Portawater UK water treatment services logo

Water Filters

Water filters use a variety of physical and chemical purification techniques to remove contaminants from a water supply.

Jump to:

How Do Water Filters Work?

There are two types of water filtration: physical and chemical.

With physical filtration, the water passes through a gauze-like membrane within the filter. This is effective at removing larger, suspended particles or contaminants within the supply.

With chemical filtration, the filter either passes the water through an active material or uses smart technology to remove dissolved impurities like iron, sodium and copper that would usually pass by physical water filters.

While there are many different water purification techniques, the most popular methods involve activated charcoal, reverse osmosis and sediment filtration.

What Does a Water Filter Do?

Water filters improve the quality of a water supply through removing any harmful contaminants that could affect its taste and smell.

While no water filters are 100% effective at removing all impurities, they are a very cost-effective way to instantly boost the quality of the water in your home or office.

The type of filter a system needs will depend on the contaminants you are looking to remove so it is important to take this into account before installation.

Why Filter Water?

If water is not treated and filtered then it could contain dangerous contaminants that can make a user unwell. Even when coming from a treated supply, the water can still take on unpleasant tastes and odours from chemicals like chlorine which are used to keep it free from germs and bacteria.

Filtration takes this potentially harmful water and turns it into water that is free from any odours, tastes and contaminants. While water filters remove impurities such as chlorine, mercury and lead they also work to keep important minerals like magnesium, calcium and zinc within the supply which makes it better than bottled and standard tap water.

Overall filtering tap water is a lot more cost-effective and eco-friendly than the alternative of buying bottled water. After installation the filters also require very little maintenance thanks to their durability, making them a perfect choice for a household looking to easily improve the quality of their water.

How Long Do Water Filters Last?

All filtration systems work in a similar way with the water passing through a replaceable cartridge.

There is no exact answer for how long a water filter will last as this depends on factors such as its usage, the water quality and the type of filter being used.

As a guideline, we recommend changing filters at the following intervals:

  • 4 to 6 months for water filters in commercial settings
  • 6 to 12 months for water filters in residential settings
  • Every 2 to 4 years for additional alkalisers, reverse osmosis and membrane filters.

 

Even with these guidelines, you should continue to monitor the condition of your filter to prevent an excess build-up of contaminants.

Does a Water Filter Soften Water?

Water filters and water softeners are systems used to address different issues.

With a physical water filter, it is only possible to remove particles suspended in the water rather than any dissolved chemicals or contaminants present. In this sense the water will only be soft if it was already soft before filtration.

Water softeners are different as they do not filter out hard minerals but instead they use a process known as ion exchange to replace them with sodium ions. By doing so the water goes from hard to soft which helps to prevent limescale deposits within your system.

While many households choose to install both water filters and softeners, you may be able to solve your issue with just one of the two. For example, if the chlorine in your water is affecting its taste or smell then a water filter would be preferable whereas a water softener should be chosen if you are encountering problems with limescale.

Types of Water Filters

SOFTENED WATER CYLINDERS

Water softening is the removal of calcium, magnesium, and certain other metal cations in hard water. The resulting soft water is more compatible with soap and extends the lifetime of plumbing.

In general water filtration is the process of removing or reducing the concentration of particulate matter, including suspended particles, parasites, bacteria, algae, viruses, and fungi, as well as other undesirable chemical and biological contaminants from contaminated water to produce safe and clean water for a specific purpose, such as drinking, medical, and pharmaceutical applications.

APPLICATIONS
BENEFITS

DE-IONISED WATER CYLINDERS

Deionized water systems (or water deionizers) remove nearly all ions from your water, including minerals like iron, sodium, sulfate, and copper. Since these ions make up most non-particulate water contaminants, you’ll get high purity water quickly and affordably.

APPLICATIONS

CARBON CYLINDERS

Granular activated carbon (GAC) is commonly used for removing organic constituents and residual disinfectants in water supplies. This not only improves taste and minimizes health hazards; it protects other water treatment units such as reverse osmosis membranes and ion exchange resins from possible damage due to oxidation or organic fouling. Activated carbon is a favored water treatment technique because of its multifunctional nature and the fact that it adds nothing detrimental to the treated water.

APPLICATIONS
BENEFITS

CALCIUM FILTERS

Calcium treatment units offer a way to remove hardness minerals from water to stop limescale while keeping water drinkable. As well as this, they improve the taste of incoming feed water with carbon filtration, meaning they are ideal for equipment such as espresso machines, combination ovens, water boilers and vending machines.

APPLICATIONS
BENEFITS

NITRATE CYLINDERS

Nitrate in groundwater originates primarily from fertilizers, septic systems, and manure storage or spreading operations. Fertilizer nitrogen that is not taken up by plants, volatilized, or carried away by surface runoff leaches to the groundwater in the form of nitrate. This can be extremely harmful to fish especially tropical, marine and Koi Carp.

APPLICATIONS
BENEFITS