Working water filters

Favorite drink tap water

Over 60 percent of people in this country like to drink tap water regularly. No wonder, after all, the food from the tap tastes refreshing, costs little, does not have to be laboriously transported home and is strictly controlled. Control and quality of the tap water are documented by the drinking water report of the Federal Environment Agency.

However, many tap water drinkers notice again and again that the taste of drinking water in Germany differs from region to region. The lime content of the tap water also varies. In particular, the water fans, who otherwise pay close attention to the ingredients of their food, rely on water filters. This is supposed to ensure a consistently good water taste and also to free water from any impurities and pollutants. However, even very few users know how can, table or built-in filters really work and when the purchase is actually worthwhile.

This is how common water filters work

Today there are many different types of water filter. They are available as jug and table filters but also as filter cartridges or membranes that are permanently integrated in fittings. Their tasks, however, do not differ. All of them are supposed to improve the taste of tap water and filter out unwanted or even harmful substances from the water.

The substances that water filters are primarily intended to remove from drinking water include pesticides from agriculture, drug residues or pollutants that can get into drinking water via old water pipes.

Different filter models use different technologies to remove impurities, pollutants and limescale. Fixed reverse osmosis filters, for example, press the tap water through a permeable membrane towards the tap. However, the use of activated carbon and ion exchangers for water filtering is even better known and more widespread. With the latter filter method, ions dissolved in the drinking water - such as magnesium and calcium ions - are bound. They can then be removed from the water as lime.

The ion exchanger is usually combined with an activated carbon filter. This filter can absorb various pollutants from the tap water due to the very pore-rich surface of the activated carbon. However, the mineral content of the water remains unchanged.

In the case of an activated charcoal table filter, an activated charcoal filter cartridge is used, for example. If water is poured into the filter jug, it drips through the activated carbon filter and ends up in your storage container. Before the water reaches the storage tank, however, an exchange of ions takes place through the plastic resin used in the filter. This removes lime-forming minerals from the water and makes the water softer. The activated carbon granulate also contained in the filter ensures that organic impurities such as chlorine are bound. This improves the smell, taste and quality of the water.

How useful is it to use a water filter?

In principle, it can be said that drinking unfiltered tap water usually does not threaten health in this country. From a health point of view, tap water does not have to be filtered in the vast majority of German households. After all, tap water is one of the best-reviewed foods out there.

However, this does not mean that the use of a water filter is superfluous. On the one hand, using a water filter can have a positive effect on the taste of the water. This is particularly interesting for those who like to enjoy pure tap water as well as tea and coffee. Filtering often significantly improves the taste of the water and that of brewed beverages. In addition, kettles and coffeemakers are less likely to scale up when filled with filtered water.

On the other hand, the use of a water filter in buildings with older water pipes made of lead is sensible and advisable. Finally, lead that spills over into drinking water from older pipes can have a negative impact on health. In children in particular, lead residues in drinking water are associated with various diseases and developmental delays. By filtering the drinking water, these health risks can be reduced considerably.

What do users have to pay attention to with a water filter?

In order for water filters to work efficiently and to free the water from unwanted substances, their cleanliness is particularly important. If the water filter is used too long, incorrectly or not cleaned, it can do more harm than good. This is particularly due to the fact that germs can build up in many water filters over time. These in turn can contaminate the water and reverse the water filter effect.

It is therefore particularly important to have the water filter replaced or cleaned on a regular basis in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations. This ensures that they fulfill their purpose and that they do not pose any danger.

Anyone who uses a table water filter should - in addition to regularly changing the filter - make sure that the table filter is always kept in the refrigerator. In this way, too, nucleation can be effectively minimized.