What types of contaminants can be removed by water filtration? 

Water filtration is a series of steps that remove contaminants from water. These contaminants may be from sources like metal corrosion, industrial processes and chemicals. 

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Some of these contaminants are dangerous to our health and can be harmful if ingested. For example, some pesticides are highly toxic to our bodies and can cause cancer. Many people are also concerned about pharmaceutical drugs that have gotten into the drinking water supply. 

The most common type of filtration is reverse osmosis which uses mechanical pressure to force impure water through a semi-permeable membrane. This is considered the most effective method of removing most contaminants from the water. 

However, it is important to understand that this process can be very slow. This is because it involves a diffusion mechanism so the efficiency of the process depends on water pressure, temperature and solute concentration. 

In addition to osmosis, other water filtration methods include physical filtration and chemical filtration. Some chemical filters use a process called ion exchange to replace unwanted Ca2+ and Mg2+ ions with benign (soap-friendly) Na+ or K+ ions. Other chemical filters use a chemical reaction called ionization to separate dissolved impurities into smaller soluble molecules that can then be filtered out of the water. 

This process can also be used to remove a variety of organic substances that may be in the water. These can include chlorine, bacteria, algae, viruses, and fungi. 

Another common contaminant that can be removed by water filtration is lead. This is a known carcinogen and must be eliminated before it can be passed into the drinking water. 

To reduce the amount of lead in the water, a reverse osmosis system can be added to the process to allow for greater removal of this contaminant. Kinetico’s K5 reverse osmosis system is certified to remove more than 90% of contaminants from the water, including lead. 

Chlorine and other disinfectants are commonly used to kill bacteria in the water. They are effective in reducing the number of microorganisms present, but their use can be a problem when contaminated natural organic compounds are also present. 

Some chemical filtration methods, such as granular activated carbon (GAC) and catalytic carbon, can remove a wide range of contaminants from the water by attracting and capturing the pollutants. Activated carbon has a large, porous surface that attracts chlorine and other odorless chemicals. The adsorption process in these types of carbon filters can help to remove other contaminants from the water such as pesticides, arsenic and other heavy metals. 

Alternatively, some chemical filtration methods such as ultra-filtration utilize polymer films with microscopic pores to filter the water without relying on coagulants or other chemicals. These are becoming more popular as a cheaper alternative to other types of water filtration. 

The most common chemicals that can be contaminated by water are chloramines, chlorine and MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether). These are often treated with a bacterial growth inhibitor to prevent them from being released into the drinking water supply.