Understanding How Water Filtration Works

The process of water filtration removes unwanted biological contaminants, chemicals, and other compounds from raw water to make it suitable for drinking or scientific or industrial use.

There are several ways to purify water, which are often used together for the best results

The standards and purity of drinking water for scientific and medical purposes are set by government agencies, which set limits on the allowable concentration of pollutants. Even pure water can be contaminated, and you cannot tell if it is pure enough to drink. For example, boiling water kills biological substances but does not remove chemical contaminants that can be dangerous if swallowed. It is why many people install purifiers in their homes. It gives an extra sense of security that your water is clean and safe to drink.

The most common home-use water filtration systems are carbon filters, reverse osmosis systems, and distillers. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Most home systems combine at least two filtering methods. For example, a distiller typically includes a carbon filter. The distiller removes solid contaminants, while the charcoal removes gases from the steam. For domestic use, the water filtration process usually occurs near the point of use, such as under the kitchen sink. Thus, the water used for drinking and cooking is purified, but the water used for bathing or washing clothes is not. It prevents filter wear and reduces costs.

industrial filtration

For commercial use, the water filtration process often takes place at the entrance to the main so that purified water is available throughout the building. Laboratories often include filters at the point of entry and the point of use. It provides purified water throughout the laboratory, but the use of special filters added at certain points in the line offers higher purity for specific applications.

Most of the industrialized world has access to purified water, but millions still do not have access to clean water. In these cases, or during natural disasters and emergencies, an emergency water industrial filtration process can be set up to make it safe to drink.

To do this, filter the water from obvious solid impurities and boil it for at least one minute. It kills the organisms but does not remove the chemicals. Chemicals can be released with a charcoal filter, if available. If it cannot be boiled, it can be cleaned with regular bleach at the rate of 1/8 teaspoon per gallon of water. Although this is a raw water filtration process, it can remove many dangerous pathogens.


The filtration process can be as simple as boiling water or as complex as municipal wastewater treatment plants, which purify water through flocculation, sedimentation, filtration, and disinfection. These are two extremes. Most people are more familiar with stationary or desktop cleaners. They all work towards the same goal, to provide humanity with a product that is safe enough to drink.