Different Types of Water Filtration

Water filters help address common issues like chlorine taste and odour and prevent the formation of limescale. They also reduce the concentration of certain contaminants like fluoride, and some protect against germs including Cryptosporidium.

Water Filtration Atlanta addresses different concerns, so choose yours carefully. We have a huge range of options, from basic filters to multistage systems that do the job for you.

Using a physical barrier to separate particles from the water, mechanical filtration removes dirt, particulates and sediment. These can include anything from small organic debris and clay to pathogenic cysts (giardia, cryptosporidium). Mechanical filters may be as simple as a basic mesh that catches larger debris or as complex as a ceramic filter with an extremely fine pore structure for ultra-fine filtration.

The most common mechanical filtration is called a cartridge filter and it’s used in many aquarium and home water treatment applications. These are typically a replaceable element that’s held in a large assembly with two spools, one that holds new fabric and the other that’s holding used fabric. When the water reaches a certain pressure drop, the assembly is triggered to switch over and roll up the old fabric and unroll the new.

Even the best mechanical filters cannot stop all of the smallest particulates and contaminants from passing through their gaps. This is where adsorption comes in. When the contaminant particles get very close to the filter medium, their surface will attract them and they are then held there with weak electrical charges or molecular forces.

A good mechanical filtration system is designed in stages with a leading sieve or strainer that’s designed to capture the largest particulates and sediment pieces. This is followed by a series of filters with progressively smaller holes. Any contaminants that got through the previous filters are then caught by the next filter in the chain, until all of the contaminant matter is trapped.

All of the filtration systems listed above use some form of this concept. However, there are several different types of mechanical filtration systems, each with their own unique benefits and drawbacks. Regardless of the type of mechanical filtration used, it’s important to regularly clean or replace them. This prevents waste build up, which can lead to a spike in ammonia and nitrite levels or slow down biological filtration. Fortunately, there are now many self cleaning filter systems on the market that make this task much easier than ever before. Just be sure to use the right cleaners to avoid killing beneficial bacteria that help with biological filtration.

Chemical Filtration

Chemical filtration is the next step in the filtration chain. It targets specific contaminants down to the molecular level that mechanical filters can’t. It is used as a tool to maintain clarity, remove odors, and correct water quality issues.

Chemicals can be absorbed or bound to the waste molecules, which then become trapped in the filter media. This allows the waste to be exported from the tank rather than being broken down and reintroduced back into the water. Chemical filters can include activated carbon, GFO, resins, or mixed all-in-one media. Activated carbon and GFO are the two most common chemical filtration methods for marine aquariums. There are also a variety of specialty filter media available as well including the likes of Biopellets, carbon dosing and Zeovit.

The first step of chemical filtration is often a coarse mechanical filter, such as a coarse sponge or filter socks that sifts and traps the waste material in a rough surface. Coarse mechanical filter media can be rinsed and reused if it’s cleaned regularly. The finer bonded foam, felt polishing pads and protein skimmers are typically disposable as they can’t be rinsing or easily cleaned.

After the coarse coarse mechanical filter media has done its job, the water is ready to meet the specialized chemical filtration media. These can be passive, such as the carbon filtration which is tuned for specific volatile organic compound (VOC) removal or active, such as the oxidation of metals through UV excitement. Biological filtration also counts as a form of chemical filtration as it harbors nitrifying bacteria that convert ammonia into nitrite and then nitrate, removing toxins from the water as they do so.

Mesh Filtration

Metal mesh filters offer a variety of benefits that make them one of the most popular filter media options available. These include their ability to be cleaned and their accuracy, along with their durability and flow rate. They can also be fabricated into a variety of shapes and sizes depending on the unique requirements of each application. Woven metal mesh filters are composed of an array of metallic wires. These wires create a pliable filter cloth with precise and rigid pore openings that can be customized to accommodate most filter systems. They can be woven from many different alloys including Alloy 310, Inconel 600, Duplex and Super duplex, Hastelloy C22, and Titanium.

To ensure that woven metal mesh is resilient enough to endure a wide range of operating conditions, it can undergo one of two heat treatment methods: annealing and sintering. Annealing is a common process that reduces the internal stress and hardness of each wire, while sintering creates a more permanent bond at each wire intersection. Both of these processes significantly enhance the durability of a metal mesh filter, which makes them ideal for use in demanding applications such as extruder screens and gasket socks.

During the manufacturing process, a metal mesh filter will often be welded together to ensure that the finished product is leak-proof and able to withstand high temperatures. This is typically done using a spot, TIG, plasma, or solder welding technique. The method of welding used will usually depend on the specific application and the desired characteristics of the resulting filter.

The final step in the fabrication process involves pleating the filter fabric to increase its filtration surface area. Depending on the size and complexity of the filter, this may be accomplished using a number of different techniques. For example, simple single-layer pieces are often welded with a spot welding process, while multiple layers of mesh are sometimes welded together by TIG or plasma welding.

The most important factor in determining which filter is best for your needs is to understand what exactly you’re looking to filter out of your water. The best way to do this is to provide your metal mesh supplier with as much information as possible about your application, including the required pore openings and material composition of the contaminants you’re trying to target. Once this is done, your metal mesh supplier will be able to recommend the appropriate filter material.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse Osmosis water filters reduce contaminants by pushing water under pressure through a semi-permeable membrane. The result is a high-quality, clean water for drinking and other household uses. Reverse Osmosis systems also have the ability to remove many dissolved contaminants, including fluoride, nitrates, and lead. These are not visible to the naked eye and cannot be removed with a standard water filter.

This is one of the most effective types of water filtration available but it’s typically unnecessary on a home scale. Reverse osmosis was designed for large-scale applications such as providing freshwater to remote areas or desalinating ocean water. This process also requires a great deal of energy and water to run effectively.

The specialized membrane used in reverse osmosis can remove up to 99% of certain types of contaminants. However, it can also remove some beneficial minerals that are important to your health. This means that RO systems often include a water softener to help restore those essential nutrients.

Another downside to reverse osmosis is that it can waste a significant amount of water. It takes about 4 gallons of water to produce just 1 gallon of clean, filtered water. This makes it an expensive option for homes that use a lot of water for cooking, washing clothes, and other daily tasks. Many zero waste systems are designed to offset this water usage by running the discarded water back across mineral beds to add some of those positive, healthy minerals back to the reclaimed water.

Reverse osmosis systems are also susceptible to biofouling, which occurs when bacteria or other microorganisms build up on the membrane. While city-treated water should be free of these contaminants unless a boil water advisory is issued, homeowners using well water may have to take additional measures such as ultraviolet disinfection to prevent them.

While distilled water is a common choice for a home distiller, it’s worth noting that it doesn’t have the same level of purity as an RO system. Distillation removes most chemicals and minerals from the water, but it does not remove all. Our bodies need minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium to lubricate joints and aid organ function. Luckily, our diets can provide these nutrients, so it’s best not to skip out on them altogether.