benefits of good drinking water
Our bodies are primarily constituted of water; varying between 60-70 percent in men, women, and children. Water forms the base of human life and existence, and therefore it is essential to keep ourselves hydrated with good quality water intake. Just like how healthy machinery requires continuous maintenance and oiling, human body too is a marvelous piece of machinery in which water ensures the smooth functioning of bodily activities.There are many health benefits of drinking good quality water;
- It is popularly accepted that dehydration leads to body cramps. Hence ensuring correct water intake prevents muscle pulls, cramping, headaches, and prevents fatigue.
- The leading cause of bad breath is a dry mouth. Correct hydration would help you carry a fresh breath throughout the day.
- The benefits of drinking water on skin are a winner deal. It helps in flushing out toxins from our system, which improves complexion and clears skin breakouts.
- It helps avoid constipation, and accelerates flushing out of byproducts from the body, while also helping to prevent kidney stones. Hence we can also observe many benefits of drinking water on weight loss and maintenance of correct body temperature.
- Consequently,a healthy digestive system promotes better immune system, and overall better mood.
Throughout the day as we perspire, urinate and breathe, our bodies lose out their water quantity.. It is held that every individual must have an estimate of 6-8 glasses of water each day. But one may understand that one size never fits all. The recommended intake for women is between 2-2.5 liters of water a day and 2.5-3 liters for men. It is also important to not overdo ones’ consumption, since excess water intake will lead to excessive urination and consequently salt loss from body. The best way to keep your intake under check is to follow your thirst. Human bodies are intelligent and automated machines, and your thirst is usually always the best indicator of your required water consumption.
choosing water purifiers for indian homes
The market for top water purifiers in India is as vast as it could be. From the metro cities to remote villages, the one need that unites all is the need for clean water for consumption. With a massive population of 1.3 billion Indians, supply of potable water, i.e. clean drinking water, is scarce. Also with a diverse geography, from deserts to seas, the quality of water received by households varies majorly. So when we see advertisements and meet sale representatives, how do we judge for ourselves what water purifier we need for our Indian homes? To make an informed choice, past the gimmicky features endorsed, it is primarily essential to study the water which needs to be filtered.
Water supplied from the municipal corporations is usually filtered out of major dissolved metals and impurities like fluoride, arsenic and lead. To take care of the pathogens dissolved, which may lead to water borne diseases, one can opt for UV filters in their water purifiers. They cannot filter out the dissolved salts from the water, but can disable the DNA of the pathogens, only killing them without removing their dead bodies from the water. This is the most efficient and natural filtration process, which eliminates no water, and doesn’t use any chemicals during the process as well.
UF water filters employ membranes to filter out water. Even though just like the UV water filters they are unable to remove the Total Dissolves Salts, i.e. TDS from the water, they can eliminate the dead bodies of the microorganisms successfully. UF filtration process doesn’t run on electricity, which RO and UV water purifier require operating. Hence for areas which face shortage of electricity, if we have access to clean water supply from municipal corporations, filters running simply on UF technology can be the most appropriate choice for water filters in such homes.
In areas along the coast where hard water runs in the supply lines, Infrared filters can come to the rescue, which use heat and light to separate negatively charged water ions, giving them a softer feel. Other forms of Ion Exchange filters similarly ionize the water molecules via the process of electrolysis. Such filtered water is lower in acidity and softer in taste, as the alkaline water is separated from the acidic.
If your home relies on bore wells, or faces shortage of clean water supply, RO filters can be a good choice for water filtration system, which can remove TDS and other harmful pathogens, unlike the UV and UF filters. RO filters use semi-permeable membranes to filter the water and obtain the desired results, but in the process can reject up to three quarters of the water-input, even if clean water supply is maintained. Such amounts of water wastage cannot be afforded by homes troubled by shortage of water. In such cases, if homes are assured of clean filtered water from municipal corporations, one can opt for UV and UF filters, or else Distillation water filters. These water purifiers use heat to evaporate the impure water, and collect the condensed water vapor, filtered out of all impurities.
Informed choice and decision making can gift your family the health they deserve visit our water filter buying guide!
is ro water purifier always the right choice
Most salesmen and ad commercials endorse RO water purifiers, with features they claim will help you choose the best water purifiers from their catalogues, but fewer details are given out about their mechanism, technologies used, and post-sales maintenance required. Just like how every water purification system has features which pose as advantageous and disadvantageous, it is important to study every product and its feature before making an investment in such long-term home utility machines.
