Water Filtration Vs Water Purification: What Should You Choose?

Posted by David Cannon on 4th May 2020

Water Filtration Vs Water Purification: What Should You Choose?

Clean pure water is a necessity for all living beings on earth. The water in its natural form is infiltrated with various types of impurities such as sediments, sands, and slits. They need to be filtered before using the water. Having said that, you may think that when it comes to clean water only filtration is enough. You may also think that filtered water is purified water but that is just a half-truth. We often misunderstand filtration with purification, whereas these are technically two different terms. If you filter water, it may look crystal clear but it is not necessarily purified. Therefore, this post gives insights into the differences between water filtration and water purification.

What is Water Filtration?

Water filtration is one of the key water purification techniques. The process involves the removal of substance impurities like dirt, toxins, chemicals, etc by using a perforated film or porous material.  Since regular filtration is the easiest but the least effective technique of water purification, multiple technologies are applied to enhance its quality. The filter screens are now embedded with activated carbon to filter the chemical and dirt content effectively. By doing so, they help avoid toxins or dirt from entering water systems. There are different water filtration techniques available. The following are a few popular water filtration techniques in use today.

  1. Sediment Filtration: Sediment filtration is the most common and basic filtration technique in use today. It is widely used for domestic, commercial and industrial water filtration system. It utilizes a sediment filter made of polypropylene and can filter sediments up to the size of 10 to 100 microns.  Inline sand filters are one of the important types of sediment filters used today. These filters are designed to stop sand, silts, and other sediments from clogging your water supply lines. Lakos Sand Master series inline sand filters are one of the important types of sediment filtration equipment in use today. They are widely used at homes and offices to protect water well pumps, washing machines, faucets, and so on from sediment clogging.
  2. Centrifugal Filtration: This filtration technique utilizes centrifugal force to filter water. The centrifugal force is usually experienced by an object that moves in a circular path. This force directs away from the object from the center of rotation. The centrifugal filtration equipment features a rotational drum to which the liquid is pumped. The force created by rapid rotation makes the suspended particles to move away and get trapped onto the walls of the equipment. These particles would fall into the separator bowl and are flushed out. Owing to their increasing popularity, today, it is quite easy to find centrifugal separators from various brands. Among them, the centrifugal separators from Lakos have gained popularity.

What is Water Purification?

Water purification is a comprehensive term for processes and techniques performed to remove unwanted chemicals, suspended solids, contaminants, and gases from water. Water purification systems is mainly performed for specific purposes such as producing potent water for human consumption, as well as for pharmacological, chemical, and medical applications. Filtration is also a part of water purification. It involves advanced purification techniques like reverse osmosis, deionization, distillation, etc.

Let us discuss the 3 fundamental techniques of water purification systems.

  1. Reverse Osmosis (RO): Reverse osmosis is a water purification technique in which water is forced to pass through a semi-permeable membrane under varying pressure and thermodynamic conditions. This helps in removing ions, chemicals, and toxins from water.
  2. Deionization: Deionization is a technique based on electric potential difference. The electric potential difference is applied to water molecules to deionize them. Two electrically charged electrodes are used in this technique. The negative charge ions are removed by this technique.
  3. Distillation: Distillation is a water purification technology that uses selective boiling and condensation to separate contaminants from water.

Water Filtration vs Water Purification: What is the Difference

Water Filtration Water Purification
Removes impurities and contaminants from water by passing it through a filter media. Removes impurities and contaminants from water using various methods, including filtration, chemical treatment, and disinfection.
Relies on physical barriers, such as screens, membranes, or activated carbon, to trap and remove particles, sediment, and larger contaminants. Involves multiple processes to eliminate a broader range of contaminants, including bacteria, viruses, chemicals, heavy metals, and other harmful substances.
Effective in removing visible particles, sediment, debris, and some larger microorganisms. Effective in eliminating a wider range of contaminants, including both visible and invisible impurities, pathogens, and chemical pollutants.
Provides an improved taste and odor by reducing chlorine, sulfur, and other substances that affect water quality. Enhances water quality by removing or reducing a variety of contaminants, improving taste, odor, and overall purity.
Commonly used for residential purposes, such as improving the taste and clarity of tap water. Widely used in various settings, including residential, commercial, industrial, and healthcare, where a higher level of water purity is required.
Requires periodic maintenance, such as filter replacement or cleaning, to maintain effectiveness. May require maintenance, such as replacing filters, monitoring chemical dosing, and periodically disinfecting the system, to ensure continued purification performance.
Provides a cost-effective solution for basic water treatment needs and general improvement in water quality. Offers a more comprehensive approach to water treatment, suitable for areas with specific water contamination issues or when higher purity standards are required.
Does not eliminate all contaminants, such as dissolved salts, heavy metals, or certain chemicals. Designed to target and remove a broader range of contaminants, including dissolved substances, microorganisms, and chemical pollutants, depending on the purification method used.
Examples: Pitcher filters, faucet-mounted filters, under-sink filters. Examples: Reverse osmosis systems, UV sterilizers, distillation units, chemical disinfection systems.

The following points will help you understand the key difference between filtration and purification.

Purpose of Implementation: Water purification is performed to remove suspended particles, algae, viruses, parasites, and fungi in the water. However, water filtration system prevents these particulates from entering the water systems.

Effectiveness: Filtration is an effective water purification technique. Most filters are designed to remove large particulates, whereas small ones remain behind. The success of filtration equipment depends on the size of filter pore, as well as the longevity of filtration equipment. However, the filtration succeeds only in removing large particulates from entering into the water stream. The purification focuses on all aspects of water cleaning. It helps in removing chemicals, toxins, odors, and several pollutants from water. Of the two, the water purifier draws a larger picture of water treatment. Many RO purifiers utilize filters in a creative way.
Now that the differentiation between water filtration and water purification is described, you can make your choice to buy a water filter or a purifier or both. Remember, this selection will depend on various factors such as the quality of water, volume of water to be processed, and so on. Well, no matter what device you decide to buy, you must buy it from quality suppliers. Cannon Water Technology, Inc is one of the prominent suppliers of water purification and filtration equipment in the USA. The company has been supplying technology equipment from recognized industrial brands like Lakos, Myron L, and so on.