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Household Water Purification: Ultraviolet vs. Reverse Osmosis

Even though drinking water should be available to everyone, that’s often not the case. Many living areas don’t meet the necessary clean water standards, and that is why people have to filter it. However, they are unsure about which filter they should use – the Ultraviolet (UV) or Reverse Osmosis (RO) one. These filters use different methods for purifying water, so it might be best to learn about the way they work before you decide which one to install.

Ultraviolet Filters

Ultraviolet Filters

UV filters use ultra violet rays to attack and neutralize bacteria and viruses found in water. They attack their DNA and can successfully prevent them from multiplying. Such filters provide an effective sanitizing treatment, since they can protect you from any water-borne bacterial and viral diseases. Also, UV water filters contain no chemicals, which means that they won’t alter the taste of water. What is more, these filters are easy to maintain and run on very little energy, which means that you won’t have to spend time and money on any expert services. You’ll only have to replace the UV bulbs from time to time.

There is no limit in the amount of water that these can purify on a daily basis. However, these purifiers cannot protect you from inorganic impurities. UV filters cannot render enough water and make it completely safe for drinking on their own. This is because these filters work only on bacteria and viruses. What this practically means is that UV light cannot affect contaminants such as chlorine, heavy metals and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).

VOCs are man-made chemicals that seep into groundwater during the production of paints, petroleum products and refrigerants. If you have UV filters, but want to make sure you are protected from other contaminants, you should consider adding other filtration systems, such as Granular Activated Carbon, Kinetic Degradation Fluxion or Reverse Osmosis filters.

RO

Reverse Osmosis Filters

As the very name says, this process is the opposite of osmosis. These filters push the pure water out of the concentrated solution, and collect it under the membrane. This membrane is a part of the reverse osmosis filter system and it has a tight pore structure which makes it highly effective in removing any impurities from the water. The impurities that it can successfully block from entering the drinking water are lead, asbestos, TDS (total dissolved solids) and many other toxic materials. Additionally, it can protect you from radioactive plutonium and strontium.

Another benefit of reverse osmosis filters is that they can effectively remove ions from water. This means that the molecules and ions, such as salts, sugars and microbial particles (bacteria), get retained in the membrane. Also, RO filters can remove chlorinated pesticides. The only downside of the reverse osmosis filters is that they can purify a limited amount of water per day. This is due to slower flow rate caused by the characteristics of the entire system. These filters, just like the UV ones, are affordable and easy to maintain.

Both UV and RO filtering systems have their advantages and disadvantages. They are highly successful in their areas of expertise, but unfortunately, they cannot provide you with completely clean drinking water on their own. Probably the best way to make sure that you and your family always have fresh and clean drinking water would be to combine these two systems. UV filters will protect you from bacteria and viruses, while RO ones will make sure no toxic contaminants are present in the water that you drink. Nevertheless, you should make decision based on your own needs, and potential contaminants in your living area. 
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