Many people are unfamiliar with all the options that are available for water treatment. This can lead to confusion, and expert advice may be needed to understand which method is best suited to your local water conditions. One of the most popular types of water filtration uses activated carbon as the filtration media. This can be a good option for many people, but it can offer some drawbacks in certain situations. In this article, we will look at what activated carbon is and some of the pros and cons for using it in your water filtration system at home.
These filters work by absorbing contaminants into an activated carbon filter medium. This will remove and any unwanted tastes or odors, along with any volatile man made organic contaminants. The efficiency of the system will depend upon a few different factors, including the type of activated carbon installed, the contact time between the filter and the water, the concentration of contaminants and the filter bed depth. An activated carbon filter is recommended only for water where no bacteria are present. A carbon filter is easy to install, simple to maintain and cheap to run unless the unit is an unusual model that needs specialized waste handling.
The Pros of Activated Carbon:
This filter media is very effective at removing and even improving the taste and odor of your drinking water. It can also remove other contaminants, such as iodine and chlorine residuals, radon, detergents, certain man-made chemicals (usually pesticides) and volatile organic chemicals (typically paint thinning products). It’s also possible to remove heavy metals and lead from your water supply, but this will need a specific type of activated carbon filter to be effective.
The Cons of Activated Carbon:
Activated carbon will not remove certain material types from the water supply, such as nitrates, fluoride, sodium, microbes, and water hardening compounds. As you can see, these are all materials that are less than desirable. Many people use additional systems to remove these and/or a water softener if the water in their area is hard.
Activated carbon filters, don’t deal with every type of contaminant equally and the material used in the filter is designed to trap contaminants on the surface. Typically, this type of water filter is used with a pre-treatment filter for the removal of iron particles or sediment that would clog the carbon filter. This is necessary because when the filter becomes clogged, it can cause a drop in the water quality and pressure.
If you’re considering installing an activated carbon filtration system in your home, talk to your local water treatment specialist first. They have essential knowledge about the water in your area and which water treatment methods will work best for you. There are all kinds of filtration systems and water softeners on the market to deal with a wide variety of water quality issues. Always ensure that you choose a water professional who is fully WQA certified to ensure that they give the best advice.
With more than 25 years experience in the residential and commercial water treatment space, Terry is a WQA (Water Quality Association) certified water specialist, LEVEL 3, as well as a WQA certified sales representative. Terry currently sits on EcoWater Systems (a Berkshire Hathaway Company) national Peers committee, as a water treatment expert advising other water professionals with less experience on best trade and technology practices. EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is one of the biggest water treatment and water delivery businesses in the state.