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The difference between water filters and water purifiers

Updated on October 17, 2011

Whether you have a camping trip lined up, or you simply want to make sure that your family has a method of getting drinking water even in the case of an emergency, you'll find that you naturally start gravitating towards water filters and water purifiers. Both of these devices, whether they are small and portable for a camping trip or larger and meant to take care of an entire household in an emergency situation, are valuable additions to any household, but you'll find that there is a difference between them. By educating yourself on their form and their function, you'll soon realize that there is a great deal of good that that you can see from using either device, but it will take just a little bit of thought to see which one you want to get.

The first thing to be ware of is that both a water filter and a water purifier will have filters that block bacteria. While it seems that the water coming out of your faucet or down a clear mountain stream is completely clear, a quick consultation with a microbiology text book will soon tell you otherwise. Even water that is seemingly clear can harbor such dangerous bacteria as salmonella, E. coli, and cholera. If you are in an area where you occasionally get notices stating that you have to boil your water, you'll find that the use of water filter can help you put your mind at ease; you'll realize that you can simply take a drink of water without checking the news!

While both water filters and water purifiers are excellent when it comes to removing bacteria, keep in mind that only a water purifier will remove viruses from your drinking water. Viruses are some of the smallest microorganisms out there, and because they are so tiny, a filter will not give them a pause at all. One of the more malignant viruses that can often make its way through water that looks drinkable is Hepatitis A, and it is not uncommon to see more dangerous things in it as well. A water purification system will essentially use one of two methods to remove viruses from your drinking water. Most commonly, it will use a halogen like chlorine or iodine to render the virus harmless. You'll also find that some water purifiers will use an electrostatic charge to trap the viruses in the filter, allowing the filter to do a better job.

You'll find that water purifiers and water filters need to be replaced. There is a limited use life on both water purifiers and water filters, and you'll find that after a certain amount of use, they will no longer do as good a job or will simply stop doing it entirely. By taking a look at the packaging, you'll find that the average use life of a water purifier or a water filter can range from 2,000 gallons to eight times that amount, so do a little bit of comparison shopping before you invest!

Take some time to look at both water filters and water purifiers before you make your decision, and make sure that you have all the facts!

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