There are several important things you need to know about home water treatment systems, if you're thinking about buying one. For one thing, you need to know what you want to treat in your water. Also, you need to have in mind how much you want to spend. Armed with this information, you can make an intelligent decision about which water treatment products are right for you and your family.
There are many types of home water treatment systems on the market. Some of the most popular are distillation, reverse osmosis, ultraviolet light, and carbon and ceramic filtration. Each of these has its pros and cons.
Although distillers are popular home water treatment systems, they are expensive and also have other drawbacks. As far as cost, you can buy a counter top distillation system for anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000. What makes the difference in price is the manufacturer and also the volume of water the distiller can handle.
Distillers work great, unless you're trying to distill water that's been chlorinated. (Virtually all water that's been through a municipal treatment plant is chlorinated.) The problem with distilling chlorinated water is you can inadvertently vaporize some of the compounds chlorine creates while it's in your water. These compounds, called trihalomethanes, are thought to be carcinogenic, and the heat from the distiller can vaporize them, which will let them seep over into the supposedly "pure" water side.
Other types of water treatment products that work better with chlorine would be reverse osmosis and carbon and ceramic filters. We'll talk about the filters in a moment. Let's focus on reverse osmosis.
Reverse osmosis works by pressuring the water through a micro-porous membrane, which separates the pure water from the contaminants. The problem with reverse osmosis is it demineralizes the water. That is, it takes out the trace minerals like potassium, magnesium, and calcium. We need those trace minerals for proper health. Both carbon and ceramic filters would be better home water treatment systems.
Ultraviolet light works well for organic impurities only. It can do nothing for contaminants like lead and prescription drugs.
As far as the best water treatment products on the market, most are made with carbon or ceramic filters in a two-step process that can get out all the organic and inorganic impurities, while leaving in the trace minerals. If you're in the market for a water filter, then these are the types you need to be looking for.