When it comes to drinking water, there are two basic styles of water treatment systems that people can use in their homes: point-of-entry (POE) and point-of-use (POU) filtration devices. POE systems, also known as whole-house systems, typically treat all of the water entering a home before it reaches the resident. These types of water treatment systems are usually found inside the water meter, which is commonly placed in the basement of many households. In warmer climates, water meters are placed in garages or outside of the homes.
POU water treatment systems, on the other hand, treat water in batches and send the water to a single tap. This single tap is usually the kitchen faucet, although in some circumstances it can be an auxiliary faucet mounted near the kitchen sink. There are six different types of POU water treatment systems.
The plumbed-in type of POU system requires a permanent connection to one of the existing water pipes in the home, which pushes the filtered water through the existing sink faucet that is linked to it. A similar system is plumbed-in to a separate tap, which is installed the same way. The difference is that, in the second system, the water is dispensed through a special auxiliary faucet, frequently mounted near the kitchen sink. In some cases, a hole may need to be drilled into the counter top in order to install this type of system.
Another type of water treatment system is one that sits on the counter top connected to sink faucet. This type of product is connected to a kitchen faucet by tubing. The treated water is then dispensed from the kitchen faucet or a separate spout in the system. A counter top manual fill system is placed on the counter, then activated when a person pours water into the system. It only treats water in fairly small batches.
A faucet mount system is installed on an existing kitchen faucet. It uses a diverter to direct water through the system whenever drinking water is needed. When not in use, unfiltered water is dispensed through the regular kitchen sink faucet.
Pour-through water treatment systems use gravity to drip water through a filter and into pitcher, which is usually kept in the refrigerator. Their small capacity generally means that pour-through systems can usually only filter a gallon or less at a time. This type of system needs to be refilled regularly.