Can Water Filtration Remove Bacteria and Viruses From Water?
Water filtration is the process through which your drinking water is purified to remove contaminants, bacteria, particulates and other irritants that affect its taste and quality. This can be done through whole-house filtration systems, which can be installed in your home, or by under-sink filters like reverse osmosis, which are typically found in offices and restaurants.
(Looking for “Expert Water Maintenance“? Contact us today!)
Whether your water is safe to drink is a personal choice and varies from person to person, but most people would agree that filtered water tastes much better than tap water. In addition, filtered water can be safer to bathe and clean in.
Bacteria and Virus Filters: Can They Remove Them?
In general, many consumers do not need a water filter that can remove bacteria or viruses from their drinking water. However, if you live in an area where waterborne diseases are common, you may wish to consider purchasing a filter that can remove these organisms.
Some water filters can remove viruses, but this is a question that requires more research than simply asking, “Do filters remove viruses?” It’s important to understand how water filters work and which types are best at removing contaminants, including viruses.
Most commonly, water filters remove microorganisms that are 0.1 microns or smaller, which is the size range of most viruses. These include hepatitis A, rotavirus, norovirus, and enteroviruses.
The effectiveness of a water filter to remove these microorganisms depends on the type of bacteria or virus it is designed to exclude, which can be determined by the size of its pores and by the use of antiviral or antibacterial agents. A number of bioactive agents are available that can selectively and rapidly remove certain microorganisms (Wen et al., 2017).
Nanofiltration and Ultrafiltration Membranes: Some water filters are able to remove viruses by employing either nanofiltration membranes or ultrafiltration membranes with positive charges on the surface of the membrane (Mukherjee and De, 2017). These methods have been shown to be effective for a variety of bacteria species including hepatitis A and rotavirus.
Some filters also have activated carbon that can remove bacteria by forming a physical barrier to the bacterial molecules. This is especially effective with carbon filters that have a graded density profile such as Billi’s Fibron X technology.
Other filters can remove viruses by using ultraviolet light. This can remove viruses and protozoa but does not remove other contaminants. UV filtration does not improve the taste or smell of your water, though.
Regardless of which filter you choose, make sure that it is compatible with the chemicals in the water it will be removing. If it is not, contaminants can easily pass through the filtration system and into the rest of your home’s plumbing.
The World Health Organization states that a few waterborne diseases are significant public health concerns, including hepatitis A and hepatitis B. Other viruses that are also a concern are rotavirus, norovirus, enteroviruses, adenoviruses and astroviruses.
Choosing a filter that can remove these contaminants is an important decision for many people who are concerned about their family’s health and well-being. This is particularly true if you live in an area where these illnesses are prevalent or if you live in an area with limited access to clean water sources.