Everyone needs home water purifiers and filters. But, even if you believe in “doing it yourself”, you don’t want a home made water purifier. Just the proper necessary components would cost more than a professionally constructed device.
In order to be effective and remove the widest range of contaminants, home water purifiers and filters should include several steps. Let’s start with how chemical contaminants are removed.
Chemicals become dissolved in water. They float along with it and most of them are invisible to the naked eye. Sometimes, the chlorine content may be high enough that you can see a yellowish powder in the bottom of a bowl or pan, but most of the time, everything “looks” normal.
You can use a home made water purifier to show how visible dirt and mud are removed from sources such as rivers and lakes. A home made water purifier is a popular science project and worthwhile rainy day activity for kid’s clubs. But, they cannot be used to show how chemical contaminants are removed.
If you could actually “see” the process, it would look like tiny particles clinging to larger particles. You see, certain filtering media attracts certain chemical contaminants and they become trapped on the surface of the media.
For example, granular activated carbon attracts chlorine and the chemical becomes trapped on its surface. The removal of other chemicals requires different media.
The best home water purifiers and filters contain granular activated carbon, as well as a multi-media block with a sub-micron sized porous structure to remove the widest range of chemical contaminants. The next thing we’ll look at is how lead particles are removed.
Since lead particles may be large or small, you could demonstrate how larger particles are removed using a home made water purifier or simply by poring a glass full of pebbles and water through a strainer. In well constructed home water purifiers and filters, the smallest particles are removed using a process called ion exchange.
Lead is a hazardous heavy metal that accumulates in the body over time, causing chronic and life threatening health problems. So, even tiny traces should not be consumed.
Some purification methods only reduce the levels of lead to that which is below the “Federal Action Level”. With ion exchange, more than 99% of all traces of lead are removed.
The other common threats in publicly treated water are referred to as cysts. They cause waterborne illnesses that vary in severity. Sometimes the illness is mild. In other cases, it causes death.
You cannot demonstrate how cysts are removed using a home made water purifier, because they are microscopic in size. The process is similar to a straining device; it’s just that the pores of the strainer are microscopic in size.
In order to effectively remove cysts, a purifier must be certified to filter down to at least one micron. The best systems filter down to .5 micron.
You have to be careful when you’re shopping for home water purifiers and filters. Manufacturers’ claims can be misleading, to say the least.