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What You Can Do At Home About Our Drinking Water Crisis

Clean drinking water is often taken for granted, as a modern-day commodity. The United States of America has one of the safest drinking water on the planet, and for its size, it’s quite impressive. Even so, recent years have brought many challenges and difficulties with water quality in some areas. As many as 43 states have been discovered to have sites contaminated with toxic fluorinated compounds such as PFAS. Some circumstances call for a few extra steps to take in order to clean tap water at home, like using a home water filtration system.

Key functionalities of a water filter

Going for a water filtration system is possibly the best way to assure clean water and not exacerbate environmental issues even further. Technology has come very far in the last few decades and many options of building your own water filter at home are explained and exemplified online. Finding out how a home water filtration system works has never been as simple as it is today.

There are usually two different means by which a water filter eliminates unwanted elements from water. One is mechanical or physical, which strains the water through one or multiple layers of media taking out impurities from water. Such media may include activated charcoal, sand, resin beads, and even UV light.

The other method is chemical, and it involves sifting the water through material that extracts pollutants chemically. This is typically known as reverse osmosis.  

Many times, the two are used together to treat water from the early stages of large impurities to microscopic chemical components.

Low-cost filtration at home

Probably the best and most widely known method for cleaning water is to boil it. That may arguably not be the most cost-efficient way, as it uses up energy and amps up home electricity or gas bills. That of course if wood is not the preferred fuel, which again poses other complications as it is more hazardous and contributes to deforestation.

An abundance of resources are available to everyone detailing how to implement home water filtration systems. Sand is often used as a low-cost physical slow water filter. A complex system incorporating storage tanks for water with an aerator, mesh for pre-filtering, and sand can be implemented together for a whole house filtration system. This model can be expanded upon, adding purifying stages and even more tanks for storage, depending on the quantity of water available and the capacity needed.

Water filtration systems are now available in an abundance of forms and methods of cleaning. Having one in the home is just another barrier of protection against harmful components that end up in the water main, some we may not even know about.

Filtering out harmful elements

Water is used in everything: drinking, cooking, farming, and sanitation. Wastewater ends up dumped in sewers that can reach and contaminate groundwater. Treatment centers do as much as possible to disinfect and clean water, and while that is ideal, the reality is that sometimes old aging pipe infrastructure permit contamination with certain pollutants, and harbor new growing contaminants.

A home water filter has the capability to reduce pesticides, bacteria, and pathogens from drinking water. Not only that but it helps prevent further contamination as it stops existing pollutants present and does not release them back into the drain.

The farming industry uses a great deal of water for crop yields and a water filtration system can offer many benefits. For one, treated rainwater reduces the amount of water taken from the main provider and contributes to preventing water shortages. Wastewater reduction is another factor, as irrigation systems installed with filters deliver the optimal volume needed to develop crops.

Reduce plastic pollution

The water bottle industry is notorious for contributing massive amounts of single-use plastic water bottles. Discarded bottles end up in landfills and while it takes a long time for the plastic to decompose when it does it only makes things worse. Chemicals from decaying plastic bottles further contaminate groundwater sources, diminishing freshwater safety.

The water itself sold in bottles is not that much different from what is available at the tap. While it might seem like a safer option, in the long run, it will only cause more problems for natural water sources in general.

A water filter can produce high levels of quality water comparable to store-bought bottled water. Reducing plastic bottle industry pollution saves further groundwater contamination, and that can only be a good thing as demand will increase with rising populations.

Whole house water treatment

Washing dishes by hand can use up a lot of water. Whether you keep the water running and quickly go through all the dishes or lather each individual dish and then rinsing them, both methods need a lot of water.

Having energy-saving appliances, like a dishwasher, can drastically reduce water consumption. That combined with treating water before it can be used, especially by water-using appliances, increases their lifespan and makes them that much more efficient.

Reducing water scarcity

Water scarcity has been talked about a lot recently, mostly around countries that lack natural freshwater sources. It is assumed that those countries that have it are not at risk of going without it. The truth is that freshwater demand is so high that groundwater and reservoirs often don’t have time to replenish themselves. Overall reduction of water consumption is the best way to prevent scarcity. This combined with water filtration systems to clean out available water and even reclaimed water will safeguard remaining sources.

Kevin Darabont

I am a freelance writer who loves to craft, home decor improvement, and active DIYers. I am happy to share my knowledge and experience to the world and learn new things everyday.

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Kevin Darabont