Your home’s water supply is a vital component of your family’s health and well-being. Water treatment systems come in many different varieties and can either treat your whole water system (point of entry of POE) or point of consumption (Point of use or POU). POU technology acts as the final barrier for any contaminants that may be of concern before your water is consumed or used. Many homeowners find that combining POE and POU water treatment systems offer multiple layers of protection. The truth is, many point of use systems use the same technology as point of entry systems and can offer protection for consumable water at a much more reasonable cost.
Point Of Use Water Treatment Technologies
Granular Activated Carbon
Activated carbon is a common element in both POE and POU water treatment systems specifically because it is so effective. Activated carbon removes various organic compounds like benzene, trichloroethylene, and various pesticides and petroleum-related compounds. Maintenance is easy, simply switch out filter cartridges once or twice a year. The activated carbon in the filter can either be in block form or granular. Some finer filters can remove lead, asbestos, and some microbiological contaminants. Most gravity drip devices like pitchers use activated carbon filters.
RO systems force water under pressure into a chamber that contains a semipermeable membrane and other filtration steps. Typically an RO system uses a pre-filter to capture larger particles, like chlorine and then a semipermeable membrane to capture smaller contaminants. The water is then run through activated charcoal and sent to a storage container for use. While POE RO systems exist, they are typically found as point of use systems and placed near an water source such as a kitchen faucet. RO systems produce from 3 to 10 gallons a day so use is predominantly limited to drinking and cooking.
Ultraviolet (UV) Light
UV systems have been used commercially for quite a while and are becoming more common in homes. UV water treatment passes the water through an ultraviolet light source before it is released from the tap. The UV light is at the precise wavelength needed to kill most microbes that can be present in drinking water. It’s effective in killing bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoans and cysts. The system’s effectiveness relies on the intensity and strength of the light, the amount of time the light shines through the water and the quantity of material present. The light must be kept clean and replaced periodically.
One of the oldest water treatment methods around, distillation can effectively remove minerals, most chemicals, and bad tastes from tap water. A distillation system converts the water to vapor using a heat source, then feeds the vapor into a condenser which cools the steam and converts it back to liquid form. Some systems incorporate an activated charcoal filter to pull even more contaminants. Distillation systems produce only small amounts of treated water daily.
These point of use systems offer affordable water treatment options for most homeowners. POU systems can provide your family with plenty of pure clean water for drinking and cooking and can effectively remove most common contaminants. A water analysis can help determine which system is best for you.