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Quality Water Filters 4 You Archive Page
Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A great majority of Americans live in cities or surrounding metropolitan areas and receive their water through municipal water systems. However, about 15% of American households depend on wells for their water supply. People living in rural areas generally have well water, and in many cases these wells are either inadequate or are contaminated, rendering their water unsafe to drink.
   
There are 3 types of wells: dug, driven, and drilled. Dug wells are the shallowest and have been dug out by hand. Driven wells are generally made where the soil is sand and/or gravel. Drilled wells are the deepest and can extend down hundreds of feet. Because many water wells exist on properties where livestock was kept, or where there are antiquated septic systems, it is easy for wells to contain bacteria and other pathogens. Properties where large amounts of chemical fertilizers and pesticides have previously been used will often contain nitrates and other hazardous substances in the well water.
   
If you live in a rural home with a private well, there are some things that you should check to make sure that your well is not infested with contaminants:

  • The septic system should be at least 50 feet from the well to prevent bacteria and household chemicals from leaching into the water.
  • Livestock should also be kept 50 feet from the well.
  • Lawn and garden chemicals should never be stored near the well.
  • In-ground tanks of home heating oil are best located 100 feet away.

Flooding can cause serious well problems as sewage, animal waste, and fertilizers can be washed into the ground surrounding your well. Any well that is covered with flood water, even briefly, should be considered to be contaminated and the water from it unsafe to drink without treatment.

Those who do rely upon well water can take steps to protect themselves and their family from possible harm by using water filters. One of the most efficient ways to provide clean, safe water for your home is by installing a whole house filtration system. In this way, all the water used by your household will be cleansed. Many whole house systems depend upon reverse osmosis, although multiple stage filters are also available.

Whole house filtering systems are expensive, but excellent protection can also be provided by smaller filters that can be used either on the counter or under the sink. These filters are easy to install and have a diverter switch that allows you to use filtered or unfiltered water. Gravity feed countertop water filters also will remove bacteria, viruses, heavy metals, VOCs, and silt from well water. The number of filtering options available means that everyone who depends upon well water can have access to clean, pure, safe drinking water.


by: Chris Tracey

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Even the scientists are a bit uncertain as how to classify a substance as a heavy metal. By some definitions, there are about 50 heavy metals, or which about 20 can cause toxic reactions in the body. Heavy metals can be loosely defined as metals that are about 5 times heavier than an equal volume of water. Not all heavy metals are intrinsically bad; we actually need some of them for health reasons such as zinc, iron, copper, and manganese. However, too many of these ‘good’ heavy metals can also cause harm. However, there are some heavy metals that have no redeeming qualities such as mercury, lead, arsenic, and cadmium. Heavy metals have been linked to some very serious health effects:

  • Lead poisoning is a very serious condition, and lead can cause damage to nearly every part of the body. Damage can be done to the kidneys, brain, heart, gastrointestinal system, and reproductive system. In large enough doses, lead poisoning can cause death.
  • Mercury is another dangerous metal that can find its way into the water supply. Mercury causes neurological problems which can cause irreversible damage to the brain.
  • Cadmium causes a wide range of health problems from cardiovascular involvement, mental confusion, impairment of the immune system, skin rashes, vomiting, emphysema, cancer, and kidney damage.

Heavy metals can enter a water supply through a number of sources. Old lead piping in private homes or even antiquated municipal water systems can leach lead into the water. Lead and the other heavy metals can also occur because of run off from industrial operations and mining. As these metals are naturally occurring substances, they can enter water simply as rock formations that contain them weather and release them.

Assuring Safe Water for Your Family

The best way to make sure that heavy metals are not being consumed by your family through drinking or cooking water is to use a filter that will remove these pollutants. Not every water filter is designed to do this, and most pitcher filters will not provide the cleansing ability needed to make the water safe although Seychelle pitcher filters are great for removing heavy metals and a wide range of contaminants. There are several filter options, however, that will remove most, if not all of heavy metals from your water supply:

  • Reverse osmosis filters do a very good job of removing heavy metals from the water. Whole house filters will assure that not only will drinking water be pure, but that water used for bathing will also be uncontaminated.
  • Filters with KDF and carbon are also good at removing most heavy metals from water. Lead, copper, and mercury will be trapped by the carbon.
  • Distillation filters are available as either whole house or countertop units and will remove literally every trace of heavy metals from the water.

Considering the harm that heavy metals can do to you and your family, especially to babies and young children, using an appropriate water filtering system is only sensible. Whether you live in an urban, industrial area or in a rural setting, there is always the possibility of water contamination by heavy metals – filtering your water can spare you health problems now and in the future.


by: Chris Tracey

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013
The great majority of Americans, about 80%, now live in cities or in the areas immediately surrounding cities. These people must all drink water supplied by their local municipality, and ensuring a safe water supply is necessary to preserve the health of several hundred million people. Prior to 1974, there were basically no standards applied to water quality, but the establishment of the Safe Water Drinking Act was a step in the right direction to keep public drinking water safe. The law was updated later to include wells, rivers, reservoirs, and all other sources of municipal drinking water.
   
Any water supply is dependent on what enters the water system, and contaminants can enter a city water supply hundreds of miles from where the water will be used. There are a number of pollutants that can pose health problems:

  • Overflow of sewage from treatment plants or septic systems, especially in times of flooding.
  • Radon and arsenic are natural pollutants that are found in different regions of the country.
  • Agricultural areas can produce large amounts of pollution from fertilizers, pesticides, and animal waste.
  • Manufacturing plants can release chemicals into the system.

Testing of municipal water supplies is essential to guaranteeing the quality and safety of city water, but there are times when testing is either inadequate or fails completely, particularly when the filters in the system are not able to detect some pathogens. Cryptosporidium, for example, has caused outbreaks over the past 20 years or so, with the number of people being sickened growing over this time span. Testing is done at varying intervals, depending in part on state and local regulations.
   
However, although most bacterial and other contamination is dealt with adequately by the great majority of municipal water systems, there are still two inescapable substances that many people would be happy to avoid: chlorine and fluoride.
   
Chlorine is put into water to prevent bacterial illnesses. Most municipal water is drawn from reservoirs, lakes, or rivers and cannot be considered to be safe to drink. Chlorine eliminates not only most viruses, but also such dangerous bacteria as those that cause typhoid fever, cholera, and dysentery. The number of incidents from these pathogens has fallen to nearly nothing since chlorination was introduced. However, since chlorine can also have some negative health effects, many people will use filtration systems in their homes to remove the chlorine from the water.
   
Fluoride was once touted as a wonderful way to prevent dental decay. However, research has shown that it actually makes little difference in preventing cavities, and can actually cause damage to the teeth. There also seems to be a correlation between lower IQ and fluoridated water. While many municipalities have suspended use of fluoride, it is also possible to filter it from your drinking water, too.
   
Today, water filters are available, either as countertop or undersink models or as whole house systems that can remove undesirable elements from municipal water. Advances in filtering technology will allow the removal not only of VOCs, heavy metals, and cysts (which are usually able to slip through treatment plants), but also of the chlorine and fluoride that is present in municipal water.


by: Chris Tracey

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