We all want to be sure that the water we drink is healthy and clean. But, research indicates that water contains contaminants that might harm our health over time. To make sure healthy drinking water is available, many people install a home purification or filtration system.

The first step to getting cleaner water, though, is figuring out which system to get and understanding the differences between them. Different water treatment companies make products that do pretty much the same thing, so we need to understand the difference.


What is Purification?

Purification is an often-misunderstood term. There are many of us that tend to think that if the water is truly pure, there is nothing else in it. But, “purify,” which is the root of “purification” means to get rid of unwanted particles. So, if a product claims to purify water, will not make it pure. Rather, it removes what is not wanted from the water.


What is Filtration?

This definition is a little more straight forward. Water filtration is like a sieve that removes unwanted particles from your water. Two of the most common filtration systems are activated carbon filters and sediment filters.


What is the difference between filtration and purification?

There is definitely a difference between the two processes. Purification is a process where what is unwanted is removed from the water. However, the filtration process prevents what is unwanted from getting into the water system.

When chemicals are added to water and they cause contaminants to coagulate and smell, this is usually considered filtration as it keeps those unwanted particles from passing through the system. What’s more, the pores of water filter are so fine that viruses may even be restrained, that is looked at as purification as most impurities are removed.

Typically, both processes overlap. Since the term “purification” ca be relatively confusing, some companies just avoid using the term altogether.


How pure should water be?

The best thing to do is test your home’s water supply to figure out what pollutants are present before you purchase a system. If any of the tests reveal areas for concern, the water system you decide to purchase must be able to address the issue. But, if your water quality is already pretty decent, you’re not going to need a fancy system. After all, removing all impurities is simply impractical.

While that may seem odd, it is true. Pure water that is entirely free of impurities is devoid of the minerals that are usually present in water supplies. When we drink truly pure water, it draws those beneficial nutrients from our body’s cells to create a balance. In the long run, this may lead to dangerous health conditions as calcium along with other nutrients are slowly pulled from our bones.

To remove harmful contaminants, some water purifications work to produce this kind of pure water, and this kind of system needs an additional system to return minerals to the water.