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Understanding Water Contaminants and How Portable Water Filters Work

Water contamination can come from a wide range of sources, including agricultural runoff, industrial pollution, improperly treated water and sewage leaks.

Some waterborne pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses, can cause disease in humans. Among the most dangerous are cholera, giardia and typhoid.

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Types of Water Contaminants

Water contaminants are any substances that can interfere with the quality of the water and its uses. These include bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and chemicals that can be harmful or even toxic to human health.

Generally, water contamination occurs through four main types of pollution: naturally occurring, accidental, intentional, and man-made. Natural contaminants are found in water bodies through runoff from agriculture and industrial activities.

Accidental pollutants occur from sewage spills, oil spills and other pollution. Intentional pollution is caused by industries dumping waste into rivers and streams.

Chemical contaminants are the most common type of water pollution and are most often found in groundwater. These can include fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals used in agriculture.

Other common chemical contaminants are metals and other materials like cadmium, lead and mercury. Heavy metals can be especially toxic and if in high concentrations they can cause severe health problems. So we can drink some healthy water using this portable water filter.

Health Risks

There are many types of contaminants in our water, from chemicals that affect the health of humans to toxins found in natural ecosystems. The effects of contaminants range from gastrointestinal illnesses to cancer.

Chemicals can be found in drinking water from fertilizers, pesticides and other industrial sources. They can cause a variety of chronic diseases (like cancer) and reproductive problems.

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Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFASs, are a type of manmade contaminant that have been used in everything from nonstick pots and pans to stain protectants on carpets and clothes. These substances are a growing concern because of their possible adverse effects on human health.

Other contaminants can also contaminate water as it travels through the distribution system or as it enters homes and businesses. These include copper, which can leach from the pipes if the water is highly acidic or is exposed to corrosion. Treatment can remove many of these contaminants, but not all. When you travel, you can find a temporary solution by using a portable water filter

The Science Behind Portable Water Filter

The filtration process involves trapping sediments, bacteria and protozoan cysts using a physical barrier. This barrier can be made of activated carbon or other natural materials, or it can be a ceramic filter that has complex pore structures for ultra-fine filtration of pathogenic organisms.

Some filters have specialized elements or cartridges that can catch viruses. These are usually micron-sized, with a small amount of water passing through them to capture the virus.

However, over time strained matter gums up the pores in these elements, requiring them to be cleaned and replaced. Some purifiers also use chemicals (like iodine) to kill viruses, which are too small for most filter elements.

Some of the most popular portable water filter use a combination of pump, gravity and purification technologies to provide clean drinking water. These devices require little energy to operate, are lightweight and can be used on the go. Some models are able to treat water quickly, producing up to 20 ounces of clean drinking water in a minute.

How to Read Water Quality Reports

A water quality report, or Consumer Confidence Report (CCR), is an important tool to help you understand the water contaminants in your home. These reports compare contaminant levels to health-based standards, and point out any violations.

A CCR typically includes a list of regulated pollutants detected over the course of the year, as well as the concentrations of those contaminants found. It also provides information about where your water comes from and how it’s treated to make it safe for drinking.

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The level of each contaminant is measured in units, including milligrams per liter, parts per million and picocuries per liter, among others. For example, a contaminant with a concentration of one part per million in your water is equivalent to about 0.03 of a teaspoon of sugar dissolved in it.

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