Many people will be increasingly aware of the benefits of having a water filter in their homes, not least those who have to deal with hard water or incidents where there may be some discolouration or pollution.
While it is true that the UK, like most western countries, supplies its people with tap water that is usually perfectly safe to drink and can be used to wash clothes, household items or, of course, oneself, the blemishes that hard or occasionally stained water can bring are reason enough to consider a filter.
Clearly this can be good news in getting rid of elements such as excessive calcium that causes hardness, but, some will ask, how do they work?
There are different systems that are now available. We recently wrote about UV filters which work by using UV radiation to break down the DNA of impurities, which is particularly handy for killing off any nasty bugs that might get into the system.
However, there are several other kinds of filter. One example is a reverse osmosis filter system.
Osmosis is the method by which water molecules pass through a membrane from a place where they are a present in a high concentration to where they will be in a lower concentration, an example of this being how plants absorb moisture.
Reverse osmosis does the opposite, with the water coming through the membrane as a higher concentration, leaving molecules of other substances on the outside, unable to get through.
By this method, a reverse osmosis filter can keep out all sorts of unwanted substances. Larger particles such as those that might be loose in the water as a result of issues with pipes or disturbances to sediment will be kept out, although this is usually an ephemeral problem that can be eliminated by running the tap to clear any impurities out or requires a plumbing solution.
However, reverse osmosis filters can also keep out all sorts of other elements commonly found in water. It can be used in desalination, for example, or even in the purification of ethanol. However, in the home it is most useful for substances like chlorine, sulphates and fluoride.
Other examples include inline water filters, through which the water is diverted before emerging in a purer state and passing through to your taps. In the case of the products we offer, these pass through a series of filters rather than one.
The fact that there are different systems, whether as membrane barriers that use (or reverse) the natural principles of osmosis, or the use if the latest technology in concentrating UV light on water to kill off any unwelcome bugs, means you can choose a system that works best for your household.
Whether the issue is regular problems with your local water supply, issues with sediment and debris in the pipes, or just a hard water problem, water filters can make a huge difference. Understanding how they work can give you confidence that they will make the water that comes through your taps much more pleasant to use.