Filtration needs can vary greatly based on geography, water source, and treatment plant. This is why our Whole House Water Filter system can be customized with several add-on components for additional layers of protection against contaminants. Testing your water can help you determine which of these features may be needed.
As you may recall from Part 1 of our Whole House Water Filter Systems Overview, the first stage in the filtration process is a Sediment Pre-Filter. An optional feature that offers additional protection against sediment is the Sub-Micron Post-Filter, a component that can follow the Copper-Zinc and Mineral Stone Filter and Activated Carbon Filter or the optional Salt-Free Water Softener and Descaler.
The Sub-Micron Post-Filter utilizes microfiltration to reduce organic and sediment particles that may be too small to be filtered out by the more traditional water filtration components. This optional feature is also commonly used in conjunction with what would be the final stage in a comprehensive filtration process, the UV Filter. Below we will discuss what makes microfiltration important, the types of pathogens it treats against, and how it compares to similar water treatment options.
In respect to water treatment specifically, microfiltration uses tiny membranes to physically separate potentially harmful microorganisms from your water. While not all water requires further filtration of bacteria and particles beyond the initial filtration stages, certain geographical areas would dictate that this is a very necessary precaution due to what is located in the municipal or well-water supply.
These organic compounds and sediment particles are so small that only a specialized micro filter can effectively separate them from water. To give you some perspective, consider how thin one human hair is. Next, divide the size of that hair by 50 to 70 times and that will give you some indication about how small the compounds these filters guard against are. These compounds are smaller than can be seen by the human eye and much smaller than can be captured in the Sediment Pre-Filter and the Copper-Zinc and Mineral Stone Filter and Activated Carbon Filter.
If you wondering if you need this degree of protection in your filtration system, a water test will help you identify any potential health hazards that are present in your water. Let’s take a look at what these hazards are and why it is important not to consume them.
Sub-Micron Post-Filters are specially designed to prevent particles such as mercury, lead, cysts, asbestos, sediment, algae, protozoa such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia lamblia, and large bacteria from passing through your water. At the same time, microscopic, ionic or atomic materials that are generally desirable and completely healthy are still able to pass through the filter.
Of the aforementioned pathogens, the protozoa Cryptosporidium and Giardia lamblia are amongst the most responsible for disease outbreaks. Cryptosporidium is known to cause gastrointestinal illness as well as diarrhea. Giardia lamblia can cause Giardiasis, also known as beaver fever, a parasitic disease that inhabits the digestive tract and can cause diarrhea, malaise, excessive gas, greasy stools, nausea, bloating, diminished interest in food and even weight loss. Both Cryptosporidium and Giardia lamblia show a resistance to traditional bacterial disinfectants such as chlorine, meaning standard treatment processes at your local plant simply cannot remove these pathogens from your water before sending it to you.
In conducting your research on water filtration systems and add-ons you may have run across information on reverse osmosis. The main difference between Sub-Micron Post-Filters and reverse osmosis is not what is filtered from your water but what is not filtered out of your water. We mentioned above that microscopic, ionic or atomic materials are able to pass through the Sub-Micron Post-Filter. These materials are often comprised of healthy minerals that the Sub-Micron Post-Filter discerningly allows to pass through. On the other hand, reverse osmosis, a filtration membrane process that will retain mostly all molecules except for water, removes both unwanted and desirable minerals from the water. This is not to say that reverse osmosis is bad, in fact it does an excellent job of purifying water, but when it comes to drinking desirable nutrients that are present in water, Sub-Micron Post-Filtration is considered to be the better of the two options.
The Sub-Micron Post-Filter is an optional feature on the Filter Butler Whole House Water Filter that provides additional filtration against microscopic organic and sediment particles that the other filtration systems – Sediment Pre-Filter and Copper-Zinc and Mineral Stone Filter and Activated Carbon Filter – are not designed to retain. This degree of filtration is optional because your local water supply might not dictate this amount of protection. A local water test would dictate whether or not your water was at risk for health hazards such as Cryptosporidium, Giardia lamblia, large bacteria and the other impurities mentioned above.
The most discerning homeowner would likely enjoy the peace of mind of the Sub-Micron Post-Filter as well as the final optional filtration component, the UV Filter. For the final installment in this series, we will look at how the UV Filter disinfects water to protect against bacteria and viruses.
In the meantime, you can check out the rest of our Whole House Water Filter series:
Filter Butler can test your water and determine the right filters for your needs. For assistance with customizing your filtration system, speak to one of our water specialists at (844) 234-5837.