Water Purifier: All Things You Need to Know

Any device or a setup that involves the water treatment or the process of water purification is called as a water purifier. It can make regular water perfectly appropriate for drinking. Ordinary un-purified water can contain numerous contaminants including bacteria, algae, viruses, fungi, minerals and man-made chemical pollutants that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Water purifier uses a filter like activated carbon, Ultraviolet, RO filter, ultra-filtration and many other, often used in a combination to remove unwanted impurities by means of a fine physical barrier, a chemical process or a biological process, to produce water that is suitable for human body.

Commercial Ro water purifier
Commercial RO water purifier

Water purifier system may also designed for a variety of purposes, including fulfilling the requirements of medical, pharmacological, chemical and industrial applications. Where as a water purifier that designed for personal or home use purpose, have a cost and benefit for using them. The cost of a water purifier may include  maintenance, depreciation and electric bill and the benefit of a water purifier is that one can get purified, germ free purified water that is suitable for human body.

Home based water purifiers are may equip with purified water storage container, convenient water dispense tap and user-friendly material. Over the decades, additional features and controls have been added to water purifiers, making them progressively more advanced and complex. Examples include TDS controller, Mineral cartridge, G-tech, Biotron, ozone generator and many more. And some of the well known top water purifier producer brand includes KENT,, PUREIT, AQUAGUARD and TATA SWATCH.

Filters

A filter is mainly responsible for removal of impurity or any other unwanted substances from the water, inside a water purifier. Filters cleanse water to different extents for purposes such as providing agricultural irrigation, accessible drinking water, public and private aquaria, and the safe use of ponds and swimming pools. Where as home based water purifiers equipped with different type of compact water filters.

Sediment Filter: When water passes through this filter, it separates all unwanted dirt, coarse impurities and physical particles from the water.

Activated carbon filter: This filter contains activated carbon blocks that blocks volatile organic compound, chlorine and this filter also capable of removing unpleasant taste and bad odor of water.

Advanced ro water purifier working process
Advanced ro water purifier working process

RO Filter: This filter is one of the advanced and most preferred filter till now, and the RO filter effectively removes all kinds of dissolved organic salts, contaminants, leads, pesticides, nitrates and sulfates, detergents and many others. Sometimes this filter also removes many essential minerals from the water.

Ultrafiltration filter: This filter contains a porous membrane (very small pores) that effectively traps the macromolecules and removes it from the water.It also capable of trapping bacteria and cysts those are present in the water.

Ultraviolet Filter: This filter uses a powerful ultraviolet filter that is capable of killing all microorganisms present like bacteria and virus that present in water to make it free from all invisible impurities.

Post carbon Filter: This filter adds the flavor into the water to enhance the taste drinking water.

Certification

Three organizations are licensed by the American National Standards Institute, and every one of them certify products for American National standard Institute/National Science Foundation standards. Every American National Standards Institute/National Science Foundation customary needs verification of dissolved material reduction performance claims, associate analysis of the unit, together with its materials and structural integrity, and a complete review of the product and sales literature. Each of these institute certifies that home water treatment units meet or exceed National standard Institute/National Science Foundation and Environmental Protection Agency drinking water standards. American National standard Institute/National Science Foundation standards square measure issued in 2 completely different sets, one for health considerations (such as the removal of specific contaminants (Standard fifty three, Health Effects) and one for aesthetic considerations (Aesthetic Effects, like improving taste or look of water). Certification from these organizations can specify one or each of those specific standards.

 

NSF International: NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) started in 1944 at the University of Michigan college of Public Health. The NSF’s water treatment device certification program needs intensive product testing and unheralded audits of production facilities. One goal of this not for profit organization is to produce assurance to customers that the water treatment devices, they’re buying meet the design, material, and performance needs of national standards.

Underwriters Laboratories: Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., is an independent, licensed testing and certification organization that certifies home water treatment units that meet or exceed EPA and American National standard Institute/National Science Foundation drinking water standards of dissolved impurity reduction, aesthetic considerations, structural integrity, and material safety.

Water Quality Association: The Water Quality Association is a trade organization that tests water treatment instrumentation, and awards its Gold Seal to systems that meet or exceed ANSI/NSF standards for dissolved impurity reduction performance, structural integrity, and material safety.

Filters that use reverse osmosis, those tagged as “absolute one micron filters,” or those tagged as certified by an American National standards Institute (ANSI) licensed organization to American National standard Institute/National Science Foundation Standard fifty three for “Cyst Removal” give the best assurance of removing Cryptosporidium. Like all filters, follow the manufacturer’s directions for filter use and replacement

Types

Gravity based water purifier:  This is a type of water purifier that purifies water by flowing the water in the direction of gravity and placing any of basic filter that don’t require any mechanical power to operate, in between the water passage. This type of water purifier is very convincing and requires very low maintenance compared to the other category of purifier.

Electric Water Purifier: This type of purifier requires electric power to operate the device, and all the most advanced filters only work with these type of purifier. And the electric purifier is mostly used home based water purifier and one of the best water purifiers that purifies any type of water using different techniques.

Portable Water purifier:This type of water purifier is generally used by hill climbers and the military. These purifiers are normally small, portable and

Cross section of portable water purifier
Cross section of portable water purifier

lightweight (1-2 pounds/0.5-1.0 kg or less), and filters water by mechanical hand pump, although some use a siphon drip system to force water through, while others are built into normal water bottles. Dirty water inside this purifier is pumped via a screen-filtered flexible silicon tube through a specialized filter, ending up in a container.

