Why do we need to Filter Drinking Water?
Water filters have existed since the times of ancient Egypt, pictures of this purification technique were found on the wall of the tomb of Amenophis II and Ramses II. As science progressed and the micro scope was invented it became clear that simply removing suspended silt and dirt from the water was not sufficient, the need to remove micro organisms from the water became a major concern with the development of municipal water supplies.
Cholera was a major concern in London in the 19th Century, so much so that Queen Victoria commissioned Doulton Ceramicsto manufacture water filters for the royal household, the water filters were so successful that Queen Victoria allowed the company to use the Royal Crest. In 1835 chlorine was added to the water supply and it was soon discovered that adding chlorine to was a cheap and effective way of disinfecting the water supply. This practice continues today, chlorine is added in the form of a gas, liquid or tablet.
Unfortunately adding the necessary amount of chlorine to the town water supply has many downsides, chlorine reacts with organic matter which then produces Disinfectant by Products (DBP’s) such as Trihalomethanes (THM’s).
The following are extracts from Western Australia Department of Public Health.
“There are many forms of THM’s, such as Chloroform, Bromoform, Bromodichloromethane and Dibromochloromethane. If the levels of disinfection by-products are not controlled they may pose a risk to your health”.
“How are THMs absorbed by the body?
THM’s can be easily absorbed by the body when:
- water containing high levels comes into contact with the skin, or
- if they are consumed in food prepared in water; or
- they are inhaled during showering or bathing”.
Fortunately trihalomethanes in the drinking water can be easily removed using carbon filtration or reverse osmosis systems.
Shower Filters can also prevent trihalomethanes from entering the body via inhalation or absorption.