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Water Filter Types: Particle Removal and Green Ratings

  • Bag Filtration

    Introduced in Europe over a decade ago these pillowcase style filters usually involve a two bag strategy, a 20 Micron bag when the water is less than optimal and a 6 Micron bag for fine filtration. These bags can be washed in a laundry and can often require DAILY change out. Failure to change a dirty bag can result in capacitor burn out in the swimming pool pump motor. These AFM (Advanced Filtration Method) filters also present the same hurricane, dirt storm, thunderstorm and wildfire clean up, drain the pool issues as cartridge filters and exist only in a niche market to date in the pool industry, but cause numerous maintenence issues in wastewater, car wash reclamation systems, and other closed loop recirculation strategies.

    • Particle Removal:6-20 Micron
    • Green Rating:Requires weekly laundry
  • Cartridge Filters

    Have enjoyed a growing popularity among both pool builders and regulators under the argument that zero backwash is required. The 40 Micron capability is diminished with each week of operation as the filtration surface loads particulate and bio-films. Only a vaporization level of chlorine can burn off these contaminants. Pool Builders like them because there is no need to have skilled labor or customer training at start-up and the first year (the warranty period for the pool) the cartridge works fine.In areas where hurricanes, desert dirt storms, heavy foliage, thunderstorms or wildfire residue are a concern, these filters do not allow vacuuming a pool to waste and result in complete draining of the pool more often than other filters.Typically there are 2-4 elements in the cartridge housing, with 2 year average replacement cost of $300-$600, making this platform the most expensive to operate.

    • Particle Removal:20-40 Micron
    • Green Rating:Poly Vinyl Chloride Mfg Process, Lower Water Usage with Zero Backwash

    Article: Cartridge Filters Are Incompatible with Alternative Sanitizers

  • Diatomaceous Earth Filters

    A long established standard for smallest particle removal at the highest cost in terms of both money and maintenance hours. operating cost and hours of maintenance to operate a D.E. filter platform. D.E., Perlite and Fiber Cellulose medias require a collection or separation tank in many municipal districts although Perlite proponents argue the media to be 99% silica free and should be exempt from D.E. regulatory requirements. Perlite customers, however, are still required in many cities to separate their powder info a separation tank.

    • Particle Removal:2-5 Micron
    • Green Rating:DE Powder is harmful to the ECO systems
    • Highest water usage

    Note:Aspirant Silica Dust at install

  • Glass Media

    Been in slow sand filtration since the 1800’s and has been a standard in difficult wastewater site applications. With its low operating cost and few incompatibility issues, the swimming pool glass filter becomes the best available filtration platform.The surface of the glass is not only harder and smoother than sand or Zeolite, it traps oxygen when water hits the glass bead making particles larger and reducing the micron rating of the sand filter from 50 Microns down to 2 Micron.

    • Particle Removal:2-5 Micron
    • Green Rating:100% Post Consumer Waste, 50% less backwash water than Zeolite, , 75% less backwash water than Sand or DE
  • Sand Filtration

    Long the standard in swimming pool ownership or municipal water treatment these filters have enjoyed the ease of operation niches and conventional control of the pool when a multiport valve is present.20 Quartz Silica machined sand with its 50 Micron removal has drawn the attention of both Zeolite and Glass proponents seeking to lower the micron capabilities while decreasing the backwash frequency. The least expensive Hardware platform for properly sized filters.

    • Particle Removal:50-100 Micron
    • Green Rating:Low. Comes from mining process, high water usage

    Note: Aspirant Silica Dust at Install

  • Zeolites

    Volcanic stone with a micro-porous surface and various absorption capabilities. In high Ammonia environments such as an unstable public pool or a fishpond, Zeolites can remove the odor and are unique in this benefit.This same absorption benefit however, can be a detriment in certain swimming applications. With seven or eight Zeolites now on the market, various ion exchange issues with calcium hardness should be addressed as well as the absorption and reintroduction of phosphates into the pool via acid rain.Like D.E. and Sand filtration platforms, the aspirant Silica involved is a type II suspected or a type I known carcinogen according to the Center for Disease Control and a proper care should be used when handling at startup. It is recommended that the filter be backwashed AFTER each 50lb bag to avoid silica dust in the pool.

    • Particle Removal:2-5 Micron
    • Green Rating:Mining Process, Mid Range Water Usage

    Note: Aspirant Silica Dust at Install

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