Here are some important pointers you may consider before selecting a water purifier best suited for your needs;
- RO water purifiers can successfully remove dissolved impurities and toxin such as lead, mercury, pesticides, fluoride and arsenic which UV and UF filters fail to do. UV and UF filters need clean water to be passed through them; hence they are best used to filter out water from municipal distributions, whereas RO filters can work well on water from bore well.
- There is a high probability that microorganisms can pass through the semi-permeable membrane used to filter in ROs. UV and UF can successfully kills are pathogens which can cause various water borne diseases.
- UV filters don’t employ any chemicals for purification, and don’t affect the pH balance of the water. RO systems on the other hand work well on hard water, and dispense out softer water with improved taste, which some people might prefer, but some people may not.
- The prices of RO water purifiers in India are particularly high when compared to UV and UF water filters.
- The semi-permeable membrane employed in the RO systems, through which the water passes, slows this process. To speed it up, you need an electricity supply to boost the pressure of the incoming water, since RO systems can’t function well with the normal tap water pressure. Due to this negative factor, if one stays in a place where there is regular shortage of electricity, the right choice of RO purifiers for your home would be one with storage water tanks, which can be of small to large quantity tank sized, depending upon the strength of your family.
- Also, this membrane is particularly sensitive to chlorine, making it susceptible to damage if the water supplied is provide by municipal corporations. In these cases, choose an RO water filtration system with a special coating of activated carbon granules layered upon the semi-permeable membranes for a long lasting performance.
With so many technologies and features each one has to offer, while weighing out pros and cons among them, be sure to keep post-sales services like reliable warranty, low cost of maintenance and easy availability of parts of the product purchased in mind. Be sure of checking all of those before you make an investment in a company product.
how to select which water purifier is right for you
While deciding which water purifier to purchase, the primary factor to keep in mind is the type of water you are going to filter out. There may be many features and post-sales services endorsed in a water purifier model available in market, but the type of water purification technology to choose is what needs to be settled first.
To give you a little recap, here below we have listed everything you need to know about types of water purifiers; the features and differences between various technologies used in them.
|Features||RO Purifier||UV Purifier||UF Purifier||Gravity Purifier|
|Technology||Uses a semi-permeable membrane to pass water through. May use activated carbon to remove bad odour and chlorine.||UV lamp generates ultraviolet rays which disables DNA of microbes. No chemicals used.||Uses a membrane similar to RO, but with larger pores. No chemicals used.||Passes water through sedimentary filters under gravity and water pressure. May use activated carbon to remove bad odour and chlorine and other chemicals for disinfection.|
|Power consumption||Uses electricity to pump water through membrane.||Uses electricity to power UV lamp.||Doesn’t use electricity.||Doesn’t use electricity.|
|Removal of TDS||Removes all heavy metals, chemicals and pesticides. Effective on hard water; high TDS.||Doesn’t remove mud, dirt, and microbes. Ineffective on hard water; high TDS.||Successfully removes mud, dirt, and microbes. Ineffective on hard water; high TDS.||Removes all heavy metals and dirt. Ineffective on hard water; high TDS.|
|Removal of Pathogens||Effective in eliminating larger-sized pathogens; smaller microbes may pass through.||Disables all living pathogens but leaves behind their dead bodies.||Filters out all pathogens but leaves behind no dead bodies.||Ineffective on smaller microbes that may pass through.|
|Waste water||75% of water rejected.||No water rejection.||No water rejection.||No water rejection.|
|Best used for||Underground water with high TDS.||Clear water with low TDS from municipal corporations.||Unclear water with lesser TDS from municipal corporations.||Unclear water with lesser TDS.|
|Maintenance||Low maintenance. Parts easily available in market.||Low maintenance.||High manual maintenance required to flush out the drained waste collected.||Moderate assisted maintenance required to flush out the drained waste collected.|
|Life||Change the membranes every 6 months. System works for 5-8 years.||Change the lamps every 1 year. System works 5-8 years||Clean the filters every week. System works for 10 years.||Change the filter cartridges every 6 months. System works for 3-5 years.|
How to choose water purification systems most appropriate for your needs?
Firstly you need to check the TDS level i.e. total dissolved salts present in the water supplied to your homes. Most water purifier sale representatives can help you with that.
- If your home receives water from bore wells or hard water supplies, go for RO technology. RO purifiers are also affective in removing pesticides and metals like lead and arsenic in polluted waters, and small levels of pathogens from the water. If the level of disease causing pathogens is high in water, club RO with UV or UF technologies.
- If you receive clean water supplied from municipal corporations with low TDS, UV filters can help kill all viruses, protozoa and bacteria present in the water.
