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Sediment Filter: What Is It & How Does It Work?
A sediment filter removes suspended solids from your water supply. Debris, rust, flecks and stormwater runoff from old pipes can leave your water unpleasant and discolored. A huge sediment build-up can cause damage to appliances, ruin hot water heaters and clog up valves. Sediment also prevents filtration systems such as ultraviolet purification and reverse osmosis from operating at their top efficiency. Sediment filters ensure that your waters are clear and are a crucial component in the water filtration process.
How Does It Work?
These filters work by using a process called mechanical filtration. Mechanical filtration blocks unwanted sediments from infiltrating your water supply. Sediment filters have a porosity that allows water to flow through them while capturing sand and dirt that the water is carrying. Some filters use wide surface areas to capture large amounts of debris, and others make use of a depth gradient to filter out suspended particles instead.
What Does the Filter Remove?
Sediment filters remove visible sediments and particles of sand, dust, debris and dirt that can be caught by their micron-rated capacity. These filters also eliminate turbidity from water. Turbidity is the murkiness in water that causes it to turn orange, yellow or brown in color. The color change is caused by a large number of suspended solids in the water.
However, sediment filters do not remove chemicals, bacteria, heavy metals or dissolved particulate matter. They are in fact only used as primarily a preservative filtration method. They are most effective when serving as a prefilter for other filtration systems. This is the reason sediment filtration often works with other filtration methods, like ultraviolet purification and reverse osmosis.
What Processes is the Sediment Filter Used For?
Reverse osmosis systems use a sediment pre-filter. It purifies water by letting it pass through a membrane that eliminates salts, metals, and dissolved solids. A sediment filter acts as protection or pretreatment for the reverse osmosis process. The membrane rejects sediments, but the water rejected by it drains through a tiny flow resistor. A sediment prefilter protects the flow resistor from clogging rather than protecting the membrane itself.
Ultraviolet purification systems also have sediment filters. These systems neutralize parasites, bacteria, and microorganisms through ultraviolet wavelengths. Ultraviolet light damages the DNA of living organisms, causing them unable to reproduce. This filtration method is highly effective in making microbiologically unsafe water available. To ensure that your ultraviolet system is functioning at maximum performance, it is recommended to have a sediment filter installed.
It also protects the lifespan of carbon filters. Carbon filters are known for their ability to restore the fresh state of your water by removing chloramines and chlorine. If carbon filters are required to filter out large volumes of particles, it will dramatically reduce their lifespan. Sediment filters are cheaper than carbon filters. Thus, in order to extend the life of your carbon blocks, it would be a good idea to install a sediment filter.
A sediment filter is the best of both worlds. On one end, it protects your appliances from corrosion, and on the other, it boosts the efficiency of other filters as a pre-filter. All these benefits you reap while keeping your costs at a minimum.