Water Well [Video] Water Filtration vs Water Treatment & Why They are Not the Same

When speaking about water filtration, it is first important to understand that water filtration can be a broad term. Water filtration is NOT water treatment. Being aware of the differences is the key to ensuring you take the correct steps and add the right filtration system to perform what you require. There are a variety of components and products that can make up a filtration system, so let's first start with what filtration is before you decide what you need. 

In this blog, we first take a look at what exactly filtration is, the differences between water filtration and water treatment and end with an explanation of the different options of filtration systems available.


What do we mean by "Filtration"?

The process of filtration is to separate solids from a liquid. This happens by using a product, like a filter cartridge and housing, that allows the liquid to pass through, but stopping the solid. The filter housings and sediment cartridges that Boshart offers are not limited to water applications, you will often see filtration systems being used in Industrial and manufacturing applications like chemical, food and beverage, oils and photographic. Although the filters we offer can be used for other applications than water, in this blog, we will be focusing on water filtration. 

What is Water Filtration?

As mentioned above, water filtration is NOT water treatment. A standard sediment filter that is designed to eliminate taste and odor will NOT make non-potable water (microbiologically unsafe) into potable water (microbiologically safe). Traditional water filtration, like the filters Boshart sells, should be used solely on water that has been professionally tested by a Water Treatment professional and is deemed to be true potable water that is safe to consume. The traditional filter systems are only capable of removing sediment or bad taste and odor from your water. 

There are an array of filters that are available for your specific needs. If the major issue with your water is the amount of sediment in it, you could use a spun poly, pleated or string wound filter to eliminate it and granular activated carbon cartridges can be used to rid your water of unpleasant taste and odor. 

Very important to remember is that the water filtered through Boshart filter cartridges is unsafe. The cartridges will make the water clearer, cleaner, smell and taste better, but it will remain unsafe to drink or cook with. You need to have a professional test your water before continuing with a traditional water filtration system.

Deadly Serious Note about Unsafe Water 

Consulting a Water Treatment professional is necessary to confirm if your water source contains harmful bacteria and to confirm which water treatment or purification system should be installed to treat the water to make it safe for human consumption. Unsafe water is extremely dangerous and should be taken very seriously as if consumed, could cause serious illness or death. When you contact the Water Treatment professional, they will determine which system is best based on what's in your water. Some systems they recommend may be a Reverse Osmosis (RO) filtration system or an Ultra Violet (UV) filtration system. These systems can be used in series with other specialized filters if the water contains algae, E.coli, Cholera, Fungi, Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Dysentery bacilli, Salmonella, Mycobacterium tuberculosis or streptococcus. 

Pre & Post Filtration for Water Treatment Systems 

Boshart does not carry Water Treatment filtration systems. However, we do carry filter housings and cartridges, which are used in the below systems as pre or post filtration. 

Reverse Osmosis (RO) - Pre Filter: If the traditional filter housing and cartridge is being used as14-SWP1-01 a pre filter in a RO system, the water from the cold water supply line will enter the pre filter first. In some cases, there may be more than one pre filter used in a RO system. The most common you would see is a sediment or carbon filter cartridge. The cartridges are there to protect the RO system by removing the sand, silt, dirt or other sediment that could potentially clog the RO system. Carbon filters can also remove chlorine, which could also damage the RO system. 

Ultra Violet (UV) - Pre Filter: In the case of a UV system being used, the cartridges used as pre filters are necessary to remove any particulate from the water that may block UV light from reaching the bacteria. Elements that could hinder the UV light are dirt, sediment and debris. Once the particulate is removed from the water, the UV system can fully 14-GAC1-05-2achieve its purpose. Typically, the sediment filter cartridges used in this case have a 5 micron or lower rating. It is very important to include a pre filter when using a UV system. 

Reverse Osmosis (RO) & Ultra Violet (UV) - Post Filter: When the water leaves the UV or RO filtration system, but before going to the drinking tap, the treated water will go through one last "post filter". In most cases, the post filter is a carbon filter. Any remaining taste and odor will be removed from the water by the post filter. 

In Summary:

Understanding the difference between water filtration and water treatment is very important. Before purchasing a traditional water filtration system, you need to have a Water Treatment professional determine what filtration system you require before proceeding. 

Have further questions about this subject?


Head over to Boshart's Knowledge Base: technical product information, guidelines, and more.