How to effectively remove heavy metals from drinking water? The most cost-effective is filtration because distillation uses a lot of electricity. Moreover, ultraviolet treatment is effective only in killing microorganisms and not removing chemicals.
That’s why many filtration systems are already installed in homes. It’s affordable and available for everyone. In addition, it delivers results especially if you choose filters with multiple stages. Pure and fresh tasting water will come out of the tap.
Why remove heavy metals?
Heavy metals such as lead, mercury and arsenic can cause the following health problems:
- High levels of lead can cause coma, convulsion or death
- Lead might affect the baby inside the womb
- Lead can cause problems to child’s brain development
- Lead exposure can result to kidney failure
- Lead also causes other neurological and behavioural effects (especially to children)
- Mercury can affect both the digestive and immune system
- Some mercury compounds may be corrosive to the eyes and skin
- Mercury is toxic to the central and peripheral nervous system
- Long-term exposure to arsenic can result to cancer and skin lesions
- Arsenic has also been linked to several cardiovascular and neurological diseases
- Acute arsenic poisoning results to vomiting and abdominal pain
- Arsenic can also affect children’s cognitive development
Those are just some of the negative health effects of the 3 heavy metals commonly present in water. Whether in elemental, inorganic or organic forms, they have serious health effects especially to children. The effects can accumulate through long-term exposure because heavy metals can’t be readily excreted by our body.
As a result, we need to remove the heavy metals before they reach our glass of water. It’s best to start early so we can stop the cumulative effects. It’s especially critical if there are kids in our household. They will be the most affected by heavy metals because children are still developing. Even heavy metals present in minute amounts can interfere with their brain and physical development.
As mentioned earlier, filtration is the most cost-effective and most available to everyone. Now there are 2, 3 and 5-stage filtration processes that can remove lead, arsenic and mercury. Aside from the 3 heavy metals mentioned above, these systems could also remove other substances such as:
How are heavy metals being removed by filtration?
Filtration works by allowing only the small particles to pass through. The “holes” in the filter should be smaller than the target contaminants. This way, heavy metals and other pollutants won’t be able to pass through. Also, they won’t end up in your glass of water.
In general, the smaller (or finer) the filter, the better. This means only the water molecules will come out at the other end of the filter while most contaminants will be left behind. For example, the ultrafine reverse osmosis membrane with 0.005 micron size is enough to remove many nanoparticles including lead, mercury and arsenic.
0.005 micron filters might slow down the water flow. That’s why high pressure is applied to force the water molecules to pass through. This makes the filtration faster and much more cost effective. All the parts, especially the filters, should be able to withstand the high pressure. That’s why it’s recommended that the housing, pipes, fittings and filter cartridges are all high quality to ensure strength and durability.
Due to the high pressure and the natural process of filtration, the filter cartridges will then need to be replaced every 12 months. This is to ensure the optimum effectiveness of the filtration system. This is also to remove dirt that accumulated through the months.
This is minimal hassle compared to the protection you receive against heavy metals. It’s more expensive and harmful if you’re consuming minute amounts of lead, mercury and arsenic for years. Also, filtration is the most cost-effective option out there. Distillation and UV treatment requires a lot of electricity. In addition, equipment maintenance for these methods is more difficult and expensive.
What are the filtration options?
No matter how many stages, the principle behind filtration remains the same. It’s allowing only the water molecules to pass through so contaminants will be left behind. However, there’s more to that because of recent advances in technology and engineering.
For example, a full 5-stage reverse osmosis system has 2 pre-treatment processes before the main filter (where the heavy metals are removed). The first stage might be about taking care of the “big guys.” This is where dust, sludge and sediments are removed. As a consequence, the filter at the first stage might just be small enough to remove big particles.
The second stage could be about removing chlorine. Mainly this is for membrane protection. Chlorine-free water will help in lengthening the useful lifespan of the core membrane (the 0.005 micron filter). Chlorine removal is also beneficial to human health because this substance can cause irritations and allergies to kids and adults.
The third stage is the core. This is where the lead, mercury, arsenic and other heavy metals will be removed. This is where nanofiltration occurs because it can remove substances and molecules in the nanometre range.
The remaining 2 stages to complete the 5-stage process might be all about improving the odour and taste of the water. This is to encourage higher consumption of water instead of relying on sugary drinks. Drinking more water will easily become a habit because of the outstanding taste of the water.
Aside from 5-stage filtration systems, there are also systems available with only 2 or 3 stages. For example, a 2-stage under counter filter might have a 1 micron sediment filter and a 0.4 micron carbon filter. It’s enough to remove lead, mercury and other heavy metals.
On the other hand, a 3-stage under counter filter can also take care of the taste. It has the same filters as the 2-stage filter. However, there’s a third stage that improves the taste of water. This makes it easier to stay hydrated especially during the hot summer days.
Fewer stages means lower expenses. A 3-stage filter is more expensive than a 2-stage one because the former has more parts and processes. The full 5-stage water filtration is even more expensive.
Many homeowners choose the 3-stage filters because it’s already enough for most purposes. For less than $300 you can readily find quality filter systems that remove heavy metals and improve the taste of water. The total price may or may not include the installation. It’s recommended to enquire about this so you’ll know for sure.
What about bottled water?
Buying bottled water every now and then is more expensive. In addition, the plastic waste will accumulate in landfills, rivers and oceans. Although bottled water has undergone many more stages than filtered water at homes, the long-term negative effects will not be worth it.
Moreover, plastic bottles may be leaching chemicals into the water it contains. There are some debates about this. But remember, plastic bottles are still made of chemicals and adhesives. There’s still a risk of leaching no matter how you look at it.
In other words, filtered water available at your home is the most economical, safe and environment-friendly option. In addition, you get access to clean and safe water 24/7. Whenever you need to stay hydrated or quench your thirst, the water from the filter will be enough. This would discourage you to rely on sugary beverages. As a result, you’ll drink more water, flush out toxins, stay healthy and achieve a better well being.
Remove heavy metals from drinking water Sydney
Removing heavy metals from drinking water is one of the first steps towards better health. After all, you’ll be drinking water every day for the rest of your life. Imagine the positive cumulative effects of drinking clean water for the decades to come.
This is also a crucial step in ensuring children’s health. Lead ingestion from drinking water has adverse effects in the nervous system and kidney. There will be interference in child’s full brain development. In addition, many heavy metals such as lead and mercury accumulate in our bodies (most of the amounts we don’t excrete). They become part of our bodies and internal organs. As a result, these heavy metals also interfere with our normal body functions.
Today you can take the right step to protect your health. One way is by installing an undersink filter in your home. You can readily find compact filter systems that can fit under your kitchen sink. Whether it’s a 2, 3 or 5-stage filtration, it will fit under your sink and filter the water before it comes out of the tap.
Many individuals and families choose the middle ground which is the 3-stage filtration system (also called triple undersink water filter). It’s less expensive than 5-stage reverse osmosis. The good thing is the 3-stage filtration also removes heavy metals and other contaminants. It’s less than $300 and the full installation is already included in the pricing.
Here at Filtap, we have already installed triple undersink filters for many Sydney homes (and even some businesses). We use only quality parts in each installation. That’s why our filters have been already in service in many homes for many years.
If you want to learn more about our 3-stage filtration system, you can enquire today and ask us about our pricing, warranty and special offers.