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eSpring™ WATER TREATMENT TECHNOLOGY COMPARISON


Water Treatment Technology Comparison Water Treatment Technology Comparison

WATER TREATMENT TECHNOLOGY COMPARISON

Home water treatment is the most convenient way to get purified water from your tap, but there are many methods available. Learn about your options, and which method is the most effective.

AVAILABLE TECHNOLOGIES

A comprehensive list of current water filtration technologies, along with the pros and cons of each.

PRESSED CARBON BLOCK/UV LIGHT

Water is forced under pressure through pressed activated carbon filter material. Water is then exposed to ultraviolet light.

PROS:
  • Effectively removes more than 140 contaminants, including pesticides, industrial chemicals, organic and inorganic compounds, and particulates in sizes down to 0.2 microns
  • Ultraviolet (UV) light effectively destroys more than 99.99% of bacteria and viruses
  • Carbon/UV filter lasts up to 1 year or 5,000 litres (1,320 gallons) whichever comes first (average filter life depends on water quality and usage)
  • Supplies treated water on demand directly from your tap

CONS:
  • More expensive initially than many alternatives
  • Does not filter inorganic contaminants such as Arsenic, Chromium VI, and Nitrates/Nitrites
PROS:
  • Effectively removes more than 140 contaminants, including pesticides, industrial chemicals, organic and inorganic compounds, and particulates in sizes down to 0.2 microns
  • Ultraviolet (UV) light effectively destroys more than 99.99% of bacteria and viruses
  • Carbon/UV filter lasts up to 1 year or 5,000 litres (1,320 gallons) whichever comes first (average filter life depends on water quality and usage)
  • Supplies treated water on demand directly from your tap

CONS:
  • More expensive initially than many alternatives
  • Does not filter inorganic contaminants such as Arsenic, Chromium VI, and Nitrates/Nitrites
PROS:
  • Effectively removes more than 140 contaminants, including pesticides, industrial chemicals, organic and inorganic compounds, and particulates in sizes down to 0.2 microns
  • Ultraviolet (UV) light effectively destroys more than 99.99% of bacteria and viruses
  • Carbon/UV filter lasts up to 1 year or 5,000 litres (1,320 gallons) whichever comes first (average filter life depends on water quality and usage)
  • Supplies treated water on demand directly from your tap

CONS:
  • More expensive initially than many alternatives
  • Does not filter inorganic contaminants such as Arsenic, Chromium VI, and Nitrates/Nitrites

REVERSE OSMOSIS

Pressurized water is forced through a semipermeable membrane. Water is typically collected in a storage tank and dispensed with a separate faucet.

PROS:
  • Reduces inorganic compounds
  • May reduce some high Molecular Weights organic compounds
  • Reduces protozoan parasites

CONS:
  • Requires high water pressure (> 40 psi)
  • Removes beneficial minerals
  • May not effectively remove bacteria and viruses
  • Wastes water (typically 80%)
  • May not remove some low Molecular Weights organic compounds
PROS:
  • Reduces inorganic compounds
  • May reduce some high Molecular Weights organic compounds
  • Reduces protozoan parasites

CONS:
  • Requires high water pressure (> 40 psi)
  • Removes beneficial minerals
  • May not effectively remove bacteria and viruses
  • Wastes water (typically 80%)
  • May not remove some low Molecular Weights organic compounds
PROS:
  • Reduces inorganic compounds
  • May reduce some high Molecular Weights organic compounds
  • Reduces protozoan parasites

CONS:
  • Requires high water pressure (> 40 psi)
  • Removes beneficial minerals
  • May not effectively remove bacteria and viruses
  • Wastes water (typically 80%)
  • May not remove some low Molecular Weights organic compounds

DISTILLATION

Heating of water until it turns to steam. Vapor is cooled and condenses back to liquid water.

PROS:
  • Reduces Chlorine
  • Reduces inorganic contaminants
  • Reduces bacteria and viruses
  • Reduces high Molecular Weight Organics

CONS:
  • Reduces beneficial minerals
  • Requires a lot of energy
  • May give water a flat taste
  • May be slow, inconvenient, and expensive
  • Does not remove low boiling point organics
PROS:
  • Reduces Chlorine
  • Reduces inorganic contaminants
  • Reduces bacteria and viruses
  • Reduces high Molecular Weight Organics

CONS:
  • Reduces beneficial minerals
  • Requires a lot of energy
  • May give water a flat taste
  • May be slow, inconvenient, and expensive
  • Does not remove low boiling point organics
PROS:
  • Reduces Chlorine
  • Reduces inorganic contaminants
  • Reduces bacteria and viruses
  • Reduces high Molecular Weight Organics

CONS:
  • Reduces beneficial minerals
  • Requires a lot of energy
  • May give water a flat taste
  • May be slow, inconvenient, and expensive
  • Does not remove low boiling point organics

DISINFECTION - CHLORINE

Water is treated with chlorine chemicals, a process commonly used by municipal treatment centers.

PROS:
  • Simple and effective against bacteria and viruses
  • Low Cost

CONS:
  • Not effective on protozoan cysts
  • Requires contact time (minutes)
  • Forms disinfection by-products and other by-products
  • Hazardous to transport
PROS:
  • Simple and effective against bacteria and viruses
  • Low Cost

CONS:
  • Not effective on protozoan cysts
  • Requires contact time (minutes)
  • Forms disinfection by-products and other by-products
  • Hazardous to transport
PROS:
  • Simple and effective against bacteria and viruses
  • Low Cost

CONS:
  • Not effective on protozoan cysts
  • Requires contact time (minutes)
  • Forms disinfection by-products and other by-products
  • Hazardous to transport

DISINFECTION - OZONE

Ozone gas (O3) is generated by corona discharge or Ultraviolet (UV light) and bubbled through water.

