Living in a country with a hot climate, we drink a lot of water most of the year-round and we try to educate our children to do the same. Although the water coming out of our faucets is not dangerous, there are undesirable quantities of chlorine, bacteria, cysts and unwanted tastes and odors. This often makes it hard to drink the recommended quantities of water to keep us hydrated.
Those of us who like good-tasting water tend to go straight for the bottle…bottled water, that is! We will sometimes buy dozens of bottles a month in order to provide drinking water for our families. Some of the bottles we buy in the supermarket contain natural mineral water, others are simply bottled filtered water that have gone through a cleansing process. It is worth checking on the bottle exactly where it came from and what method of purification it went through.
However, there are alternatives to expensive and environment polluting bottled water and that is an in-house drinking water filtration system. These systems allow you to be in control of how clean and safe your water is at home, and enable you to have continual access to clean safe water whenever you want.
So let’s get down to the details. There are a range of drinking water filtration systems available in Israel.
- Reverse Osmosis System. This usually comprises of a pressurized tank and a 5-stage filter system under your kitchen sink. The water passes through a membrane where the contaminants and impurities are held back. While the reverse osmosis systems does a good job in removing the contaminants, they also remove some of the minerals that are beneficial for you. They are quite bulky, take up quite a lot of space under your sink and are quite expensive both to install and maintain. The other widely unknown fact about RO systems is that for every liter of water we drink, the system releases around 4-6 liters of water down the drain.
- Pitcher-water filters (Brita). This filtration method consists of a fairly basic activated carbon granule filter cartridge located in the pitcher. As you pour the water into the top of the pitcher, it drips through the cartridge which absorbs some impurities before entering the jug. The main disadvantages of the Brita is that you regularly have to buy and replace the cartridges, and you need to refill the pitcher, especially if you have a large number of family members who drink water.
- Counter-top Water Dispensers. These have become increasingly popular over recent years because of the convenience of having instant hot and cold water. They use an in-line filter cartridge and remove the contaminants before they get to your cup. The disadvantage of the water dispenser machine is that it is fairly high maintenance. Internal parts sometimes malfunction and need replacing. In addition, it operates on electricity which is powering the machine 24/7 in order to ensure that you always have hot and cold water and because it is quite bulky, it takes up space on your countertop.
- Activated Carbon Block Systems. This is the most popular method of drinking water filtration. How does activated carbon filters work? Activated carbon is often used to remove contaminants and impurities in our water. Carbon is probably the most absorbent material known to man, and it is uniquely efficient because of thousands of tiny pores that can absorb small particles. The carbon is positively charged to attract negatively charged impurities such as chlorine, chemicals and volatile organic compounds. It also improves the bad tastes and odors in your water.
Although there are several types of activated carbon filters available, the activated carbon powder block, a densely-packed cartridge is probably the most effective because it absorbs the largest quantity of contaminants and impurities.
These filter systems are installed under the kitchen sink and can either be installed in-line (directly connected to the cold water on the kitchen faucet) or can be connected to a separate filter tap that comes out of your countertop.
Whatever drinking water filter system you choose, in my opinion a water filtration system is an essential kitchen appliance to ensure you are drinking clean safe water and therefore protecting your family.