These filters remove bacteria, protozoa and microbial cysts that can cause disease. This purifier  may have fine meshes that must be replaced or cleaned, and ceramic water filters must have their outside abraded when they have become clogged with impurities.

Advanced features

All the advanced features are always associated with the price of the water purifier. 100% RO :Some water purifier companies claim that they have 100% RO, Which means the RO purifier is also capable of removing all essential minerals from the water, along with the impurities. Which is not good at all for our health.

TDS regulator: Many water purifiers manufacture uses the TDS regulator to regulate the level of purification and can save the essential minerals present in the water. And some of the manufactures came with an additional mineral cartridge, so that after the RO process water passes through this cartridge to add the essential minerals, those were lost during the process of purification.

SMPS(Switching mode power supply): SMPS or call it voltage stabilizer, many advanced water purifier comes with built in SMPS so that the device can handle a range of power supply to protect the device from any power fluctuation.

HRR (High recovery rate): RO purifiers generally wastes 80% of water and produces 20% of water from the supplied water, this can be overcome by using HRR along with RO, This was first introduced by the ZERO-B and they claim, that using this technology one can get up to 80 percent of purified water from the supplied water.

Reject water tank : Many peoples not a fan of RO due to its water wastage and to overcome this, some manufactures introduced no water wastage Ro purifier. In this type of purifier they provide a reject water tank, so that you can use the rejected water for other purpose like watering plans cleaning floor.

G-tech: This is one of the most advanced technology in which the purifier detects the quality of water and automatically decides which filter is necessary among the available filter to purify the water and then the purification starts. As we know that all water doesn’t require RO filters and if RO was not used then there was no water wastage and you can save a lot of water.

Biotron: Some of the Eureka Forbes purifier claims that they have Biotron cartridge, which helps to de-cluster the water molecules to an extent, so that the water can be easily absorbed by our body.

Ionized alkaline: This process controls the alkaline level of the water depending on the requirement. Alkaline water is best for vegetable boiling, cooking and this water also haves many health benefits.

Ozone generator: This generates Ozone gas that destroys microbes and Ozone is more effective than chlorine in destroying viruses and bacteria. It has the ability to sanitize water and surfaces without wasting any water. At the end of the process, ozone gas quickly degrades into oxygen. Ozone is very effective against pollutants and it will react with long-chain carbon (organic) molecules, and break them down into less complex (and typically less harmful) molecules through oxidation.

History

The first experiments into water purification were made in the 17th century. Sir Francis Bacon designed a sand filter, to desalinate sea water by passing the water through it. Although his experiment did not succeed as per the expectations, it is the beginning of a new interest in the field of water purifier development.

John Snow was the first person to successfully use chlorine to disinfect the water supply, that had helped spread the cholera outbreak. William Soper also used the chlorinated lime to treat the sewage produced by typhoid patients in 1879. The practice of water purifier or a purifying development soon became mainstream and common.

In a paper published in 1894, formally proposed the addition of chloride of lime (calcium hypochlorite) to water makes it germ-free. Two other investigators confirmed these findings and published their papers one year later. Permanent water chlorination began in 1905, when a faulty slow sand filter and a contaminated water supply led to a serious typhoid fever epidemic in Lincoln, England. Dr. Alexander Cruickshank Houston used this chlorination of the water to stem the epidemic. The chlorination helped to stop the epidemic and as a precaution, the chlorination was continued until 1911 when a new water filter for purifying system was instituted.

 

Design

Water purifiers which are made for industrial purpose or for a large supply, involves many stages of the purification process like pre-treatment, coagulation and flocculation, sedimentation, dissolved air flotation, filtration,  membrane filtration, removal of ion and disinfection process, and for all this process it requires a large setup. Where as the compact home based water purifiers are generally made up of plastic or steel material, and within this compact structure all filters are packed to purify water.

Home based steel water purifiers are the basic water purifier which contains an activated carbon or any type of candle filter to purify water and a water storage chamber to store the purified water. In case of plastic made water purifier, there are a lot of variation and quality material like ABS food grade plastic was used to ensure more safety and to avoid any further disinfection to the stored purified water. These plastic made purifiers are very light weight and also comes with a storage tank to store purified water for the future use.

Alternatives

Water filters for water purification can be made on-site using local materials such as sand and charcoal (e.g. from firewood burned in a special way). These filters are sometimes used by soldiers and outdoor enthusiasts. Due to their low cost they can be made and used by anyone. The reliability of such systems is highly variable. Such filters can do little, if anything, to mitigate germs and other harmful constituents. Water processed through and these filters require some secondary processing such as boiling to make it safe for consumption.

Heating: The WHO states, bringing water to boil point and then naturally cooling is sufficient to inactivate harmful pathogenic bacteria, viruses and protozoa. Heat kills disease-causing micro-organisms, with higher temperatures and/or with long duration required for some pathogens. Sterilization of water (killing all living micro bodies) is not necessary to make water safe to drink; one only needs to render harmless enteric (intestinal) pathogens. Boiling doesn’t remove most pollutants and has the potential to concentrate toxins if continued over an extended period. Boiling does not leave any residual protection.