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Water filtration and purification: you need to know when buying a water purification system

Consumer awareness about water quality has increased considerably in the last decade. In Kazawest, our property managers regularly receive water filtration investigations owners of residential and commercial tenants and owners of condominium units and strata council members. This article contains some of the collective information we recently provided to homeowners, renters, and condominium strata councils.

The Basics of Water Quality

In many regions of North America, tap water may contain pollutants such as ammonia, antibiotics, asbestos fibers, chlorine, cysts, hormones, parasites, lead and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

The first step is to find out what the quality of water in its area is equal. Knowing this will help you choose the filtering system on the right. You can get this information from your local authority or water utility and is usually published an annual report on water quality.

As an example of information on water quality, water from the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) in British Columbia has a water supply of the following characteristics:

  • high turbidity (particle content in the water)
  • parasite cysts
  • chlorine at a relatively high level
  • soft (low levels of minerals and salts)

When choosing a water purification system, you will want to ensure that performance specifications are acceptable. The key performance criteria to look at are:

  • Impact on Composition: Changes in the water caused by passing through the system (for example, the reduction of minerals and disposal, Turbidity reduction, etc..) The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) produces ratings systems that can be compared.
  • Micron Rating: The size of microscopic particles that are filtered from the water. Particles below the micron rating will.
  • Capacity: How many gallons of water your system can handle between filter changes or maintenance.
  • Maintenance Frequency: How often the system is usually needed Filter replacement or maintenance.


Types of Filtration Systems

There are four main types of filtration systems to be well informed when making decisions about water purification.

Type 1: particle filtration

Particle filtration uses highly absorbent material to trap and remove impurities. Filtration of particles removes minerals and salts. The effectiveness of filters varies considerably between the quality of filtration pitcher average indoor stage and a high degree of multi-stage in the drive against. Units in various stages tend to have a Phase 1 sediment filter for larger particles, followed by a sub-micron filter purifier. Multiple units under the counter stages often have the highest scores NSF.

This type of system is very suitable for many different situations such mineral water and disposal salt is not desired. In connection with the above example, a unit of good particle filtration is an excellent choice for high turbidity water and soft minerals of the Vancouver Lower Mainland China.

Type 2: Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis systems usually consist of a system particle filtering base with a semipermeable membrane which separates impurities from water. These systems effectively remove contaminants from water, However, there several drawbacks to consider:

  • high turbidity water quickly contaminate the membrane and degrade water quality, which requires frequent maintenance
  • up to four liters of water will be water for each liter of purified water produced
  • filtering bacteria and parasites may be less effective than submicron filtration
  • healthy minerals can be stripped and water alkalinity can be reduced (alkaline water is considered healthy to consume)
  • water may taste flat
  • high cost of purchasing and maintaining

Type 3: Distillation

Distillers produce boiling water and then condensing the vapor purified. The characteristics of these systems are very similar to reverse osmosis in which the contaminants are effectively removed with some similar issues including:

  • healthy minerals can be stripped and water alkalinity can be reduced (alkaline water is considered healthy to consume)
  • water may taste flat
  • high cost of purchasing and maintaining as high electricity costs to operate the system

Type 4: The UV disinfection

Disinfection using ultraviolet light to kill bacteria and other microorganisms. It is effective to ensure water is free of bacteria and parasites. There are two kinds of systems. The Class A kill harmful bacteria and viruses, while class B systems are powerful and are designed so that bacteria do not cause disease (also known as nuisance bacteria) inactive.

Due to the lack of filtration, disinfection UV be used in combination with one of the other methods mentioned above purification.


And finally, once they have reached the desired water quality, maintenance is necessary to maintain quality and get the best out of your investment. No matter what your situation water quality and what type of system you choose, property maintenance is essential.

Without proper maintenance, water quality is degraded to a point where would be better to use no system at all! For example, when filters are not changed in a system over an extended period of time, bacterial growth inevitably occur.

Many services provided are happy to set up a standing order for maintenance visits (if the system requires it) or automatically vessel filter replacement cartridges. Take advantage of this added value and ensure that their investment in water purification continues to offer safe and clean water for the next years.

Visit / articles to access an illustrated version of this article and related articles.

© 2010 Kazawest Services Inc.

Information purposes only

The above article is for informational purposes. All residential or commercial applications a water purification system is unique and is a good idea to seek professional advice from water purification.

About the Author

Article courtesy of Kazawest Services Inc.


About the Author

Kazawest is a leading real estate management and development services firm. The company’s real estate management services include commercial, residential, and strata property management. Kazawest’s property development group provides full services to plan, design and execute real estate development projects. In addition, the firm’s commercial division is a full service brokerage specializing in commercial real estate transactions and leasing. Kazawest is based in Vancouver and has its head office in Burnaby, BC. Find out more about Kazawest and access additional informative articles at


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