Water quality devices and tools are another set of products which are so important they deserve their own section on the website. High quality drinking and cooking water will definitely have a positive effect on the health of each and every individual in your household. In the Water Quality section we provide reviews of products which will both help you determine and improve the quality of your tap water, well water or any other source of water you may be using.
Let us begin with an overview of water testing kits. Many different types of home water testing kits appeared on the market recently and one of the biggest differences between them is in what they measure. Some of them test only for lead and copper, others only for bacteria, while others still test for a wide range of water contaminants. There are also testing kits for alkalinity, arsenic, chloride, chlorine, nitrogen, phosphorous, hydrogen peroxide, hydrogen sulfide and for water hardness. And you can find the reviews of most of these different water testing kits in the Water Quality section.
Other types of water quality testing kits are special-purpose kits. For instance, some of them are used to test the quality of water in an aquarium. Other water quality testing kits are designed for testing the water in a pool or hot tub. These typically test the levels of chlorine and bromine as well as the pH value of the water.
When it comes to water purification, there are two basic types of filters – activated carbon filters and reverse osmosis filters. The principle behind the water filtration is very different as well as the scale and investment it takes to begin filtering tap water using such filters. There are also home filtration systems which use different combinations of filters and filtration techniques.
Activated carbon filters can be mounted on the tap directly, installed in a carafe-style unit or installed as a unit under the sink. These filters are great at removing organic chemicals from the water, thus improving the taste, smell and color of the water. Sometimes activated carbon filters can be found as a part of a bigger filtration system, such as a gravity-based filtration system where the water also passes through other filters. In such cases, many other types of contaminants can be filtered out of the water, making even pond water drinkable. Such systems are very popular – they are much more effective than mere tap filters, but not as obtrusive as reverse osmosis filters. One drawback of activated carbon filters is that the filters have to be changed relatively often – typically once in six months or after 1000 gallons of filtered water.
Reverse osmosis filtration systems work on the basis of moving water through a membrane that keeps all the contaminants out. Such systems are very effective at purifying water, but there are several drawbacks. For one, reverse osmosis systems tend to waste a lot of water – many more gallons have to be filtered through for one gallon of purified water. Secondly, most reverse osmosis systems are intended as whole house filtration systems, which require considerable investment up front for the system as well as the cost of installation. In addition, some reverse osmosis systems may remove good minerals along with bad minerals, giving the water a less natural taste. However, we should point out that these drawbacks do not apply to all types of reverse osmosis systems – there is huge variation by manufacturer and by price. All the same, we pay equal attention to reverse osmosis systems as we do to activated carbon filters and mixed water filtration systems in our Water Quality Section.