Water Filter Media

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And The Types Of Contaminants They Remove

A water filter media, is the absorbent within a filter cartridge that is responsible for separating contaminants from your tap water. The absorbent may be made of carbon, granite, gravel, manganese sand or some other type of material.

As water flows over the media, the granules traps or absorbs the contaminants, hence preventing them from entering your water supply. Water filters will use a combination of media, because no one water filter media is perfect.

Below, you’ll find a summary of some of the more popular media and the contaminants they remove


Activated Carbon

Read info on activated carbon water filtration media.


Anthracite

A shiny coal used as component in multi media filters. Capable of removing turbidity from water




Biological Carbon Filter

As water passes through these filters, some microorganisms are trapped within the carbon granules and begin to thrive. These microorganisms in return capture and biologically degrade organic pollutants as well as eliminate bad odor, color and taste.

Carbon filters in general need to be regularly backwashed to remove any particles trapped between the crevices. Matter that is absorbed into the carbon can’t be removed by backwashing. After continuous use, the carbon media is unable to absorb any more particles and those particles start entering your water supply. Therefore, frequent changing of carbon media filters is required.


Biological Sand Filter

This is a process that has been endorsed by the World Health Organization(WHO) and used in many third world countries to filter surface water.

As water passes through the sand, a layer of biofilm containing bacteria, fungi, insect larvae and other living and dying microorganisms, form on top of the sand. These microorganisms traps and consumes iron, arsenic and some organic matter. The sand also plays a supporting role in the filtering of foreign matter.

It is important that water that is biologically filtered be treated with a disinfection process before it is consumed.


Birm

A black granular filter capable of removing iron and manganese from your tap water and noted for it’s long life.


Calcite Media

When acidic waters come in contact with this calcite media, the calcium carbonate is dissolved from the media and this process increases the pH level of water. Water higher in pH absorbs significantly less heavy metals as it passes through the plumbing system of your home.


Ceramic water filtration media

Get info on ceramic water filter media.


Garnet

A reddish black chemical often used as the final filtration layer in multi-media filters. In combination with other media, it improves water flow rates and filtration.


Kinetic Degradation Fluxion media filter(KDF)

A copper-zinc alloy capable of removing contaminants such as chlorine, lead, iron and hydrogen sulfide in the water. Also capable of protecting your filtration system from bacterial fouling, algae and fungi.


Sand and gravel single media

In the standard sand and gravel media, layers of sand and gravel are arranged according to density, in order to filter the water.That is, the lighter and finer sand particles are placed at the top – which is where most of the filtration takes place. At the bottom, there are the rougher, heavier gravel particles at the bottom.

Sand and gravel water filter media traps small bugs, sediments and any other large particles found in water. However, some contaminants such as microorganisms and industrial chemicals will get through.

Therefore it is imperative that after sand filtration, an additional filtration or disinfectant process be used, so that the water is suitable for drinking.

If you decide to acquire a filter with a sand and gravel media, go for the multi-media type. It filters water faster and more effectively because it’s design allows the entire bed to filter the water. This is unlike the conventional single media filter, where it is primarily at the top that filtration takes place.


Manganese Greensand

Purple-black filter media capable of eliminating arsenic, iron, manganese, hydrogen sulphide and radium by oxidation and filtration.




MTM Media Filter

A dark brown granular manganese dioxide water filter media. Like other manganese, it eliminates iron, manganese and hydrogen sulfide from your tap water.


Conclusion

No water filter media can remove all the contaminants within your water supply. This is one reason why there are so many water filter media on the market.

As you use your home water filtration system over time, it’s performance diminishes. Some of the factors that will affect your filter’s performance is bacterial build up, the pH balance of your water, water temperatures and rotting.

Therefore, to keep your home water filter working properly, it is essential to change your water filter media according to the manufacturer’s maintenance guidelines.


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