Water filters remove undesirable particles, chemicals, and microorganisms from water by means of a semipermeable barrier, adsorption, or biological processes. They are made of densely packed synthetic or natural fibers that trap suspended particles, materials that block microbes or adsorb unwanted chemicals, or substances that cause a chemical change, such as acid neutralization. For most residential, commercial, and industrial applications, water filters are manufactured in the form of replaceable cartridges that fit inside permanent housings. Filtration systems typically consist of a series of two or more types of filters, each designed to remove different contaminants. The performance of filters is measured by the minimum particle size that is blocked, the percentage of particles or microorganisms that are removed, the downstream concentration of unwanted chemicals, the maximum flow rate, and the amount of water that can be filtered before the filter must be replaced. Water filters are used in a wide range of applications, including drinking water purification, swimming pools, industrial processes, and irrigation, among others.