- If the water supplied to your homes is low in TDS but inefficient pipelines allow mixing of mud and silt into the water, UF filters is best for moderately clean water. They remove all dirt, metals as well as pathogenic bodies from the water. It is also a good choice for those who face shortage of power supplies, since UF technology doesn’t run of electricity.
- UV and UF technologies don’t affect the pH balance of the water. This is only beneficial when hard water is not being treated. RO purifiers can balance the taste of had water and make it softer and sweeter.
- If your water is very low on TDS and not heavily contaminated with germs, you can use gravity filters. They don’t use electricity to run, or waste water unnecessarily, and use mild chemicals to remove odour and germs for the water (depending upon advancement of model).
Tips to choose the best water filter for your homes
- Be sure to check if your water purifier model has a TDS controller. Many times processes like RO can remove essential nutrients like calcium and magnesium from the water in an attempt to remove salts from the clean water, when the system is set to treat high TDS water.
- Advance models of RO systems do come with minerals which can add essential minerals back into the water.
- Going in for multistage or combination models such as RO+UV+UF simply because you believe that more is better (which is a myth) is not only wastage of your hard earned money, but also promotes huge wastage of water, when it is simply not required. If your supplied water is low in TDS, there is no need to use RO; rather UF+UV can take care of your needs, without producing any waste water.
boiled water vs purified water
Boiling water for purification is the oldest trick in the book. This time-tested method had been working great for us, till new technologies in water purification systems were introduced, to challenge its credibility. It is generally held that boiling water can kill 100% of pathogenic microorganisms present in the water, but this is not true. There are many mutated tough germs and super bugs which can be left unaffected in boiling water. Also, for killing germs dissolved in water successfully, it is essential to let the water boil for 20 more minutes after it reaches the boiling point; contrary to popular belief where people simply take the water off the heating stove as soon as visible bubbles are seen in the water.
Is boiled water purified water? The answer has to be No. To throw some light on this, here are some differences between boiled water and purified water which may highlight what limitations does boiling water for consumption have when compared to filtered water from purifiers;
- Not only the boiling process may partially fail in removing the pathogenic microbes from the water, this purification process remains completely unaffected on the TDS, i.e. Total Dissolved Salts in the water. The higher the TDS, the harder is the water, and boiling cannot help soften the water or balance the acidity.
- None of the dissolved impurities like dirt and fine metal particles like lead and arsenic is filtered out in this process. Dissolved chemicals like fluoride, pesticides, and chlorine, which might be contaminating the water due to extreme water pollution or improper treatment of water treatment, doesn’t evaporate on boiling. It simply heats and cools down.
- Due to long boiling time, a lot of oxygen dissolved in the water is released in the form of bubbles. This gives the water a very flat taste.
- The inactivated germs in the boiled water can reactivate themselves once the normal room temperature is obtained.
- Utensils and hands if not cleaned properly, can lead to contamination of the water while handling, like when transferred from one vessel to the other.
Along with the limitations of the process, boiling water instead of using water purifier also poses inconvenience while handling the purification process;
- Firstly, you cannot boil a lot of water in one go; limitations posed by your standard apparatus consisting of gas stoves and utensils. Hence you need to carry this process multiple times a day, repeatedly.
- A lot of time is required for the water to cool down before it can be of useable condition.
- Handling boiling water everyday multiple times increases the probability of one suffering burns and mishandling which the material.
The primary function of water purifiers is to filter out dissolved salts and chemicals from the water, like the RO water filters, and purify the clean water obtained from pathogens, like UF and UV water purification systems, which may otherwise lead to water borne diarrheal diseases. Where the tedious task of boiling water simply heats the water and merely reduces the probability of pathogenic contamination, water purifiers on the other hand can successfully filter out dirt, mud, chemicals, pathogens, fine metals and TDS from the water instantly, efficiently, at the normal room temperature, while not compromising on the dissolved oxygen levels of the water.
To conclude, if you wonder “Is boiled water safer than purified water?”, then the answer is not completely. We get better and efficient results from purifying water than boiling water. Still, if you prefer the boiling water purification method, it is advisable to filter out the water afterwards. Make sure you pass the boiled water through water filters after, and not before boiling it, since the water purifiers will successfully restore a balanced taste in the water.
managing water crisis the need of the hour
Managing water crisis: the need of the hour
The blue planet, with more than 70% of its surface covered with water bodies, is facing a global crisis; being unable to provide every individual with fresh consumable water even for their basic needs. The broader reason for this can be understood if we study some water facts. Only 3% of this water on the planet is obtained from fresh water bodies, and the rest 97% is saline, resting in oceans. And out of this small fraction of potable water source, only 1% is accessible and the rest is trapped in glaciers, which too are melting due to global warming and draining into the oceans. Compared to the rising population and proportional increase in industrial water consumption, the depleting water sources pose as a major threat to the survival of human race.
