|Carbon Filter||Removes chlorine, some organic chemicals, resin, general taste and odor problems.||Does not remove nitrate, bacteria, or metals. Periodic replacement of activated charcoal required.|
|Mechanical Filter||Removes sand, soil, and other causes of turbidity.||Requires regular cartridge replacement or backwashing (depending on type) to maintain effectiveness.|
|Water Softener||Replaces water hardness minerals (calcium, magnesium) with sodium Improves cleaning action of soaps, detergent. Prevents scale deposits in pipes, equipment.||Removes calcium and magnesium, replacing with sodium (consult physician if sodium in diet is a health concern).|
Softened water can be more corrosive than unsoftened water.
Periodic backwashing and regeneration required.
|Iron Filter||Removes iron and manganese that can cause staining of clothes and plumbing fixtures Prevents odor caused by iron, manganese.||Periodic backwashing, addition of potassium permanganate required (frequency dependent on water usage, iron content).|
|Neutralizer||Treats corrosive or acidic water.||May increase sodium or water hardness.|
|Distillation Units||Removes most impurities including minerals and organic chemicals from drinking water.||Distillation takes time and can be expensive. Storage space is needed for treated water. |
Distilled water has a flat or bland taste.
Hard water increases maintenance of distiller.
|Reverse Osmosis||Removes most dissolved and suspended impurities from water.||Reverse osmosis wastes up to 50% of water. Process requires time and storage of treated water. |
Hard water clogs membrane.
Carbon and mechanical filters may be required to pretreat water.