Wellness and the Home – Water Filtration


In times like these, the elemental purpose of the home is shelter. Having mastered the elements, we turn to the next set of threats: air pollution and pathogens, impure water, and lighting systems that negatively affect our sleep and health.

Founder of New York City’s Rusk Renovations and professor at Columbia University, John Rusk explores the emerging technology of water filtration.

A small town in upstate New York used a natural pond as its water source. The water was generally murky and by the end of the summer, it stained whites in the washing machine. The town set with an expensive process of thoroughly cleaning the water mains and even replacing some of the oldest sections. In March, the water turned so clear that local politicians entered the water in the state’s Clean Water contest. Reaching the finals, they had to provide a second sample of the water in late August, but by that time, the algae had returned and they could only look at the soupy water in the test tube and forfeit.

Architecture & Design: Haute Architecture DPC, Photography: Annie Schlecter

Water quality follows patterns in response to local geologic and seasonal environment. To protect the inhabitants, water filters must be selected to capture all the specific pollutions a home may encounter over the course of a year. Rusk partners with Delos, who developed the International Well Building Standard, to perform laboratory tests on the individual water quality in a home. Delos also researches the water tests performed by the local municipalities to prepare for historic water contaminants that may not appear in a single day’s water test.

Armed with the knowledge for which pollutants to filter, water filtration can be localised where water is used for cooking or drinking, such as sinks and icemakers; or the filters can be “whole house” versions that use a series of filters to remove contaminants from all water sources in the home. Different filter materials remove particulates, bacteria, lead, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These large filter systems can filter the water for the whole house and are set to automatically backwash themselves, extending the life of the filters.

Whether from algae in the water tank, lead in the pipes, or bacteria from decaying organic material, water pollution can be dealt with effectively through integrated technology that cleans the water we drink, providing shelter not previously available to our families.

Learn more about Rusk here: ruskinc.com

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