddy and brown and chlorine added by public water companies to disinfect water sources, which gives water a strong chemical taste.
Types of systems
There are multiple systems which can remove contaminants from water.
Point of entry systems: Point of entry water treatment systems are able to treat all of the water entering a home or business and are installed after a water meter or storage tank.
Point of use systems: Some water treatment systems are used where people directly access the water, like a kitchen sink or a shower head.
Multiple systems: A combination of systems can be used to perform several different types of water treatment, such as treating hardness and removing pollutants. They can also treat by ionic exchange and Granular Active Carbon (GAC).
Source of water treatment
Water treatment systems can treat drinking and usable water that comes from a range of different sources.
Groundwater (wells): Systems that treat groundwater specialize in technology for treating traditional water from the ground, which is a common type of water used for drinking and bathing in homes and businesses in many parts of the United States.
Brackish water: Brackish water is water that is part saltwater and part freshwater, which is often collected in estuaries. Brackish water can be collected and treated by water treatment companies to desalinate (Reverse Osmosis), then be used for things like irrigation and watering gardens and lawns.
Surface water: There are water treatment systems that can be used for treating surface water, which is collected rainwater or water at the top of a natural body of water. These systems collect the fresh surface water and use treatment to remove algae, bacteria and solids from the water in order to make it safe to drink or bathe with.
Depending on the source and intended use, a range of different technologies can be employed to treat and condition water.
Filtration: Water filtration cleans water by trapping contaminants in a filter, which then absorbing or breaking the contaminants down.
Ultraviolet technology: UV technology utilize Ultraviolet light rays to disinfect water and kill bacteria in it.
Reverse osmosis: Reverse osmosis is a process in which dissolved inorganic solids (such as salts) are removed from a solution (such as water). This is accomplished by household water pressure pushing the tap water through a semipermeable membrane.
In water treatment, eco-friendly means little or no effluent waste water is required in treating the water. Softeners are not eco-friendly even if they claim they are. Everything is relative, but all softeners have waste water that is hazardous to most everything (salt). Water filtration systems differ from one another based on how eco-friendly their filtration system is.
Green filtration products: There are some water filtration products are produced with the environment in mind, and only use “green” materials and products.
Eco-friendly options: Some water treatment systems are available that are considered eco-friendly products and services, like salt-free treatments—which use significantly less water in order to get pure water than a traditional salt-based purification system.
Traditional water treatment systems companies: Many water treatment systems companies use traditional technology and products, and they are not particularly focused on environmental-friendliness.
Consumer maintenance requirements
Water treatment systems differ from one another based on how much maintenance a customer must perform on the system. Performing proper maintenance on your water treatment system is a must if you want it to continue working.
No maintenance required: Some water treatment companies handle all the maintenance for the water treatment system, including installation and regular check-ins and updates.
Minimal maintenance: There are some water treatment systems that require minimal maintenance from customers, like checking filters to see if they are clogged or dirty or watching monitors on filters that change color when they are ready to be replaced.
Customer maintained: Customers often have to have complete control over the maintenance of their water filtration system, like replacing filters regularly.
Water Treatment Companies
Water-treatment product companies
There are some water treatment companies that simply sell individual products for water treatment. Consumers can purchase these products, like drinking water filters that can be directly installed onto faucets and add-on shower head softeners. They can use them as needed to filter and treat water.
Water softening companies
Water softening companies are fully focused on treating hard water, which is water that has a high mineral count, can taste odd and leave scale behind on shower walls, bathtubs and sinks. These companies can soften water for both residential and business customers.
Who's it for?
Homeowners with hard water
Homeowners with hard water have water with excess minerals and impurities in it. Water treatment systems help soften water to make it more palatable and better to use.
Homeowners near a compromised water supply
Sometimes a water supply can become compromised because of natural disasters or industrial accents. Water treatment systems companies can help clean potentially compromised water and ensure that it is safe and healthy to drink.
Managers of large commercial properties
Developers or managers have to manage the water supply of large business complexes. Water treatment systems on a commercial scale can help clean water for a large number of people.
Rural customers using well water
Rural customers often don't have access to fresh water lines. People who use well water can use water treatment systems to ensure their well water is safe and clean to drink.