Many Australians worry about the quality of the water and question whether it’s safe to let their family drink straight from the tap. While the government regularly tests and ensures the safety of tap water many still take the “better safe than sorry” approach, especially with the prevalence of bottled water. However is there a more affordable and environmentally friendly way to ensure clean drinking water without having to pay so much money for bottled water?
The answer may just be the use of water filters. One of the modern and well-tested water filtration methods available today is the use of carbon as a filtering agent. This filtration method features several layers of various materials that can filter out sediments, impurities and biological organisms. A carbon filter contains activated carbon which does a great job of eliminating contaminants and impurities through the process of chemical adsorption.
Carbon filtration is so effective that it is also used in air purifiers, gas processing and even in respirator masks. When it comes to water treatment, it gets rid of chlorine, asbestos, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), Giardia cyst parasites, sediment, taste and odour.
While carbon water filters do an excellent job of clearing out all the impurities that can make us sick, there are other substances that it is unable to remove. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Carbon filtering leaves behind essential minerals like fluoride which helps prevent cavities in teeth. Some pathogenic bacteria and minerals won’t be filtered by carbon, but this is the reason why carbon filters are not the primary filtration medium. Water is always also treated at water plants and monitored by the government to ensure that any harmful bacteria and minerals are eliminated before it reaches our taps. The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines specify that water “should contain no harmful concentrations of chemicals or pathogenic micro-organisms, and ideally it should be aesthetically pleasing in regard to appearance, taste and odour.” There are strict laws and guidelines already in place to protect the drinking water of every Australian household. Carbon water filters are a second level of filtration designed to improve the quality and taste of drinking water and put homeowners’ minds at ease.
So why would you choose filtered tap water over bottled water? Firstly, activated carbon is a natural filtration medium, so natural filtration is achieved and no additional chemicals are introduced. Secondly, filters are very easy to maintain and are a fraction of the cost of bottled water. If these reasons haven’t convinced you yet, a study has shown that an estimated 25% or more of the bottled water brands – including some of the big and most popular brands are just tap water in a bottle – sometimes further treated, sometimes not. And they come at a significant cost to the consumer.
Once you have an idea of the real impact of bottled water on the environment and on your pocket, you’ll realise that it’s just not worth it.