It is indeed an important and sensitive global issue, but especially important in India. The Ministry of Water of India estimated that we have an adequate supply of freshwater, taking into account that covering only 2.5% of the global geographic space, we hold 4% of the global fresh water reservoir. But population is another major factor affecting this distribution, where 16% of the world population residing in this country is fighting over 4% of the world’s freshwater. India being an agricultural country, supplies 80% of its water resource to the agricultural land. For these purposes, groundwater levels have been seen to reduce drastically too. The diverse geographic features of the country, from mountains to deserts also contribute to the unequal distribution of water sources across the subcontinent. Inefficient water treatment plants and poor drainage systems lead to floods and not ‘freshwater harvest systems.’ These are some of the many signs of the national crisis worsening rapidly.
One may ask what a citizen sitting at home can do about a national crisis which the government and authorities must act upon. To answer this, we must understand that at least at the crux of the need of fresh water lies with how much water at the individual level we consume, and if there is any way in which we can reduce our own water footprint. Each human, on a standard, requires 150 litres of water for drinking, cooking, washing, bathing and other uses daily. Hence we can conclude that water conservation can begin from home. The little things we can do to conserve this critical natural resource and reduce our wastage at a personal level can go a long way to help save the planet.
Here are some ways in which you can reduce your water consumption and conserve the limited water resources;
- Switching from baths and showers to buckets to wash yourself can reduce 5-10 litres of water from every minute you take to bathe.
- The dual flush systems can reduce up to 60% of water as per need in every flush.
- Do not keep the taps running when not in use, like brushing and shaving.
- Operating washing machines in full-load cycles saves water as well as power consumed.
- You can reuse your kitchen waste-water to water plants. Not only it saves on extra water, but it also contains more nutrients which are beneficial to the plants. Water used to boil vegetables can be cooked into nutritious stock and broths too, and not simply thrown away.
- In places where clean water is supplied by municipal corporations, you can employ UV and UF technologies for your water purification systems instead of RO water filters. RO purifiers can eliminate up to 75% of freshwater even when clean water is supplied into the system. They must ideally be used only when you need to filter out dissolved salts and fine metal impurities from untreated water.
- A simple fix in leaking taps and pipeline can go a long way. Every drop counts!
Along with reducing your water footprint, you can employ a number of measures to save and harvest water for your own consumption. For every cause and effect, there is also a solution for water scarcity. Rain water harvesting is a traditional and very efficient method to collect the fresh water supplied by rain. You can install harvesting systems and collection tanks on your roofs and employ appropriate filtration systems to obtain clean fresh water right at your homes, which can especially be of great use during emergencies, where you’ll already have saved water during water shortage.
Individual efforts can go a long way in humanity’s collective effort to fight this worsening crisis. Make this blue planet blue again!
types of water purification systems
There are many types of water purification systems for home use advertised in the market, employing different techniques of water filtration. There are many home utility appliances like storage water purifiers, faucet filters, and countertop distillers which employ these technologies. To make an informed purchase most suitable for your needs, one must take a look at the advantages and disadvantages each filtration technique has to offer;
This type of water purifiers usually employs 5-7 stages of purification, using semi-permeable membrane to pass the water through, and filter out hard water, heavy metal impurities and gastrointestinal disease causing pathogens. The water will taste sweeter and bad odor would be removed. They usually have a durable lifespan of 6-8 years, have a lower maintenance cost, and repairable parts are readily available in the market too.
Since the semi-permeable membranes in RO purifiers use very tiny pores to ensure undesirable elements cannot pass through, it makes this process very slow, while making it difficult to function well with the regular tap water pressure. Hence they require electricity to pump with water through with increased pressure. These membranes are sensitive to chlorine as well, many a times they need to be coated with a layer of carbon filters to avoid damage. The biggest drawback in this filter system is that during the process of removing Total Dissolved Salts (TDS) and other impurities, it can reject upto 75% of the water-input, even if clean water is supplied into the system to be purified. Such low efficiency can make it an undesirable choice, especially in regions which face shortage of water supply. This also makes the time required to collect a required amount of water significantly longer.
Ultra Filtration (UF)
This process drains the pathogenic microbes from the water using a fibrous membrane, similar to what RO systems use. It is a simple physical straining process and doesn’t require chemicals or any electricity to operate; the biggest advantage of this purifier. The membrane uses larger pores than that of RO filters, hence can work well with water from normal tap pressure.
