What Type of Water Filter Do I Need?

May 02, 2011 4 min read

I often visit forums and blogs where questions are posed regarding the type of water filter a consumer should buy. The number of different answers almost surpasses the number of choices a person has for water treatment. It can be a daunting task to decide which kind of filter best meets your particular needs. Although I’ve been passionate about clean water for a long time, I have only just begun to learn about water treatment. I am happy to share what I have learned here on this blog. Some key things to consider when choosing a water filter: • Where will you treat the water? Will you be wilderness hiking or camping? Will you be traveling overseas? Will you be in areas where disease outbreaks are prevalent? Will you have access to electricity? Are you looking for an emergency filter that is lightweight and portable? Do you want to treat water from your tap? • What is the water source that you intend to treat? Is the water in a remote wilderness location? Are you treating surface water from a creek, river, lake, or sea? Do people or industry exist nearby? Are there any known sources of contamination in your water source? Does your tap water come from a municipal water supply? Do you have well water? It would require a sizable book to fully cover all the different needs and best solutions for water treatment. The following just scratches the surface, but may be useful if you are trying to choose the right filter for your situation. I took the following information about water-bourne microorganisms from some promotional material I received from the Katadyn company:

Do You Need a Drinking Water System?

Microorganisms generally come from human or animal waste and are spread by rain and run-off. A pristine stream may be safe one day and contaminated the next. It all depends upon what’s happening upstream. Since you never know what’s in the water, it makes sense to always protect yourself with a quality water system. Beware of these three types of microorganisms: Cysts. Cysts are present in most outdoor water sources. Their relatively large size makes them easy to filter but their protective shell strongly resists chemical treatment (examples: Giardia, Cryptosporidium). Bacteria. Bacteria are a common threat in untreated water. Most quality water microfilters remove bacteria. (examples: e coli, salmonella). Viruses. Viruses are the least common microorganism, however they can also be a serious health risk. Viruses are typically too small to be removed by a water microfilter and require chemical disinfection (examples: Polio, Hepatitis A, Norwalk Virus,). Other concerns that many people around the world are struggling with are the existence of many water contaminants that originate from industry, or from illegal dumping of toxic contaminants. Accidental and deliberate spills happen every day and fines often aren’t severe enough to act as a deterrent to polluters. The pursuit of new energy sources has created some serious environmental problems. (See my previous post on hydro-fracking.) Heavy metals lace our water and soil in many of our communities. There is also a long list of chemicals that people around the world must now contend with in their drinking water. The latest threat that the people of Japan and surrounding areas are facing is contamination from the nuclear power generators that were damaged during their recent earthquake. Emissions from the Fukushima plant are at dangerous levels and swaths of the area surrounding the plant have been evacuated. There is a big demand for water treatment that eliminates radioactive particles. The good news is that a company in California, Nuwater Concepts, has developed a home water filter (TRAP) that removes radioactive particles of concern released from nuke plants. I’ve been working with them to keep me supplied with this new product and I expect to receive my first shipment sometime within the next week. I've already got them listed in my Highwater Filters store, but not quite ready to take orders yet. Please check back to see when they become available, or email us at info@highwaterfilters.com to be notified as soon as they are available for sale in our webstore. If you are backpacking or hiking in the wilderness, or traveling overseas, Katadyn water filtersare a popular Swiss-made brand of water filters that to those in-the-know are considered one of the best filters available anywhere. If you are concerned about your home drinking water, it behooves you to get your water tested in a lab. This will greatly benefit you when choosing a water filter. [caption id="attachment_393" align="alignleft" width="150"] The PurestOne home purifier[/caption] We just added the PurestOne home purifier that I think is one of the best deals on the market. It’s well-constructed, carries a lifetime warranty on the housing, and removes an impressive amount of contaminants from your tap water. And it’s made in the U.S.A. Feel free to comment on this blog and ask a question about your specific water treatment need. If I don’t know the answer, I can at least try to find out. Thanks for reading!
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