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Why Are Conventional Water Filtration Methods Not as Effective as Purifiers?


Having access to clean and safe drinking water is very important for health as contaminated water can create havoc. When we talk of water purification, it is a process that includes the removal of biological contaminants, undesirable chemicals and various suspended particles from water. The entire idea is to remove all the harmful contaminants that are not meant to be in water in the first place.

Out of the 70% water present on our planet, only 2.5% is fresh water and only 1% of this is accessible. Most of this 1% is again contaminated and we need to disinfect it for making it fit for human consumption.

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Conventional Methods

People have been using many traditional or conventional methods to ensure that water is safe for consumption. These conventional methods include physical processes like boiling of water, filtration, sedimentation, and distillation. Then, there are biological processes, which include use of biologically active carbon and slow sand filters. The use of chemicals like chlorine and flocculation also qualify for these conventional methods.

These methodologies are good, but then they are not enough to take care of all the contaminants that are present in water. For instance, boiling can kill the bacteria and viruses present in water and then you can filter that water through a cloth to get rid of the dead germs. However, the chemical contaminants remain intact.

In villages or in slums where people cannot afford to use modern water filters, they rely on filtration done through clay vessel. In this method, water is poured in a clay vessel having a suitable pore size. The water passes through these pores and gets collected in a jar that is placed at the bottom of the clay vessel. This method is perfect for filtering particles up to a certain size, but the microparticles and dissolved chemicals still pass through it and the filtered water is actually not perfect for drinking.

If water has high levels of chemicals like calcium and arsenic, then no conventional method is effective at treating such water.

Modern Methods

To purify contaminated water, one needs to make use of water purifiers that use the modern technology of UV filtration or Reverse Osmosis (RO). The best water purifier for home will be the one that makes use of these modern technologies and provides you with clean and safe drinking water. RO technology is designed to remove all types of suspended and dissolved particles from water and make it safe for domestic as well as industrial usage. The RO membrane does not allow the impurities to pass through the pores and thus ensures safe water for drinking.

Similarly, the UF technology removes all colloids, bacteria, and macromolecules. It is preferred over traditional methods as here no chemical is used for the purification process.

Whether it’s groundwater or water from rivers, everything is contaminated with various chemicals, pesticides that get leached into the ground, untreated waste from industries etc. The traditional methods, which make use of low-level mechanisms, are thus not very effective in today’s scenario when water is highly contaminated.

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