Staged filtration provides the lowest cost per liter filtered.

In staged filtration, different micron ratings and types of filters are utilized to filter out progressively smaller particulate matter. Typically, this is done for cost savings with the aim of producing the lowest cost per liter filtered. An example of staging filtration is a chemical plant with a river as its water source. The first filtration step might be to use large iron bars to keep out trees (stage one). Next, a coarse wire cloth might be used to keep out fish (stage two). Stage three might be to direct the water flow through a centrifugal separator to remove sand, followed by (step four) a bag filter to remove fine sediment, etc. In this example, a case could be made that a bag filter could do the entire job. The question that needs to be asked, however, is “What makes the most sense from an economic standpoint?”

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