Canadian drinking water is usually of high quality, but silt, minerals, and agricultural run-off sometimes set it off balance. Even the most stringent governmental guidelines can’t keep water pure 100% of the time. Water filtration is the only way to achieve consistent results. Filters can enhance the taste of your water and remove contaminants, but it can be expensive and impractical to attach individual filters to every tap in the home. A whole house filter system can manage hundreds to thousands of gallons of water efficiently without requiring much maintenance.
The Right Filter Must Account For:
- Neighbourhood’s water hardness: Hard water needs filtration that reduces calcium and magnesium levels.
- Daily filtration rates: If your household is a big one, budget for your filter’s replacement and operating costs. Some filters are more expensive to maintain than to install, and some last longer than others.
- Water wastage needs: Some filters create wastewater that’s less than ideal for areas suffering from drought or where utility costs are a factor.
Point of Entry vs. Point of Use Filters
Filters can broadly be divided into point of use and point of entry systems. POU filters treat water as it exits the tap while POE filters treat it at its point of entry. The latter don’t allow for accidental contamination, but in areas where microbial infection isn’t a risk, such thoroughness is rarely necessary. POE filters let you cover your entire house, including your laundry, toilet, and shower. In hard water areas, they’re the only intelligent choice for home improvements.
How to Choose a Filtration System
Every filtration system has its own benefits and applications.
- Activated carbon filters absorb impurities like chloramines, bacteria, and parasites. In so doing, they improve the taste of your water.
- Cation exchange softeners remove positively charged minerals such as calcium, barium, and magnesium, removing the hardness that corrodes your pipes and interferes with the creation of foam.
- Distillers are the simplest filters, relying on condensation to remove heavy metals, fluoride, and sodium.
- Reverse osmosis filters push water through a permeable film to filter out parasites, industrial chemicals, and metals. This system uses a lot of power, and is often combined with carbon filtration.
- Ultraviolet light disinfection limits its powers to the removal of parasites, bacteria, and other microbes.
If your area provides potable, soft water, a basic distiller or carbon filter should suit you. Canada’s tap water is generally free of microbes, so UV disinfection is only needed in homes that use grey or other unpotable water.
The Problem with Reverse Osmosis
Reverse osmosis and distillers remove valuable compounds like fluoride, and their most dramatic effects will be felt most by children. Fluoride deficiency causes tooth decay, especially while adult teeth are forming. It reduces bone density, causing fragile joints and breakages. It may also have knock-on effects on iron levels, causing tiredness, chest pain, and headaches. Since most westerners get their daily intake of fluoride from their drinking water, reverse osmosis should always be combined with a solid supplementation regimen.
The water in Maple Ridge is sometimes affected by fertilizers and garden run-off. Filtration priorities here are the removal of corrosives, chemicals, and hardness. Its high nitrogen and low oxygen levels may indicate the growth of algae, which can make water taste slightly muddy, so a thorough filtration strategy is an important part of your home improvements. Whole house systems will prevent contamination, keeping all your water clear, soft, and pure.