PROS:
  • Effectively kills bacteria and viruses
  • Oxidizes and precipitates iron, sulfur, and manganese
  • Will destroy many organic compounds

CONS:
  • Can create undesirable by-products (e.g. bromate and formaldehyde)
  • Requires electricity
  • Does not reduce inorganic compounds
PROS:
  • Effectively kills bacteria and viruses
  • Oxidizes and precipitates iron, sulfur, and manganese
  • Will destroy many organic compounds

CONS:
  • Can create undesirable by-products (e.g. bromate and formaldehyde)
  • Requires electricity
  • Does not reduce inorganic compounds
PROS:
  • Effectively kills bacteria and viruses
  • Oxidizes and precipitates iron, sulfur, and manganese
  • Will destroy many organic compounds

CONS:
  • Can create undesirable by-products (e.g. bromate and formaldehyde)
  • Requires electricity
  • Does not reduce inorganic compounds

ANION EXCHANGE

Used to trap and replace negatively charged ions, such as nitrates, perchlorate, fluoride, radium, ammonia and arsenic.

PROS:
  • Is contaminant specific to address homeowner issues
  • Uses industry standard cartridge sizes and housings
  • Eliminates need for larger or more costly systems

CONS:
  • Flow rate limited (some are less than 0.5 gpm)
  • Capacity limited for some ions
  • Selectivity can be a problem (Competition)
  • Dumping of contaminant or resin can be a problem if resin is “Spent”
  • Requires a strong chemical to recharge (Sodium Hydroxide)
PROS:
  • Is contaminant specific to address homeowner issues
  • Uses industry standard cartridge sizes and housings
  • Eliminates need for larger or more costly systems

CONS:
  • Flow rate limited (some are less than 0.5 gpm)
  • Capacity limited for some ions
  • Selectivity can be a problem (Competition)
  • Dumping of contaminant or resin can be a problem if resin is “Spent”
  • Requires a strong chemical to recharge (Sodium Hydroxide)
PROS:
  • Is contaminant specific to address homeowner issues
  • Uses industry standard cartridge sizes and housings
  • Eliminates need for larger or more costly systems

CONS:
  • Flow rate limited (some are less than 0.5 gpm)
  • Capacity limited for some ions
  • Selectivity can be a problem (Competition)
  • Dumping of contaminant or resin can be a problem if resin is “Spent”
  • Requires a strong chemical to recharge (Sodium Hydroxide)

pH ADJUSTMENT

Tap water passes through chambers with electrodes to split water molecules into ions. End users are able to select the pH desired.

PROS:
  • Allows users to adjust the pH or dispensed water
  • Makes water “feel” different to users

CONS:
  • No scientific data to support claims of pH water better for skin or digestive health
  • Has a waste stream
  • Cannot effectively reduce chlorine, organic, or inorganic contaminants from drinking water
  • Complex with electronics
PROS:
  • Allows users to adjust the pH or dispensed water
  • Makes water “feel” different to users

CONS:
  • No scientific data to support claims of pH water better for skin or digestive health
  • Has a waste stream
  • Cannot effectively reduce chlorine, organic, or inorganic contaminants from drinking water
  • Complex with electronics
PROS:
  • Allows users to adjust the pH or dispensed water
  • Makes water “feel” different to users

CONS:
  • No scientific data to support claims of pH water better for skin or digestive health
  • Has a waste stream
  • Cannot effectively reduce chlorine, organic, or inorganic contaminants from drinking water
  • Complex with electronics

BOTTLED WATER

Water is purchased in plastic or glass bottles from a store or water vendor.

PROS:
  • Perceived to be higher quality in terms of taste, odor, clarity and lack of microbiological and chemical contamination

CONS:
  • Varying quality
  • Most bottled waters are treated to improve taste and appearance only – and may still contain bacteria, organic and inorganic compounds
  • Expensive, inconvenient and wasteful (plastic that’s harmful to the environment).
PROS:
  • Perceived to be higher quality in terms of taste, odor, clarity and lack of microbiological and chemical contamination

CONS:
  • Varying quality
  • Most bottled waters are treated to improve taste and appearance only – and may still contain bacteria, organic and inorganic compounds
  • Expensive, inconvenient and wasteful (plastic that’s harmful to the environment).
PROS:
  • Perceived to be higher quality in terms of taste, odor, clarity and lack of microbiological and chemical contamination

CONS:
  • Varying quality
  • Most bottled waters are treated to improve taste and appearance only – and may still contain bacteria, organic and inorganic compounds
  • Expensive, inconvenient and wasteful (plastic that’s harmful to the environment).

BOILING

Water is boiled for 20 minutes, then cooled to drinking temperatures.

PROS:
  • Reduces bacteria, viruses and cysts – if water is boiled for 20 minutes

CONS:
  • Does not reduce particulates, or many inorganic or organic compounds
  • Will not improve water taste color or odor
  • Is very inconvenient and time-consuming
PROS:
  • Reduces bacteria, viruses and cysts – if water is boiled for 20 minutes

CONS:
  • Does not reduce particulates, or many inorganic or organic compounds
  • Will not improve water taste color or odor
  • Is very inconvenient and time-consuming
PROS:
  • Reduces bacteria, viruses and cysts – if water is boiled for 20 minutes

CONS:
  • Does not reduce particulates, or many inorganic or organic compounds
  • Will not improve water taste color or odor
  • Is very inconvenient and time-consuming