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Water purification, how does it work?

Residential water cartridges and filtration systems, available at provide the finest in water purification for your home drinking water. The technology behind home water filtration is not only simple, it also the most cost effective means to deliver secure potable water to your home, without the encumbrances of bottled water. Yet before investing in a filtration system, make sure you understand the science behind filtration.

Water purification involves two types of processes, the first being physical mechanical filtration. In mechanical filtration, untreated water enters the water filter, then, using micron-sized filter pellets, contaminants that exceed the size of the pores between the pellets are systematically removed, since they are unable to pass through the spaces between the pellets.


In a filter there is also a size gradient in the pellets, with larger pellets, and hence larger porous spaces, at the top, working their way down to smaller pellets, and consequently smaller porous spaces, at the bottom. This gradient permits larger contaminants to be filtered out first, and smaller ones last.

The second process is known as chemical adsorption, whereby particles that are smaller than the pore spaces of mechanical filtration, pass between the filter pellets and are extracted using chemical adsorption. Chemical adsorption involves the binding of smaller particulate, known as adsorbate, to a larger surface (the adsorbent). This technology is commonly used in chemistry and biotechnology as a means to separate and extract products, or solutes, from solvents. In the case of water (the solvent), adsorbate sized particulate is extracted and bound to the surface of the adsorbent through electrochemical bonding forces, known as van der Waals.

The efficiency of the adsorption depends on factors such as the pH (acidity or basicity) of the water in your area, the concentration of the contaminants in the water, the degree of attraction between adsorbent and adsorbate, altitude, and the temperature of the water. It is important to determine the characteristics of the water in your area before selecting the type of filter to buy. To learn more about the best type of water filter for your area, visit

Water filters, built by manufacturers such as Everpure, will not only remove particulate from water; they will also extract metals, asbestos, organics (glues, petrochemicals, solvents), and chlorine. Typical adsorbents used in water purification are micron-sized clays, powdered metals, charcoal, and liquids. Charcoal, or powdered carbon, is a popular choice in water filtration, because of its large surface to volume ratio (500 square meters to 1 gram of weight). This efficient ratio means a tiny amount of charcoal provides an enormous surface to which micron-sized contaminants can bind. Charcoal filters will remove chlorine (commonly used to treat municipal drinking water), organic solvents, gasoline, and lead and cadmium. 

Water filters, and the cartridges they contain, use basic chemical principles of chemical and physical filtration. Understanding these principles, as well as the type of water in your area, will enable you to make the best choices for what product to purchase. High quality products such as those found on can be found at These products meet the highest of EPA standards.




About the author

Trained in chemistry and environmental management at the University of Victoria, and educated at a graduate level at HEC Montreal and ESADE Barcelona, Glen Albert Phillips has published a selection of different genres; his works can be viewed at He has a number of years of experience working in environmental chemistry, as well as in the construction industry.

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