Any type of surface water is not safe to drink unless it is properly treated and disinfected. The type of equipment you will need depends on the type and quality of water that you are using. General information about the types of treatment devices that are available is included below. To find out more about specific devices or to make a decision about which one to use with your system, contact your local water treatment equipment supplier.
Whatever your choice, it is important to test your drinking water
regularly, especially if it hasn’t been tested lately or if you detect any changes to its appearance, taste, or smell.
Types of devices
Three types of drinking water treatment devices are available:
- Disinfecting devices are used to destroy harmful micro-organisms.
- Filtration devices are used to remove harmful micro-organisms.
- Devices used to remove chemical, taste and odour.
There are a variety of disinfecting devices available. The choice must be considered carefully. The effectiveness of each may depend on the quality of water being treated. Water that is contaminated or cloudy, or water with high iron or colour may not be completely treated by disinfection alone and may require additional treatment.
- Uses ozone to destroy microorganisms.
- Sealed unit requiring moderate amounts of electricity to produce ozone.
- Excess ozone must not leak out of unit into environment.
- Some residual protection.
- Easy to install and maintain.
- Can be expensive.
- Commonly used to reduce the levels of all chemicals in drinking water.
- Effective for the removal of both organic and inorganic chemicals.
- Steam from boiled water is collected and condensed back to liquid.
- Microorganisms and many contaminants are removed.
- Can be expensive.
- Adds a chlorine solution through injector mechanisms to kill microorganisms.
- Requires at least 15 minutes contact time to be effective.
- Provides residual disinfection that may prevent further contamination.
- Residual can be easily tested to confirm chlorinator is operating
Ultraviolet Light (UV)
- Destroys microorganisms by exposing them to ultraviolet radiation.
- UV lamps should be checked and cleaned periodically or replaced when necessary.
- Very cloudy, turbid, highly contaminated water, or water with a high iron content may not be effectively treated without suitable pre-treatment .
- Provides no residual disinfection.
- Easy to install.
- Works the same as chlorinators.
- Should not be used continuously over long periods because of possible physiological effects.
- Should be reserved for emergency and occasional use (for example at a weekend cottage or in recreational vehicles).
Sediment Filtration Devices
- Filtration devices filter out harmful microorganisms such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium which are not typically destroyed by chemical disinfectants.
- Filtration provides consistency in the concentration of disinfectants. Filtration will reduce or eliminate Trihalomethanes (THM’s). THM’s are known carcinogens. They are formed when organic debris combines with chlorine, a common disinfectant.
- Filtration devices require maintenance which involves changing filters on a regular basis. Types of filters include ceramic, woven, pleated and membrane materials.
Devices for removal of chemicals, taste, and odour
The appearance, taste and smell of drinking water are usually more obvious to the consumer than the bacterial quality. Minerals such as iron, manganese, calcium and hardness can make the water taste or smell bad. Minerals can cause economic concerns as well. For example, very hard water requires the use of more soap or laundry detergent. A number of devices can help solve these problems however, these units do not disinfect (destroy harmful microorganisms) and can accumulate existing bacterial contamination without proper maintenance.
Activated Carbon/Charcoal Filters
- Remove chlorine, odour and taste (of organic origin).
- Improve overall taste, smell and appearance.
- Require no power to operate.
- Does not replace sediment filtration or disinfection requirements.
- Are easy to install and maintain.
- Are effective for removing metals, minerals salts and tastes.
- Very low flow rate and generates large volumes of waste water.
To find out more information about which specific water treatment and disinfections unit you would require, contact your local water treatment equipment supplier.
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