The Science Behind Water Filtration: How it Works and Why it Matters

 Min read
November 9, 2023

It’s very important that every living being here on earth has access to clean and safe drinking water. As we’ve talked about many times before, there have been increasing concerns regarding water pollution and contamination for many years now. As a result, filtration has become a very popular method of removing those unhealthy elements from water. In this blog, we’ll spend some time looking into the science behind water filtration. We’ll investigate how it works, why it matters for both our health and the environment, and what Rusco has to offer to help you out with it.

Let's take a quick look at the various contaminants that end up entering water before diving into water filtration. The EPA provides an overview of the contaminants that exist out there. These contaminants can include a few things, such as sediments, microorganisms, heavy metals, chemicals, and organic matter. If not taken care of, these pollutants have the potential to lead to serious health problems that range from gastrointestinal illnesses to chronic diseases.

Now, when it comes to water filtration, there are multiple stages in the process. These stages involve the removal of the above impurities through physical, biological, and chemical means. The end goal is to produce clean and potable water that is safe for both use and consumption. The CDC provides information regarding all the key stages.

The first key stage in water filtration involves coagulation and flocculation. In this initial step, chemicals are added to water to bind with impurities, ultimately forming larger particles known as flocs. This part of the process helps in the aggregation of smaller particles, which makes them easier to remove.

The next stage is referred to as sedimentation. Once flocs are formed, the water in question is allowed to sit undisturbed, which leads to these larger particles settling to the bottom. This stage is important in the removal of a significant portion of suspended solids.

Filtration is the next part of the process. Various materials are used in filtration, including sand, gravel, and activated carbon among others. These all act as barriers, trapping any remaining particles, some dissolved substances, and bacteria.

Next on the list is disinfection. Unfortunately, filtration by itself may not remove all microorganisms. There are a few different potential disinfection methods including chlorination, ozonation, and UV treatment. This part of the process is meant to kill or at least deactivate any remaining parasites, viruses, or bacteria.

One final step may include pH correction. This step can be important to ensure that the pH level in water is not too corrosive or alkaline. If this is a problem, it can lead to the leaching of metals from pipes.

While understanding the different stages in water filtration is important, it’s also good to have an understanding of why exactly it matters. There are many reasons overall why filtration is important, but three in particular stand out above the rest.

Protecting health is reason number one why filtering water is important. Access to clean drinking water is necessary for preventing waterborne diseases. If proper filtration methods are put into place, it’s possible to remove harmful microorganisms, pollutants, and chemicals, safeguarding public health.

Filtration can also help in environmental conservation. In removing pollutants from wastewater before it's released back into the environment, the negative impact on aquatic life and water bodies becomes greatly minimized.

Another reason why filtration is important deals with industrial and agricultural use. Industries and agriculture rely heavily on water. Implementing effective filtration processes helps to make sure that the water used in these places is free from contaminants. This ultimately prevents pollution and resulting negative effects on both products and soil.

By gaining an understanding of the science behind water filtration, we educate ourselves in a way to make informed decisions about our water consumption. When all is said and done, we can contribute to the well-being of both our communities and the environment. In spite of the difficulty of contributing on a global scale, water filtration can be implemented in our own homes to help our families. Rusco has some options available that can be implemented into home filtration systems that will prove very effective.

One option to consider is either a Spin-Down or Sediment Trapper filter. These units can be installed at the start of a water line and in turn, improve a home’s water quality. There are numerous options to choose from when it comes to a Spin-Down or Sediment Trapper. These are offered with ¾", 1”, 1.5”, or 2” inlets/outlets and the version someone picks should be based on the amount of GPM they have running through their system. If someone has 1-25 GPM running through their water system, a ¾" or 1” filter would be the best option. A 1.5” filter should be used on a system running between 10 and 50 GPM. A system running between 18-100 GPM should utilize a Rusco 2” filter.

Along with deciding which of the above options is the right one for a Spin-Down or Sediment Trapper, the mesh size of the inside element is also very important to consider. When selecting a filter from Rusco, there are numerous mesh options to choose from including 24, 30, 40, 60, 100, 140, 250, 500, or 1000 mesh. The higher the mesh number, the finer it is, and the lower the number, the coarser it is. Therefore, if one is trying to filter out large sediment, coarse mesh is the best choice. On the other hand, if someone is trying to filter tiny sediment, a fine mesh is the best option. More recently, Rusco started offering melt-blown and pleated filters for these housings. These are great at removing silt. Activated carbon filters can also be purchased from Rusco, which help remove bad taste, chemicals, and odor from water.

To go along with these more traditional Spin-Down and Sediment Trappers, this year Rusco introduced a line of Big Filters to its product line. There are greater trapping capacities with these filters as they come with either 10” or 20” long covers. These filters are meant to accommodate higher flow rates, and along with them, Rusco now sells melt-blown, pleated, string wound, and activated carbon cartridges that can be purchased separately.

If you want to improve the quality of water in your home to better protect you and your family, take some time to look further into the many options Rusco has to offer. Live customer service representatives are available at 1-800-345-1033 to help answer any questions you may have.

Source Notes: All information in this article relating to the types of contaminants that exist in water came from the EPA. Information regarding the key stages in the water filtration process came from the CDC.