How A Home Water Treatment System With A Softener And Filtration Works
The importance of pure and soft water in every home cannot be over emphasized. To appreciate the importance of pure and soft water, you need to consider the disadvantages of impurities and hardness in water. The main disadvantages have been enumerated below.
The disadvantages of impure water are quite familiar to everyone. The first one is danger to human health. Impure water definitely has impurities. Impurities could be germs like disease causing bacteria and fungi. While some other impurities could be chemicals or some unwanted particles.
Different impurities cause different medical conditions. Drinking impure water could lead to stomach upset, typhoid, diarrhea… etc. Impure water has taste, it has color and sometimes it has odor.
Talking about hardness of water. Hard water has its own list of disadvantages too. Soap does not lather easily in hard water. It forms certain chemical precipitate that prevents soap from forming cleansing lather. This means that more soap will be needed to wash clothes with hard water. This is unnecessary waste of soap. Some of the precipitate may form spots on the clothes being washed.
For the same reason, the cleansing power of soap is reduced when taking your bath. The precipitate will make your body continuously slippery. So, more soap and water will be needed when taking your bath with hard water.
When you are cooking with hard water, you will definitely need more time as the same precipitate will reduce the effect of the heat on the content of the pot. This will definitely make you burn more gas/fuel and time required for cooking. The reasons mentioned above gave bath to the need for water treatment system that softens and filters water in every home.
How the water softening part of the system works
There are several methods of water softening but the one that involves the use of resins is about the most effective. The water softening system treats hard water by removing all the calcium and magnesium with the use of salt and ion exchange resins. At this point, it is important to point out that most hardness in water is caused by the presence of calcium and magnesium ions in the water. And it follows that when hard water is being softened, it is the calcium and magnesium ions that are being removed. The water becomes soft when these ions are no longer in it.
But in reality, no water is one hundred percent soft as there is no water that does not have a little magnesium and calcium ions in it. It is just that you may not see the effect of hardness if these ions are in negligible quantities. This also means that water has varying degrees of hardness depending on its source.
The resins are covered in a sodium solution. When it is introduced into hard water, a quick softening reaction takes place. All the magnesium and calcium ions are moved out of the water as they are attracted by the resins. They are now replaced by sodium ions.
The major disadvantage of this softening method is that it makes filtration necessary. For you to enjoy the result of this method you have to filter the softened water. This is the reason the system does both softening and filtration.
As effective as it is, some people don’t like that method. They don’t like the idea of adding salt or chemical to their water. They believe it is like adding impurities to remove impurities. They also believe that no amount of filtration can completely remove all the molecules of salt from the water.
For these kind of people, there is a close alternative. This alternative uses a sophisticated ceramic medium that attracts and neutralizes all the hardness properties in the water without any form of regeneration or backwashing. Some people are of the opinion that this method is better as it produces more natural and healthier water.
How the filtering part of the system works
This system makes use of granular activated carbon filters to remove unwanted salt and chemical from water making the water tasteless, colorless and odorless. Granular activated carbon is made from super-heating some raw organic materials that have high carbon content. The heating is done in the absence of oxygen. This increases the surface area of the carbon.
When impure water passes through these filters, they remove the dissolved chemical by absorbing them into the granular activated carbon filters. However, this method also has its shortcomings. Chemicals containing nitrate and iron do not get absorbed by these filters. So, they can’t be removed through this means. This will require another kind of filter to perfect the filtration. Reverse Osmosis may be suitable for this situation as it is very effective in the removal of iron particles and nitrate.
It is noteworthy that all water treatment systems require periodic maintenance which may include changing of important parts. The frequency of this maintenance work depends on the level of water use and the amount of impurities in the water. Take granular activated carbon filters for instance. It will get to a point when the ability to bind and remove impurities from water will be zero. The filter should have been removed before then.
It is logical that before this happens, more and more impurities would have been escaping the filters before it finally gets saturated. The filters would have been getting weaker and weaker. Depending on the amount of impurities in the water being treated and how often the system is being used, the filters could last for several years or they could last for just six months.
For more information on water softening and filtration check out Water Treatment to see additionally how it can affect your plumbing and health.