Questions? +32 460 226 991 (English). EU-wide delivery!

Water filtration and treatment: What's the difference?

Today, most people are aware of the importance of quality water. Drinking water composition affects not only our health, but also the life of appliances and pipeline. Nevertheless, it is not clear to many people whether they should filter or treat water and what form of water treatment to choose. In this article, we will guide you through all the possibilities of filtration and water treatment and explain to you how to decide.

Professional drinking water analysis is key

The method of water filtration or treatment can only be determined on the basis of water analysis. There is no universal solution, it must always be based on specific harmful ingredients. Have the analysis carried out in an accredited laboratory, as commercial companies could intentionally distort the results.

If you get water from the municipal water supply, your water supplier must provide you with information on the composition of the supplied water free of charge. However, if you get water from your own well, you must arrange a professional water analysis yourself. By comparing the measured and recommended values, you will find out what makes your water problematic or harmful.

What is the quality of water from suppliers and water from own sources?

The quality of drinking water in Europe is generally relatively high and monitored. However, it is necessary to realize that the water supplier is not responsible for the condition of water distribution systems. And this is where there is a risk of water pollution, such as rust fragments. In addition, high levels of disinfectants can be harmful to your health and skin. Cases of water contamination from municipal water mains are also not completely exceptional.

Consider water treatment from the municipal water supply if:

  • you observe small particles in the water,
  • the water is cloudy or colored,
  • the water tastes bad or smells,
  • water causes you skin problems.

Otherwise, tap water treatment is usually not necessary.

Filtration and treatment of water from own sources (well or borehole) is always necessary. In this case, your water is not disinfected and so there is a risk of contamination. Other risks are impurities that seep into water sources from the soil and precipitation.

Clarify the purpose of water

It is also important to clarify whether you want to use water as utility or drinking water. Drinking water treatment is subject to much stricter standards. Lower quality requirements apply to service water. Nevertheless, it is necessary to filter and adjust it so that it can be used for specific purposes, but also so that it does not destroy pipes, pumps or appliances.

Filtration and water treatment can take place either only on one of the taps or at the inlet, for example in the whole building.

Home filtration vs. water treatment

So what's the difference between filtration and water treatment? A water filter catches mechanical particals that are present in the water, especially in the case of own water sources. Water treatment, unlike filtration, removes substances dissolved in water. There are a number of ways to treat water, depending on the type of pollution. Filters and water treatment plants can be combined in so-called combined filters.

Honeywell Triplex water filer.

Water filtration

Water filtration is only used for removing mechanical impurities, such as sand particles, rust, microplastics, etc. For these purposes, fine water filters are used. Select a filter screen density that matches the particle size. Unnecessarily high density would lead to more frequent clogging.

Removal of chlorine and other chemicals

Chlorine is an important component of water from any water supplier. Its presence ensures the necessary hygienic standard and water purification. However, chlorine also has a negative effect on water quality, worsens its taste, can cause eczema and skin problems. Chlorinated water is not suitable for watering plants either.

The solution is an activated carbon water filter, which captures most chemical substances. In addition to chlorine, the carbon water filter removes drug residues and other harmful substances that are commonly found in drinking water. It also improves sensory properties of water, removes unpleasant odors and tastes.

Water softening

Hard water has an increased content of calcium and magnesium. Even if these minerals do not harm our health even in increased concentrations, they can damage appliances, pipes and faucets. Water softeners capture these minerals and prevent limescale build-up. This is one of the most common ways to treat water.

Honeywell water softener.  

Iron and manganese removal

Iron and manganese, like calcium and magnesium, are not a threat to your health, but they can damage household equipment. In particular, they increase the risk of clogging of pipes and batteries, color the water to the typical yellow-brown color and cause a metallic taste in the water. The solution is an iron water filter.

Nitrate and nitrite removal

Especially in agricultural areas, residues of hazardous industrial fertilizers seep in water sources. In young children and susceptible individuals, such contamination can cause a decrease in blood hemoglobin levels or a malignant cell proliferation. You can remove nitrates and nitrites from the water using an annex filter.

Caution: Avoid reverse osmosis or membrane filtration

One of the common deceptive practices of water filter sellers is a promotion of so-called reverse osmosis, sometimes called membrane filtration. Such device removes absolutely all dissolved substances from the water, which they use as an argument in their favor - such a device may seem as a universal solution to all water quality problems. However, be careful, reverse osmosis also removes vital minerals from the water, creating distilled water. Consumption of such filtered water is a proven health risk. You will not achieve the necessary concentration of minerals even by remineralization.

Water purification

In well water there is a risk of bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms. In this case, water disinfection is extremely important and can be done chemically (most often with chlorine) or with UV lamps.

Boiling is also an effective disinfectant of water, but it can only be recommended for short-term water contamination. The water must be boiled for at least one minute, then it is safe and suitable for consumption.