A non chemical water treatment can be used for removing contaminants of various kinds. Here's a look at some of the steps available today and the contaminants they are capable of removing.
As the name suggests, ion exchange is a process that exchanges ions of one material for that of another. In the case of water purification, the contaminants typically removed are metallic ions, such as copper and the more hazardous heavy metal lead.
No chemicals are used in an ion exchange step. The metallic ions are trapped through a process similar to magnetism. When the lead ions become trapped in the ion exchange filter, minerals such as potassium and sodium are released.
In addition to protecting your health, ion exchange systems can improve the taste of your tap water. Other filters capable of removing lead will also remove traces of healthy minerals responsible for water's taste.
The power of UV light has been used historically for public disinfection. As holding tanks stand in the sun, the UV rays from the sun work to reduce bacteria and other pathogens. Only recently has UV disinfection become a non chemical water treatment available for home owners.
There are even tiny pen-like UV devices you can carry with you when you go on vacations to other parts of the world. The stomach ailments that often accompany travelling are due to unique bacteria. You become accustomed to the bacteria present in your own drinking water, but different types exist in different parts of the world and they make you sick.
Sub-micron filtration is used in the home typically to remove parasitic cysts resistant to other disinfection methods. The process is not unlike using a strainer, but the holes of the strainer must be smaller than one micron in size in order to be certified for cyst removal.
Cysts are not normally dangerous, but they can cause vomiting and diarrhea. The illness can be life-threatening for someone with a weak or undeveloped immune system. Children, people receiving cancer treatments, AIDS sufferers, the elderly and those that are already ill are most at risk.
Sub-micron filtration can also remove dust and dirt particles. Any sediments or dissolved solids larger than one micron in size will be strained out.
Carbon granules or blocks are a non chemical water treatment for removing traces of chemicals that may already be present. Assuming the carbon filters are designed correctly, they will not add anything to the water.
Chemical molecules are trapped on the surface of the granules or the blocks. The process is typically used to remove chlorine, THMs, pesticides, herbicides, traces of drugs and other molecules too small to be removed in other ways.
Instead of choosing a single non chemical water treatment, you might need to choose several. It all depends on the contaminants present at the source.