How Is Sediment Filtration Different Than A Carbon Filter?

Sediment and carbon filters both have a place in a comprehensive system designed to help achieve the purest water.  Sediment and carbon filters can work alone or in conjunction to remove the types of particles that make your water taste poorly and impact your health. However, these filters have different functions.

As you shop for a new water filter, it is important to understand exactly what a sediment filter does, what a carbon filter does, how each work, and what the key differences are when comparing sediment filtration vs. carbon filters.

What is Sediment Filtration?

Sediment filters are designed to remove suspended solids, which are also known as sediment, turbidity, or particulate.  A sediment filter essentially functions like a net that catches unwanted dirt particles as your water flows through the system.

A sediment filter is attached at the point where water comes into your home.  The filter has a bed of natural media (sand, anthracite, etc.).  As the water passes through this bed, unwanted dirt particles become trapped.  The water moves into the filter and leaves the sediment behind, then out of the filter so you get water coming into your home that is free from particulate.

Sediment filters are very common in many homes, but they have a limited function. Only sediment that will become trapped in the bed of natural media is removed.  Trace pathogen elements, heavy metals, and volatile organic compounds can still remain in your water.  However, in most cases, sediment filters do a good enough job to reduce the levels of unwanted particles to trace amounts which are deemed safe for drinking water.  This means you can get drinkable, clean water with a sediment filter.

What are Carbon Filters?

Carbon filters remove sediment but they also remove chlorine, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), odors and unpleasant tastes from water.  Carbon filters contain activated carbon, which is made through a special manufacturing process that creates more bonding sites. As water passes through a carbon filter, impurities like VOCs and heavy metals become chemically bonded to the carbon.  As the water works its way through the filter, a lot of unwanted impurities will become stuck to the carbon bonding sites and the water will leave the filter much more pure than it came in.

Carbon filters are effective at removing the impurities that bond to carbon. Not all impurities do. Sodium, for example, is able to pass directly through carbon filters without being removed.  Carbon filters purchased through MetroWaterFilter are able to remove 100 of the 129 pathogens that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says are found standard in tap water.

Sediment Filtration vs. Carbon Filters

Sediment and carbon filters do different things, so you will need to make informed choices about what kind of filter you need to give you the best and cleanest water for your home.  Fortunately, you do not have to choose between sediment filtration vs. carbon filtration. A two-stage system can be installed in your home.  

A two stage system starts with a sediment filter, which removes dirt particles that would otherwise clog up the carbon filter more quickly.  Once the sediment has been removed through the sediment filter, the purer and cleaner water can move into the carbon filter and the remaining unwanted compounds will bond with the carbon and be removed as well.

Working separately, both sediment and carbon filters can remove some of the things that find their way into your water that cause bad smells, unpleasant tastes, and possible health issues over time. Working together, sediment and carbon filters can remove enough impurities that your water should taste and smell great.  MetroWaterFilter can help you install sediment and carbon filters. To learn more, call us today at 770-934-7991 or contact us online.