All About Nanofiltration Water Treatment for Homeowners

Nanofiltration can be used as a cost-effective water treatment for removing bacteria from well water

Home water treatment systems are constantly evolving. As the technology continues to become more refined, new treatment systems are being developed using a variety of processes. While filtration has been available as a treatment system since the development of the phase inversion process for the manufacture of polymeric membranes in the 1960's, this technology gave birth to three specific membrane separation processes.

The first, reverse osmosis water treatment uses “tight” membrane filtration under pressure to remove contaminants in series with activated charcoal and ultraviolet light. The technology next led to a water treatment process called ultrafiltration as standards for purification became more stringent. In the 1980's the development of the “loose membrane” RO system gave birth to the water treatment process of nanofiltration. This membrane technology has developed from the standard filtration of objects of .01 mm in size to the level of removing solids that are just a few nanometers (.005 - 5 nanometers) in size.

Let's explore some of the details of the technology and how homeowners can benefit from installing a whole house nanofiltration water treatment system to treat their well water.

What is nanofiltration water treatment and how does it work?

In design and operation, nanofiltration is very similar to reverse osmosis systems. The primary difference is that in a nanofiltration system the membrane is not as “tight” as in an RO system. This means that a nanofiltration system operates at a lower feed water pressure, and as a result doesn't remove monovalent ions from water as effectively as reverse osmosis.

A nanofiltration membrane is capable of removing contaminants down to .001 microns in size. This means that nanofiltration can remove bacteria, colloids, suspended particles, viruses, proteins, some monovalent ions (like chlorine or sodium) and multivalent ions. In fact, nanofiltration is effective at removing all bacteria and viruses, most organic matter, divalent ions and up to 90% of monovalent ions depending on the material and manufacturing of the membrane.

Because of its ability to remove di and trivalent ions, nanofiltration is often used to remove hardness from water, while leaving some healthful minerals behind. For this reason it's often referred to as a softening membrane. Nanofiltration is a great option if your well water has low amounts of dissolved solids and you wish to remove organic matter while softening water.

Because of the looser membrane, nanofiltration membranes are less likely to scale and require less pretreatmentthan typical RO systems. Nanofiltration can be used as a cost effective means to remove ions and organic materials from well water and is often employed in tandem as a pretreatment stage with reverse osmosis systems.

Nanofiltration water treatment systems for homeowners

Nanofiltration's benefits to homeowners primarily depends on the quality of your water supply. If your problem is water hardness (concentration of calcium, magnesium and sulfate) then nanofiltration ismore a cost efficient option and it will do a better job. If your problem is due to chlorides, nitrates or arsenic than RO may be a better option.

Nanofiltration offers some other benefits over other treatment systems. If any family members are sensitive to sodium or on a sodium restricted diet, nanofiltration is a great system for you. Nnanofiltration is a chemical free process. In addition nanofiltration offers lower operating costs and lower energy costs. Because there is no salt used, nanofiltration systems produce less discharge which means less waste water.

Using carbon pre-filtration can make nanofiltration even more effective and extend the life of your system. Nanofiltration is also perfect as a pre-fitration stage for whole house reverse osmosis system. A self- contained nanofiltration treatment system alone can supply whole house protection and provide your family with clean safe drinking water from every faucet in the house.

If you're still unsure if nanofiltration is right for you, speak with your well water professional. They can arrange to test your well to determine if nanofiltration is a good solution to your needs. Testing will help to determine the exact level of any contaminants present. Your well water professional can help you to analyze your test results and will then work with you to help you understand all of your water treatment options. Whether you receive your water from a private well, or a municipal water supply nanofitration can provide your family with years of safe clean drinking water.