Drinking pure water is a basic need of everyone and nowadays clean water for drinking is not available. Agricultural practices, industrialization, urbanization, domestic practices, etc are the major reasons for contaminating water and make it unfit for consumption. It becomes important to be alert and aware of the various purification techniques and water purifiers.
There are present many unwanted minerals as an impurity in water that need to be removed for improving the water quality. An ideal water purifier removes excess minerals and makes water fit for drinking. The most important difference between a purifier and a filter is that a purifier can remove micro-organisms but filters cannot.
Water purification is the process of removal of contaminants to make it clean enough for domestic purposes.
Before buying an ideal water purifier you should consider the following points-
(1) Water quality
Before you buy a water purifier, you need to check the water quality that depends on the local area. The area that has high TDS (total dissolved salts) level, hardness, and salinity, RO water purifier are best.
(2) Storage capacity
The storage capacity of a water purifier is an important feature to consider if you live in an area where frequent power cut happens. As soon as the water level decreases the automated purification process starts in water purifiers with high storage capacity.
Certifications by the brand is a very crucial factor to consider as they are indicative of their authenticity. Some of the top-quality certifications are NSF, ISI, and CE.
(4) Maintenance and after-sales services
If your purifier needs frequent maintenance, then it is not worth to invest money on that. Also, if something goes wrong with the purifier, poor after sales service is a problematic situation to handle. Hence, before finalizing anything proper information about it should be taken care of.
(5) Additional benefits with special features
Purity process that passes through different stages, purification chamber made of stainless steel, energy saving standby mode, inbuilt kitchen timer, Pure-sense controller, and dual process filtration are some of the advanced features that ensure high performance of a water purifier.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF ADVANCED WATER PURIFICATION TECHNOLOGIES
In order to make the right decision, firstly you need to know about water purifiers and their characteristics.
(1) RO Purifiers (Reverse Osmosis)
RO purifiers are ideal for removal of invisible impurities and heavy metals such as Fluorine, Arsenic, etc. It is the most widely used purifier. If you are living in an area having high TDS level then you should opt for RO purifiers. It also removes the hardness of water. It works on the principle opposite to osmosis and pushes the water molecules along the concentration gradient i.e. from higher TDS level to lower TDS level. High TDS is indicative of high impurity. This requires a water pump which applies an external pressure to reverse the flow of water. High TDS water is pumped into the RO chamber at high pressure which then crosses the semi-permeable membrane leaving impurities behind. RO waste water gets discharged from another outlet. Hence, the TDS level of RO purified water is much lower than normal water.
With great benefits come some drawbacks also. It requires an input of electricity. It also results in unnecessary wastage of water because, for every 1 liter of purified water, 3 liters of waste-water is produced. It alters the taste of water and can remove some essential minerals of water. it also requires proper maintenance.
(2) UV (Ultraviolet) water purifiers
They require high power for their operation. They are used to purify tap and municipal water but are unable to remove dissolved salts. It uses UV radiations for the water purification. It works by emitting high-intensity rays which kills harmful microbes in the water. the problem with them is that they are unable to remove dissolved and un-dissolved impurities and chemicals present in water and they need some additional sediment pre-filters and activated carbon to remove undissolved and dissolved impurities respectively. They are recommended in areas with low TDS level and is useful for river or rainwater. It is very simple and highly effective because it removes 99.99% of the germs.
You need to use UF+UV water purifier if water has low TDS level but high microbial contamination.
(3) UF (Ultra-filtration) water purifier: They have a similar membrane just like RO purifiers but they have bigger pore size. It filters the colloidal particles like microbes but is unable to remove dissolved impurities. It physically removes the contaminants of water. These are useful when water has less TDS level. It works without electricity. It has a special manual flushing system that drains out all the blocked contaminants which keep it in the best condition for a longer time. It also removes turbidity and makes water clear of all the dust. It does not use any chemicals for the purification process and hence does not changes the quality and taste of water. It also offers added advantage of durability, affordable price, and do not waste a single drop of water.
COMMON PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH RO WATER PURIFIERS
(1) Low water flow: If the incoming water has a high TDS level, it may choke the filters. In the rainy season, TDS level increases and it takes at least 3 days to improve water flow.
(2) Improper working: Capacitors and Transformers in the water purifier are prone to faults on a PCB.
(3) Unusual taste and odor: A new water purifier tank should be drained and cleaned completely before using it to avoid unusual taste and odor.
(4) Leakage: In case of high tap water pressure, there might be a possibility of leakage which can degrade the filters faster.
(5) Noisy faucet: Noise is a common problem if RO water purifiers use faucets with air-gaps. This arises due to air pushing out.
WHICH IS A BETTER PURIFIER: RO WATER PURIFIER vs UV WATER PURIFIER?
Before arriving at a decision that which is a better purifier, a comparison at each level should be made.
RO purifiers physically remove all the germs as well as dissolved salts present in water through filtering membranes but in case of UV purifiers, germs are killed by strong UV light but the dead remains in the water.
Cost of maintenance
RO purifiers require low maintenance costs and give 100% pure water but it compromises on other features like filters that require a high maintenance cost. While on the other hand, UV purifiers have quartz sleeve that needs cleaning frequent times but the UV lamps in it require annual replacement.
RO purifiers with high output purification system can serve up to 15 people but UV water purifiers are suitable for 1-5 members.
RO water purifiers are much costly than UV water purifier.
RO water purifiers are efficient in working with dirty water due to the pre-filtration system but UV water purifiers work when water is clear. RO purifiers are equipped with TDS controller that retains natural minerals of water.
Hence, RO water purifiers win the race and are preferred over UV water purifiers.
We cannot ignore the harmful effects of drinking contaminated water and this article provides you enough information to understand the various types of water purifiers, common problems associated with them, advanced purification technologies and to choose the best suitable purifier according to your need and budget.