How to choose a rainwater filter
Some important things you need to know about rainwater filtration A simple guide to the important points to look for when choosing a suitable rainwater filter
If you’re in the process of researching the best water filter for your home, you may be confused about all the jargon used in the water filter industry!
Read further on some things need to know about the subject from the experts:
The first step to choosing the best filter for your needs is to find out what water supply you have to your home. In Australia, many homes have rainwater tanks plumbed to the toilets, washing machines and outdoor taps, however, some homes have rainwater plumbed to drinking water taps in the home.
Rainwater Filters – What you need to know…
While many Australians are thriving on rainwater supplies, it is sadly true that many rainwater tanks harbour bacteria such as giardia and cryptosporidium. These bacteria can cause acute stomach illnesses and suffering if you contract them.
When using rainwater for drinking purposes, it is important to install a suitable safety barrier to protect you from the possible harm. The most common barrier is to install a Cyst Rated water filter or an Ultraviolet Steriliser to protect you from these illnesses.
Cyst Rated Water Filters are guaranteed to filter particles from the water below 1 micron which will remove harmful cysts commonly found in rainwater tanks.
To give you some idea, this is 0.001 of a millimetre, wow, that’s amazing. When using this method of protection, always take into account that your rainwater tank may be full of gunk and need cleaning to ensure you get a good filter life out of your cartridge. As the filtration performance is so high, these filters can tend to block up.
When choosing a cyst rated bacteria removing filter, there are a few things to look for in a good water filter:
1. Where is it made? We find that the best quality filter cartridges come from the USA. They are normally of excellent quality and you can put your trust in them.
2. NSF Certification means the water filter has been certified by NSF International which is very stringent on health and quality aspects. We recommend that you always buy NSF Certified cartridges
3. Silver Impregnated Carbon is ideal for use in rainwater filtration. Silver is a known natural disinfectant that has been used for hundreds of years by mankind. Silver Impregnation ensures that your rainwater filter is bacteriostatic, meaning it will not harbour bacteria in the cartridge and improve the life of your filter.
4. Whole House or Undersink? Decide whether you want filter all the water to your home or only the drinking water at the kitchen sink. Whole House filters are more expensive to install however there are benefits of protection and great tasting water from every tap. Undersink Water Filters are more cost effective and provide protection for your drinking water supply.
Ultraviolet Sterilisers are used extensively in Australia to disinfect water supplies without the use of chemicals such as chorine.
An ultraviolet steriliser is made up from a polished stainless steel tube that houses a special quartz (glass) sleeve which houses the ultraviolet lamp. This lamp produces a powerful dose of Ultraviolet light through the water which inactivates any cysts or microorganisms in the water.
It is important to know that UV Sterilisers require ongoing maintenance in the replacement of the lamps every year as their effectiveness decreases.
When choosing an Ultraviolet Steriliser for your water supply, here are a few things to take into account:
1. Calculate the flowrate required for you home/office. This can be estimated easily by taking into account the number of bathrooms, kitchens, toilets as well as how many people are present on the site.
Or you can use the guide below to help you decide:
Small Home 1-2 People 30 Litres/Minute Flow Rate
Medium Home 2-4 People 45 Litres/Minute Flow Rate
Large Home 4-8 People 70 Litres/Minute Flow Rate
When speaking to your supplier, let them know you require a UV Dose Rate of no less than 30mJ/cm2 (Millijoules per centimeter squared). This, as well as your required flowrate will be required to size a suitable system for your home. If the salesman doesn't seem to know what you are talking about, you haven't got the right supplier!
2. Undersink Ultraviolet Sterilisers are also available on the market for undersink rainwater filter systems and offer disinfection of the water supplied to a stand-alone tap on the sink.
3. Buy Quality, it pays off! When investing in an Ultraviolet steriliser, it is very tempting to go for the lower cost systems on the market. We recommend you look for a system that is made in Canada, as a rule these systems are generally of higher quality and offer good value for money. Not only that, when you need to replace a ballast or lamp, you know they will be available at a reasonable price and generally in stock.
Thanks for reading................look out for our next post on the Aquastream Nanosilver - an outstanding filter cartridge for home rainwater treatment.