The difference between water filtration systems and water softeners
Water treatment systems have become a necessity in many homes and businesses in the last thirty years. There is widespread water contamination attributed to deteriorating water pipelines and pollution in natural water bodies and in the atmosphere, which affects the quality of rainwater. Because of this, more and more people are adopting water filtration systems to treat drinking water in homes and offices
There are also water treatment systems called water softeners. If you are a homeowner and are a little confused over which treatment system will be best for you, please continue reading to gain some clarity.
Water filtration systems and water softeners are actually two very different things, as they solve different water problems. Water filtration systems separate or filter contaminants like algae, bacteria, viruses, or soil particles to make the water safe to drink and cook with. Water softeners, on the other hand, introduce a substance to the water to break down the excess minerals in the water.
Water contamination means the presence of potentially harmful micro-organisms and substances in drinking water. Depending on the location and the overall water quality in the area, there may even be contaminants including amoebae, algae, bacteria and viruses that can cause diseases. While the treatment facilities of your local water authority will deal with most contaminants, individual homes and businesses may want to install water filtration systems to be sure.
Home and office water filtration systems are rather simple devices which serve as containers, dispensers and purifiers of drinking water. A special filter in the water purification system takes out any contaminants from the water, making it clean and safe for drinking and cooking. Over a period of time, having a water filtration system works out to be less expensive that buying bottled water from the shops.
Fortunately, this is not a problem in the UK. But in some places like Western US, Canada, Chile, Argentina, Hungary, Romania, China, Mongolia, India and Bangladesh, there are traces of arsenic contamination in groundwater supplies. Arsenic is a deadly toxin. Both water filtration and water softening can effectively clean arsenic and similar contaminants out of drinking water.
Water softeners are are titled as such because they are used to treat ‘hard water’. Hard water is not necessarily ‘contaminated’, just as natural drinking water is not necessarily ‘pure’ either. Having sprung from the ground, water naturally contains minerals like calcium, magnesium and sulphur, all of which are nutrients that the body needs. These minerals are also known as hard metals. However, hard water has a high concentration of these minerals, causing stains and strange crusts on taps and drains. These minerals also cause stains on laundry and sometimes make white clothes yellower over time.
These nuisances can be removed with water softeners (an example being the Kinetico 2020C), which introduce substances into the water to remove the excess minerals from it. Having a water softener at home or at the office is not only convenient, but it also saves time and money in the long run.
(Photo by William Herron)