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Filtered water vs. purified water: what is the difference?

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The question of filtered water vs. purified water is a common cause of confusion among homeowners seeking to improve their water supply. 
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Which is better – and what is the difference anyway? These two water treatment systems are actually very different from one another, and each one offers a different set of benefits, which makes it very important to know what separates the two, and thus, which of them would be better for a homeowner’s specific needs. 

First, why worry about water?

Before we even start discussing the relative benefits of purification and filtration, let us first consider a fundamental question: why does it matter which of the two you choose? Why worry about improving your water supply in the first place? Water is the most important substance for human survival, aside from oxygen. We drink it, and we use it for cooking and cleaning – it is present in every vital aspect of our lives, so it is important that we have the purest, cleanest water available at all times. Having said that, water is supplied to our homes, and its supply is relatively plentiful. Many people may wonder why they should bother treating the water that comes out of their faucets. The simple answer is that you can’t be entirely sure what is in that water. The chemical composition of the municipal water that is supplied to our homes varies in purity. It often contains chemicals that are not ideal for human consumption. For this reason, every homeowner should consider installing a water treatment system – especially a drinking water system – that will remove the chemicals and ensure that families are getting the cleanest, purest water possible. There are many different systems available for this purpose, but they all fall into one of two essential types: filtration or purification.

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What is in the water that we want out?

Kinetico Water SystemsWhy is it so important for our water supply to be pure? Municipal water may contain traces of chemicals and dirt, as well as microbes – all of which are best removed before we drink it. Water in major metropolitan areas in Florida commonly contains various species of bacteria, as well as nitrates and lead. Other chemicals like ethylene dibromide (EDB) and tetrachlorethylene have also been found. All of these contaminants can be harmful to your health.


Water purification vs. filtration – what is the difference?

The terms filtration and purification are sometimes usedWater purification vs. filtration - what is the difference interchangeably, but they are actually very different processes. Filtration is a method of cleaning the water by physically separating impurities out of it. A filter fitted to a kitchen faucet allows the water to run through to the user’s glass, bottle, or other containers, while holding back small, solid particles that may be present in the water supply. These contaminants could include salts, or small particles of metals and dirt.

Purification goes a step further, by removing all the physical contaminants in the water, as well as using chemical processes to eliminate minerals and other substances that a filter cannot remove. Generally speaking, purification methods are more rigorous than simple filters, but filtration techniques have advanced to the stage that many filters can actually clean water to the same level as purifiers. The two systems are not mutually exclusive, and a purification system may include filters, while a filtration system also incorporates different purification techniques.

Why should you be concerned with the difference?

The main reason why you should understand the differences between purification and filtration is to help you make an informed choice about which system to choose for your home. Another critical factor in this decision is the water supply itself: you need to inform yourself about the composition of the water that is supplied to your home. Then, once you understand that, you can decide whether you need filtration or a more complicated purification system. Do your research and seek help from professionals. At Aqua Soft Water Systems, we can offer expert guidance on both systems, and help you decide which is best for your home.

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How do water filters and purifiers work?Kinetico Water Systems

There are many different types of filters and purifiers, but systems in each category essentially serve the same purpose and work according to similar principles. Filters, whether you place them on your kitchen faucets, showerheads, or throughout your home, basically work by blocking contaminants and allowing water through, meaning that, when you turn on a faucet, the water flows out and dirt and other particles are trapped in the filter.

Purification systems are a little more complex. They are able to do the work of standard filters and more, removing over 95% of contaminants in your water supply. They typically work using either reverse osmosis (RO) or distillation. RO systems are similar to filters – they use semi-permeable membranes to separate contaminants from the water. The water easily passes through, while larger contaminants are held back. Distillation systems are more intricate in design. They boil water and collect the steam, providing pure H2O with all contaminants and other chemicals left behind.

Water filter vs. water purifier which is better

Water filter vs. water purifier: which is better?

There is no simple answer to the question of whether purification is better than filtration or vice versa. Both have their benefits and the extent to which one system wins out over another is usually a matter of degree rather than principle. That is to say, all filtration and purification systems will clean your water supply, but some will remove 95% of impurities, while others may remove 99%.

The important thing is to find a system that is best suited to your household’s needs. If the water you receive in your home is relatively good quality, a simple set of filters on your faucets will probably suffice. If you live in a more remote area, or one where there are important external factors like old lead plumbing or nearby large scale industrial installations that may leak chemicals into the water supply, then a purification system will be more appropriate.

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Types of water filters and water purifiersKinetico Water Systems

As mentioned above, there are essentially two types of water purification systems – RO and distillation, while filters work in a manner that is very similar to RO systems. We can break filtration options down further into sediment filtration systems, activated carbon filters, and ultrafilters. 

Aqua Soft supplies and installs a variety of water filtration and purifications systems. These include the following:

Water softeners
Softening systems work by lowering the mineral content in water – particularly calcium and magnesium salts. The presence of these salts is what classifies water as ‘hard.’ Softening the water by removing these chemicals makes it better to drink and gentler on clothing, plumbing and appliances.
Drinking water systems
The Kinetico drinking water systems distributed by Aqua Soft eliminate nearly all contaminants in your drinking water, leaving you with the most potable water imaginable.
Whole house RO systems
Among our wide variety of RO systems, there is one perfectly suited to the needs of your water supply, whether you are dealing with high sodium or chlorine content, or discolored, cloudy water.
Chlorine is extremely useful in the water supply because it helps to kill harmful microbes and keep water clean. However, it is not ideal for humans to consume this chemical, so our dechlorinators remove chlorine from your water to make it safer for you to drink.
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Water treatment tips and best practices

The best way to determine what methods and products you need to clean your water will depend on your budget, your current levels of water quality, and your desired level of comfort and quality. Boiling and distillation are effective methods if you have the time, but the best way to ensure a sustained level of high-quality water is to install a filtration or purification system. Once these systems are installed, and you follow the care instructions provided by the installer, they will ensure a safe, clean water supply for years. If you choose to treat water yourself, here are some tips you might find helpful:

Heat the water at a rolling boil for one minute to ensure that any bacteria are killed.
Tablets or drops
Disinfecting tablets or drops are very effective for cleaning water as you go. The three most common products used for this purpose are chlorine dioxide, sodium dichloroisocyanurate and iodine. These are ideal for purifying small quantities of water and are great for use in water supplies that you carry on vacations or when camping, for example. For home use, however, a filtration or purification system that cleans your supply on an ongoing basis is a far better option.
UV treatment
is another easy option for limited quantities of water. It consists of allowing water to stand in direct sunlight so that the UV rays can destroy any bacteria or viruses that may be present in it. Adding lime juice to the water can help speed up the process.

About Aqua Soft Kinetico Water Systems

Aqua Soft Water Systems Inc. Authorized independent Kinetico Dealer for Palm Beach and Broward County. Our dedicated sales staff is here for all of your water needs to find the right water treatment options for your water problems and within your budget. If you need more information about the merits of filtered water vs. purified water, or advice on which system will suit the needs of your household, contact us today.

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