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Overview of Common Water Treatment Strategies

By HHI Staff

Unsure about the best way to treat your specific water? Look at this overview to compare different methods of water treatment and the contaminants they affect.


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Water Treatment Strategies—Contaminants Affected

  • Activated-Charcoal Media, Granular—Chlorine, dissolved gases, organic chemicals. Also, a limited amount of sediment.
  • Activated-Charcoal Media, Solid-Block—Chlorine, dissolved gases, organic chemicals. Also sediment, asbestos, heavy metals, and some fluoride. Able to remove most protozoan cysts. (With precoat technology, much better at mechanically filtering particulates.)
  • Aluminum Titanium Silicate (ATS) Media—Lead.
  • Ceramic Filters—Most bacteria, protozoan cysts, and other solid contaminants (depending on pore size).
  • Crystalline Quartz Media—Breaks down water’s surface tension, sediment removal.
  • Electrostatic and Electrokinetic Filters—Various types of particulates, depending on the filtering material.
  • Fluoride-Removing Filters—Fluoride.
  • KDF (Kinetic-Degradation-Fluxion) Media—Chlorine, sulfur dioxide, methane, certain heavy metals such as lead. Also controls most bacteria and microorganisms in the media through innate bacteriostatic action. In addition, deactivates hard-water minerals.
  • Ion-Exchange Media—Claims vary, most say heavy metals when used as a filtering media. As a resin bead with catalyzing surfaces, it permits faster exchange of hard-water mineral ions for sodium ions.
  • Micro-Pore-Material Filters—Sediment. (Other contaminants such as lead, bacteria, protozoan cysts depending on pore size).
  • Reverse-Osmosis Units—Minerals, nitrates, fluoride, sediment, heavy metals, asbestos. Also effective at lowering salt concentrations (depending on the membrane rating), and greatly lowering the amounts of many types of biological contamination such as bacteria.
  • Sediment-Removing Filters—Sand and dirt.
  • Ultraviolet (UV) Water Purifiers—Most biological contaminants but not protozoan cysts.
  • Water Softening Agents—Hard-water minerals (deactivation).
  • Water Conditioners—Hard-water minerals (deactivation).
  • Water Softening Devices—Hard-water minerals (removal), lead. Adds sodium to the water.
  • Water Distillers—Sediment, minerals, nitrates, heavy metals, asbestos, fluoride, biological contaminants including protozoan cysts.

(This article is from the archives of the original Healthy House Institute, and the information was believed accurate at the time of writing.)
(Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of The Healthy House Institute, LLC.)



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Overview of Common Water Treatment Strategies:  Created on June 6th, 2010.  Last Modified on February 27th, 2011


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