Filtration vs. Purification: Know the Difference

We all know how important it is to ensure that the water we are drinking is completely void of any dirt and other contaminants. Whether you use residential or industrial filtration systems, it is important to make sure that all contaminants in the water will be removed and safe for consumption or for other purposes.

And there is another term in cleaning the water which is the process of purification. In simpler terms, it makes the water clean and safe to use and drink as well. However, a lot of people confuse and even interchange these terms. Are there any differences between the two?

What is the filtration?

Filtration refers to the process of removing solid impurities from water. One example is when you use a strainer to separate cooked pasta from the water. The same applies to the filtration process. It is as simple as using a cloth to separate solid particles and sediments from the liquid.

However, filtration systems have become more sophisticated nowadays. For one, some filtration systems are capable of removing harmful bacteria from the liquid. This is because some of these systems use filters with tiny holes that even bacteria won’t be able to pass through and contaminate the water.

The filtration process can be done through biologically, mechanically, or physically. Aside from liquid substances such as water, gas can also be filtered through specialized filtration techniques. While filtration can remove solid particles and even bacteria from the liquid or gas substance, it may not guarantee 100 percent removal of these said substances.

What is purification?

Water splashMeanwhile, purification is somewhat similar to the filtration process. It involves more on the use of extra elements or chemicals to completely clean the water. However, it may not be necessary to filter solid particles from the water. Purification is also meant to eliminate bacteria and viruses that can cause illnesses when consumed.

Among common process involved in purification include UV exposure, boiling, or adding chlorine to the liquid. As mentioned, purification may clean the water of any bacteria but not necessarily the solid particles in it. That is why filtration and purification should work hand in hand to ensure the liquid or gas’ cleanliness and potability.

Is there a right way to clean water?

As mentioned, filtration and purification should be done to ensure that the water is clean and safe to consume and use. Here are some common procedures that involve both filtration and purification.

  • Use the filtration process first, then boil the liquid after. Next, pour the boiled water to a clean filter. This is to make the water taste better, as boiling water may make it taste unpleasant and plain.
  • Use the filtration process first, then use chlorine or iodine to purify the water. However, the water may taste unpleasant and even unsafe to drink. In such cases, you can let the water stand for a few hours so that the smell of the chemical will lessen.

Before drinking water, make sure that it is potable and safe to consume. This can be done through the purification and filtration process. Each process varies in terms of output; that is why the two should be done accordingly to ensure safe water consumption.


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