Types of Water Treatment Systems

The following are various types of water quality improvement systems, which may or may not apply to your particular water problems. Discuss the options available to you with your water quality improvement professional.

  • Carbon Filtration
  • Distillation
  • Ion-exchange Demineralization
  • Ion-exchange Softening
  • Iron or Oxidizing Filtration
  • Neutralizing Filtration
  • Ozone
  • Pot Feeders or Chemical Feed Pumps
  • Reverse Osmosis
  • Sand Filtration
  • Sediment Filtration
  • Ultra-violet Sterilization

Any method other than those listed above should be investigated carefully before making a purchase. No one piece of equipment is a cure-all for all water problems. Be wary of any salesperson who may imply that a particular technology will improve all water problems, or require no maintenance.

Drinking Water

A point-of-use water quality improvement professional can recommend systems for improving taste, odor and clarity of your water supply. Below are the most common methods available to improve the quality of drinking water. These systems may be used alone or in combination.

Sediment Filtration

Removes suspended particles from water to improve its appearance.

Carbon Filtration

Improves the taste, odor and clarity of drinking water. Carbon is most commonly used to adsorb chlorine and chloramines from city water. Carbon is a recognized treatment technique for removal of certain organic contaminants such as trihalomethanes, trichlorethylene, paradichlorobenzene and others. However, carbon will not remove total dissolved mineral salts (TDS) from water. Discuss the proper application with your water quality improvement professional. If contaminants must be removed for health reasons, we recommend you obtain verification from your dealer that he can provide the safeguards you need.

Reverse Osmosis (RO)

Uses household pressure to separate water from dissolved mineral salts. The product water enters a holding tank for use through a special faucet on the sink. RO systems utilize a sediment filter, a semi-permeable membrane, and a carbon filter to produce a low-mineral, low-sodium, good tasting drinking water. RO is used by many bottled water companies to produce their high-quality product.


Utilizes heat to evaporate water. Impurities are left behind and flushed to drain. The steam is condensed back into liquid form and is cooled to become distilled water. Ask your water quality improvement professional if his product water meets USP (United States Pharmacopoeia) standards.

Bottled Water

Used for drinking and cooking only, bottled water can be delivered to homes or businesses in five-gallon containers, can be purchased from vending machines found outside many markets, or purchased in prepackaged gallon containers in most grocery stores.

Some bottled water is tap water or well water that is treated by reverse osmosis and/or carbon filtration. The law requires “spring” water to be water from a natural spring. Although it may or may not be treated, depending on its quality, all bottled water is disinfected, usually by ozonation or ultraviolet sterilization.

Softened Water

Water hardness is demonstrated by scale in water heaters or on plumbing fixtures, by soap deposits on dishes and fabrics, and by soap scum in sinks and bathtubs.

Water can become “hard” as water passes through the atmosphere in the form of rain, snow, sleet, hail, dew, or fog, it picks up minerals along with gaseous and bacterial impurities. And, because water is the universal solvent, it picks up even more impurities in ponds, lakes, and rivers, as it percolates into the underground water table. Water hardness is measured in grains per gallon (gpg). Your water utility company will tell you the hardness of your water supply, or your water quality improvement professional can perform a simple test for that information.

Water can be softened with detergents, chemicals or other compounds that can be very expensive. The most commonly used method is ion exchange softening which is relatively inexpensive and provides the luxury of using more natural types of cleaning products for household chores and personal care.

It is to YOUR benefit, as a consumer, that all your water-using appliances are operating as efficiently as possible. Discuss ways to increase your water efficiency with your water quality improvement professional.