With more and more Indians becoming aware of the hazards of drinking impure water, the demand for effective water purifiers is growing rapidly. The majority of intestinal disorders and infections are caused by water borne micro organisms. As a result, the number of consumers looking for reliable purification options is increasing not only in the metros but also in towns across India. Tap water may contain both biological and chemical contaminants. Biologically contaminated water contains microbes such as viruses, which may result in minor to serious infections, and bacteria and giardia that lead to stomach disorders. Common causes of chemical contamination are improper treatment of industrial waste and pesticide overspill. If chemically contaminated water is used regularly it could lead to serious long term ailments. Boiling is one of the oldest methods of purifying water and is said to kill most micro organisms. Candle water filters are still used in many households across India. However, the pace of life in urban India has quickened so incredibly over the last decade or so that few householders now have the time to treat water manually. Also, mechanized water purification systems are often considered more reliable as far as eliminating micro organisms is concerned. How does one choose from the plethora of technologies and brands now available in India? Which water purification system would be best for you? The two parameters of selection here would be degree of purification and price. Different technologies deliver differing degrees of purity. Water may be purified using the following technologies: • UV purification
• Reverse Osmosis
• Activated carbon filtering
• Ion exchange
• Electro deionization
Domestic water purifiers usually use chemical purification, ultraviolet treatment and filtration, or reverse osmosis. Major vendors include Eureka Forbes, Philips, Hindustan Unilever, Whirlpool and Kent. Eureka Forbes is the overall market leader. Others are Ion Exchange, Zeolite, Kenstar and Maharaja Whiteline. Prices range from less than Rs.2000 to Rs. 25000. Eureka Forbes’ Aquaguard is still the market leader. Aquaguard Classic is a UV purifier. Major global player, Philips has also launched UV purifiers, which are selling well. Purifiers that use ultraviolet technology are usually priced above Rs. 4000. Those looking for less expensive purifiers might want to consider chemical based purification systems such as Hindustan Unilever’s Pureit and Eureka Forbes’ Aquasure both of which are priced below Rs. 2000. They don’t run on electricity so power outages and electricity bills are not a problem. Also, Pureit and Aquasure are reported to be user friendly allowing customers to service the devices themselves. There are several other resin based purifiers as well but these may not be as effective as Pureit and Aquasure. Also, it is best to select a chemical purifier that is capable of removing the chemicals that are used for purification. Reverse osmosis (RO) based water purification systems are the most expensive and can cost up to Rs. 25000. Major vendors of RO water purifiers include Kent and Eureka Forbes. Whirlpool also markets RO purifiers and claims that its Purafresh brand not only eliminates all micro organisms but chemical toxins as well. Consumers living in areas that have hard water prefer RO water purifiers because they remove not just biological impurities but improve taste and odour. Kent claims that their patented Mineral RO technology, which combines RO and UV sterilisation, not only removes biological impurities and chemical toxins but retains essential minerals as well. You would be wise to select a brand that comes with an adequate warranty and has a proven track record of efficient and prompt after sales service. Whatever your budget, you can now find a suitable water purifier to ensure safe drinking...