The simple drain-and-clean mechanism of UF filters require them to be cleaned very often, but can be easily cleaned manually, flushing all the dirt trapped. The larger pores can successfully block pathogens, but are ineffective on hard water, dissolved pesticides and other fine metal sediments.
Ultra-Violet Disinfection (UV)
Their unique technology tackles the DNA of the pathogens present in the water, disabling and killing them. These are natural and very efficient filterswhich don’t require any chemicals, don’t alter the pH balance of the water, and consequently consume low electricity. Also, they don’t produce any waste, and manual cleaning and maintenance required is minimum.
The primary feature missing from these water purifiers is that they can’t filter out salts and metals from the water, and usually require clean water to be passed through. Hence UV systems are most successful when combined with RO systems.
These water purifiers use the simplest of technology, by passing the inlet water through layers of sediment filters using gravity and normal tap water pressure. All suspended dirt and sand particles are easily filtered out, and carbon filters can remove any bad odor and chlorine dissolved in the water too.
It is a simple straining process which remains ineffective on fine metal particles line lead and arsenic. They also don’t affect the TDS level of water, or remove any harmful microbes.
Hybrid Filters or Multistage Purification
Most Water Purifiers available in Indian the market employs more than one technology to make it suitable for wider masses and more diverse needs, like the RO+UV or RO+UV+UF water filters. While the RO components clear the hard water, UV and UF make sure the scope of water borne diseases is eliminated. Definitely hybrid filters ensure a higher level of purity.
Many a times, such complex systems are not required. If your water is supplied by municipal corporations, it is fairly clean and UV or UF can be a good enough choice. RO systems are best suited for purifying water from bore wells. If your water supply is a mix of both, only then you are positively required to opt for a hybrid system.
For whatever water purifier you may select, be sure to always check for TDS regulators to be present in the purifier systems. The higher the TDS, the harder the water is. The TDS regulator must be adjusted with the quality of water supplied to ensure that the purifier is not only removing the bad salts and hard metals, but also retaining the natural minerals in the water. These days there are many advances RO water purifier with mineralizers that can add back some of the essential nutrients that get filtered in the RO process.
Most water purifier sale reps can help you determine the TDS levels in your water with a small handheld TDS meter, which can also be bought online. In case such facilities are not available, it is helpful to remember that RO water is best suited for ground water or water from borewells. UV+UF filters work sufficiently well with municipal supplied water. If you get a mix of both, get hard water supply at timesor in doubt, it is safest to go for RO or RO+ (UV+UF) models to cater all needs.
water borne diseases and how to prevent them
Fresh water scarcity and contamination is one of the leading matters of concern in developing countries around the globe. When bio wastes like animal and human feces and insoluble impurities like lead and arsenic pollute the potable waters, they become unfit for consumption, and can lead to diarrheal diseases. Diarrhea is one of the primary symptoms of gastrointestinal diseases, where stool is passed from the human body with excessive water and fluids, or in extreme cases, with blood.
With the industrial sector on the boom since the last century, not even ground water sources can ensure a safe drinking water source for the children in the third world countries. Cases of water borne diseases in India are high due to the poor waste management systems employed in the municipal corporations, and high levels of fluoride and arsenic in the ground water. The list of water borne diseases goes along with names like typhoid, fever, dysentery, hepatitis A or E, polio among the many others.
When contaminated water is unknowingly employed is activities like bathing, washing, drinking, in the preparation of food, or the consumption of the infected food prepared, it causes and spreads such water borne diseases and infections. Since water pollution at the ground level affects more people than air and land pollution, along with preventive measures at individual level, proper waste management systems need to be installed by authorities, and they must ensure the general public of their very basic right of healthy water supply.
At the personal level, here are some methods you can employ to prevent and control water borne diseases;
- Practice good habits like washing your hands with disinfectant soap before and after eating, and after carrying out dirty activities like gardening, playing and maintaining personal hygiene.
- In case you don’t have access to proper disinfectants to use while bathing and washing hands, use of coal ash and ‘neem’ is also a popular remedy in backward areas.
- Cook meat and dairy products properly before consumption to remove any allergens and pathogens it may contain. Wash fruits and vegetables properly, and peeloff muddy and underground vegetables well, like potatoes before cooking.
- Do not drink untreated water from lakes and ponds, and especially avoid accidental drinking of such water during bathing and swimming.
- Use water purifiers at home, taking in account the quality of water supplied in your locality. In case you come from a place without regular and good quality water supply, and cannot afford a high quality water filtration system, you can always resort to water distillation systems, where you collect the fresh water condensed from the vapor evaporated after boiling such contaminated water.