Did you know that less than 10% of the Indian population has access to water purifiers despite the scarcity of potable water? With 70% of the freshwater sources in India being polluted, the lack of water purifier access is shocking. If you’ve been looking to purchase a water purifier, you may be concerned about the type of machine you require as it is an essential purchase and affects your overall wellbeing.
One major factor that affects the purchase is the cost! Unlike other home appliances, when it comes to water purifiers, the initial hefty purchase cost (~₹20,000) and the recurring annual maintenance cost (~₹5,000) are major factors that impact buying decisions.
Here’s something else you would have experienced while looking for a water purifier - the complicated jargon and technical terms brands use to market and sell water purifiers. But here’s the most important question you should ask yourself before getting a water purifier - what kind of water purifier do you require? You can buy the most expensive traditional water purifier but end up consuming under-purified or over-purified water!
All water purifiers may not be the right ones
Impure water contains unsafe levels of inorganic compounds, dangerous, illness-causing microorganisms and other chemicals. When consumed on a daily basis, it can lead to severe gastro-intestinal health issues ranging from diarrhoea and cholera to dysentery. Consuming tap water can be a major cause of illnesses; This is why you need a water purifier.
However, traditional water purifiers follow a one-size-fits-all model - same filtration system for all. With this, they overlook the altering household input water qualities. This leads to under-purification and over-purification of water. Over-purification removes essential minerals and nutrients present in water, not only altering its taste but also stripping it of its health benefits. On the other hand, under-purification can also put your health at risk due to the presence of harmful contaminants.
The right water purifier will give you clean, safe and healthy drinking water 24x7.
Important parameters your water purifier should measure
To decide which water purifier suits your home best, it is important to consider various parameters like TDS, turbidity, hardness, mineral content, salinity and pH of your water.
TDS: Don’t confuse this with the tax deducted at source! TDS in water refers to the total dissolved solids or substances in your water. These could be organic or inorganic substances. The acceptable range of TDS is 50 to 150 PPM (parts per million), making it necessary to get a water purifier that considers TDS levels before purifying the water.
Turbidity: How clear is your water? That’s what turbidity determines. Usually, water contains some amount of contaminants like microorganisms or substances like clay and dirt, giving it a cloudy appearance. The acceptable turbidity in drinking water is < 1 NTU (Nephelometric Turbidity Unit).
Hardness: What is hardness of water? Water hardness is analysed based on the level of minerals, primarily calcium and magnesium. Generally, the hardness of your water should not exceed 200(mg/L) milligrams per litre. If the hardness of your drinking water is above 200 mg/L, you require a quality water purifier to retain the necessary minerals and flush out unnecessary minerals like lead.
Mineral content : Speaking about mineral content, let me highlight one of the problems you will face while using some of the water purifiers. The mineral content in your drinking water is crucial for your body’s wellness. However, most water purifiers in the market tend to “over-purify” water. Yes, harmful impurities need to be eliminated but in the process a lot of these water purifiers also remove vital minerals present in the water. This is why it is important to prevent demineralization of water so that your body gets what it requires.
Salinity: Salinity stands for the dissolved salts in your water. Excess salt can cause numerous health issues related to the heart and digestive system. This is why it is crucial to remove high salt content from water through filtration. For this, you need a good water purifier to remove excess salt content, depending on the water salinity levels of your particular area.
pH : For drinking water, the ideal pH level is between 6.5 to 8.5. This is perfect for consumption and hence it is necessary for your water purifier to maintain the pH balance. Many water purifiers in the market claim to make your water alkaline, due to its supposed ‘health benefits’ like improved hydration and body detoxification. However, some studies also show the adverse effects of consuming this type of water like disorientation, nausea and vomiting.
Whether alkaline water is actually good for you, it is still a matter of debate among the scientific community. With long-term research still going on regarding the benefits/side effects of alkaline water, it is advised to consume regular drinking water that is neutral in nature. This is because our bodies in general prefer a pH that is neutral to carry out its daily functions optimally.
When buying a water purifier, it is vital to consider not just one or two of these parameters but all of them to ensure your drinking water is clean and healthy. This is why customised water purifiers should be your go to choice as they not only purify water but they do so according to your areas’ water quality.
Customised water purifiers are the way to go
Did you know that the water quality varies between cities, areas and households? In fact, the water quality in the same area could alter in a short span of time.
The level of total dissolved solids (TDS) in water in Electronic City, Bengaluru, was 68 PPM in January and increased to 1236 PPM in May. Similarly, the hardness of water in HSR Layout, Bengaluru, increased from 68 PPM to 276 PPM during the same time period.
Customised water purifier brands start by analysing the water source and its unique characteristics - pH, minerals, salinity, hardness, total dissolved solids (TDS) and a lot more.
Once the input water is tested thoroughly, they determine the filtration system and build a customised water purifier to provide you with the safest drinking water. Advanced filters such as reverse osmosis (RO), sediment, pre-carbon, post-carbon, ultraviolet (UV) and ultrafiltration (UF) are put to use based on the water quality. You don’t have to worry about de-mineralisation and over-purification. They ensure your drinking water contains adequate amounts of magnesium, iron, sodium and all necessary nutrients.
The quality of water is declining day by day. You need to take measures to ensure you and your family get safe water at home. The water you get at home is utilised and enters your body in different ways - drinking, cooking, washing fruits, vegetables and cereals. So, make the right choice - get a customised water purifier and access safe drinking water 24X7. One last point - if you are worried about burning your pocket trying to get a customised water purifier, don’t worry about it. You can rent them!
----Vijender Reddy Muthyala, Co-founder & CEO, DrinkPrime