How Does Natural Water Filtration Work?
Whether you’re drinking lake or river water, tap water from your community’s treatment plant, or bottled water, it’s important to know how water is filtered before it gets to you. It’s a process that can remove a wide range of contaminants, from common disease-causing microorganisms to potentially toxic dissolved metals.
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Wetlands act as natural water filters by reducing the speed of surface water flow, trapping sediments in the soil layer, and chemically detoxifying pollutants that would otherwise end up in larger bodies of water. All three processes work together to help wetlands remove contaminants from water before they reach you, according to the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
Soil naturally filters water by physically removing large debris and particles as water percolates down through the soil layers, and bacteria and microorganisms in the soil further purify water by breaking down chemicals and contaminants, according to Michigan State University.
This type of natural water filtration is a critical part of many ecosystem services, and it helps nature keep the water clean, fresh and healthy for humans as well. In fact, soil is the largest natural filter on the planet and can provide as much water filtration as needed.
Other methods of water filtration include boiling the water to produce steam that then rises into a separate container, and distillation, which involves heating the water to create steam that can then be condensed back into drinking water. Distillation is one of the most effective means of water filtration, but it’s also the most expensive.
Another method of water filtration is activated carbon, which can remove chlorine-based chemicals introduced during waste-water purification and some pesticides. However, it can’t tackle limescale, heavy metals, sodium or nitrates. It can also clog up and need to be replaced.
A water treatment plant can use physical and chemical filtration, but it also uses ultrafiltration, which involves a special membrane that has very small pores. This membrane only lets through water and other tiny molecules.
In addition to physical and chemical filtration, a natural water filtration system might also incorporate a UV ray or chemical purification tablet, which kills microorganisms that can make your water unfit for drinking.
Activated carbon is one of the most popular water filtration systems, and it can remove contaminants like chlorine, lead, arsenic, and benzene. It’s also an inexpensive alternative to bottled water, but it can clog up and need to be replaced.
Wisewell offers a natural water filtration system that uses several different natural filter processes to remove unwanted contaminants and replenish minerals in your drinking water. This system, called Full Spectrum Filtration, includes a carbon filter that removes harmful particles and volatile organic compounds, a RO filter that removes dissolved metals, a UV ray that kills bacteria, and a Maifan stone filter that replenishes minerals.
The EPA estimates that a person can drink up to 10 million gallons of water a day, so it’s essential to have access to clean drinking water. It’s also important to understand the different ways that water can become contaminated, so you can take steps to protect your health and the environment.