Why do we need to filter water before drinking?

As per a 2017 report by the United Nations (UN) World Health Organization (WHO), 2.1 billion people lack access to a safe and reliable drinking water supply at home. Eighty-eight percent of the four billion annual cases of diarrhea reported worldwide have been attributed to a lack of sanitary drinking water. Each year approximately 525,000 children under age five die from diarrhea, the second leading cause of death, and 1.7 million are sickened by diarrheal diseases caused by unsafe water, coupled with inadequate sanitation and hygiene.

According to Indiawaterportal, annually about 37.7 million Indians are affected by waterborne diseases, 1.5 million children die of diarrhea and 73 million working days are lost leading to an economic burden of $600 million a year.

Water being a universal solvent dissolves a number of inorganic salts and organic matter while on its way from aquifers to your glass of drinking water. It picks up several contaminants along the way including microbes, heavy metals, mud, pesticides, etc., which are very harmful for human consumption. While the microbes can cause several water-borne diseases like typhoid, cholera, and dysentery, the heavy metals cause more insidious organ damage over a longer period of time.

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Waterborne diseases such as cholera, acute diarrhoeal diseases, typhoid, and viral hepatitis continue to be prevalent in India and have caused 10,738 deaths, over the last five years since 2017. Of this, acute diarrhoeal diseases caused maximum deaths followed by viral hepatitis, typhoid, and cholera.

According to the WHO (World Health Organization), TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) is the term used to describe the inorganic salts and small amounts of organic matter present in solution in water. The principal constituents are usually calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium cations and carbonate, hydrogen carbonate, chloride, sulfate, and nitrate anions. The primary sources for TDS in receiving waters are agricultural runoff and residential (urban) runoff, clay-rich mountain waters, leaching of soil contamination, and point source water pollution discharge from industrial or sewage treatment plants.

The TDS varies with the source of the water supply. Let’s have a look at the numbers:

Municipality waterTDS averages around 200 ppm
GroundwaterTDS ranges between 200 to 500 ppm
Borewell waterTDS is usually more than 500 ppm

Every household in India can take responsibility for its health by investing in a water filter for home depending on the TDS quotient of their water supply. As rural households may not be able to afford the high-end water purifiers like RO water purifier and may not even have access to steady water supply and electricity supply that are prerequisites for RO water purifier to function effectively, it is recommended that they invest in a gravity-based water purifier from a good brand to be able to reduce if not altogether eliminate microbes, volatile organic compounds, and pesticide contamination.

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Let’s look at some top features of the best gravity-based purifier from Pureit:

  • Virus removal: Removes one crore of viruses from one liter of water.
  • Auto shut off: Ensures that you don’t drink even one impure drop of water as it shuts off the filter if anything is amiss.
  • Activated Carbon Trap: It removes pesticides and any undesirable odors.
  • Break-resistance tap: Tested 50,000 times to see that you get the best quality product.
  • Imported micro-charged membrane: Equipped with double protection that re-purifies the already filtered water.
  • Germkill Kit Indicator: Alerts you when the Germkill Kit needs to be replaced as a part of maintenance.
  • Up to 9-liter water storage capacity and 23-liter purifier volume
  • Lightweight body: The 23-liter volume purifier weighs 3.7 kg

Coming to the urban households, as they have more disposable income, we recommend that they invest in high-end water purifiers to safeguard their health and their family’s health. If the TDS quotient in their water supply is less than 200 ppm, they can choose UV (Ultra-Violet) filtration technology which can remove impurities while retaining key minerals, if the turbidity of your water permits. For a TDS quotient between 200-500 ppm, they can opt for a Pureit Mineral RO + UV device, that can add the essential minerals back to the water stream. If your TDS quotient is over 500 ppm, an RO water filter is a must-have.

In fact, though RO is effective in filtering microbes and parasites with its finely porous semi-permeable membrane, it is not 100% effective against all bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and cysts. Fortunately, we have a solution for that as well.

The RO+UV purifiers from Pureit are equipped with a UV module that works in tandem with the RO module. Water that is purified by the RO method passes through a UV chamber fitted with a high-quality UV light source. The UV radiation from the source directly deactivates the DNA of the microbes, rendering them dead and incapable of reproducing further. Thus, the best bet for the urban Indian against microbial contamination and heavy metal contamination is a RO+UV water purifier.

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