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What are Water Filters?

There would be no life on earth without water. They are solvents to almost every metabolic reaction of the body. Though it has no nutritional value, water is highly essential to sustain good health. But sadly, most of the water resources are polluted with harmful pathogens and microbes. They are even breeding mediums for many vectors. To get the maximum benefits from the water, we need to drink them in their best quality. This is where the role of filters comes in!

Water filters help get clean water. They help remove the impurities from the water – both physical and chemical. Physical filtration uses physical filters to remove the impurities, while chemical filters involve removing impurities using chemicals. Here you would know the types of files employed in filtering water.

Activated Carbon

This is the most common filter material used in many households. Here, the material used is activated carbon granules based on charcoal (charcoal is made from burning the carbon by a reduced supply of oxygen). Charcoal has a vast surface area with many crannies and nooks, making it easy to trap any chemical impurities. They can remove many chlorine-based impurities, industrial solvents and pesticides. But it can’t cope with heavy metals, sodium, nitrate, fluorine or microbes. The main disadvantage of the carbon filters is that impurities get clogged up and need to be replaced frequently.

Reverse Osmosis

From biology, we all know that water moves from a more concentrated to a less concentrated solvent during osmosis. If this same process needs to be reversed, we have to apply some energy. When it’s done in reverse, this process is called reverse osmosis. Reverse osmosis forces the water through the semipermeable membrane at a pressure so that the water is desalinated, leaving the impurities behind. The pressure can be applied in the form of a pump which can be electrically operated. Like charcoal, reverse osmosis is good at removing salt, nitrates or limescale but is ineffective in removing microorganisms like bacteria.

Ion Exchange

This is another way to purify the water of the limescale. The ion exchange divides the atoms into two and makes them into ions. After these, the ions are exchanged between the filters with the other ones. Ion exchange filters contain the zeolite with sodium ions. The hard water contains magnesium and calcium ions exchanged for sodium ones. Without the magnesium and calcium ions, the water would become softer and more pleasant. The major disadvantage of the ion exchange is the end product contains lots of sodium which is not suitable for a low sodium diet. Another disadvantage is that you need to change the filters then and there frequently.


The distillation consists of heating water to the boiling temperature and then condensing the steam. This process kills all the microorganisms and the impurities, making the water drinkable. The condensed vapours are taken as purified water. The process is practically tricky because it takes a lot of energy to execute the boiling and condensation. Even if we do it, the process would not be economically feasible.

We hope that now you will understand the process behind filtering the water.


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