Consumers Mislead By Water Filters

I am writing this article, not to promote any brand or particular water filter,
but to hopefully give the average consumer enough valid information so they can
make an educated buying choice when shopping for a water filter.

It is estimated that 80 percent of home owners in the United States have used or
are currently using a water filter. Many, I am sure, have purchased a filter
that is virtually ineffective and probably costing them an arm and leg in
replacement filter costs.

I have been involved in the water filtration industry for a number of years.
I have yet to find a water filter that produces PURE WATER! I am seeing more
false advertising as of late than I have ever seen before. Just last night for
instance, while watching television I noticed two different advertisements for
the latest and greatest water filters. They both claimed to produce pure water!
Neither one even mentioned being certified by the National Sanitation Foundation.
No water filter removes all of any contaminant, what a water filter actually does
is reduce contaminants.

There are hundreds of water filter manufacturers in the U.S. today, producing
thousands of different water filtration products. Only a handful produce a
water filter that is highly effective as far as contaminant reduction and cost

There is no point in purchasing an ineffective water filter. The old concept,
you get what you pay for, still holds true. Cheap water filters do very little
as far as contaminant reduction and soak the consumer when it comes to replacement
filters. Most high quality water filters effectively reduce a vast number of
contaminants to a high degree. The filter labeling should indicate which contaminants
the filter will reduce.

The labeling should also indicate the capacity rating, A high quality filter will
save you money in the long run. Filter life expectancy and capacity rating
determine how many actual gallons the filter is capable of producing. For example,
a filter that will produce 500 gallons or more as compared to one that produces
only 100 gallons is far more cost efficient.

Recently, while shopping at a local discount store, I took a look at the water
filters they had to offer. They had a number of cheap filters that would do little,
if anything as far as contaminant reduction. Most of these inferior filters are
only capable of reducing chlorine, lead, and particulate matter. Some may go so
far as reducing bacterial cysts depending upon the micron rating and possibly a
few other contaminants. None of the cheap filters are very effective on an over
all basis.

Most of these filters cost less than $50.00. One particular filter that comes to
mind had a $45.00 price tag. Replacement filters for this filter cost $8.50 each.
The capacity rating for this filter is 100 gallons. That amounts to 8.5 cents per
gallon. This particular filter only reduces lead and chlorine according to the

Here, my husband and I use approximately 3 to 4 gallons of water per day for drinking,
coffee, iced tea, cooking, and watering our 2 dogs. Considering the amount of filtered
water we use, I would have to change the filter every 25 days. That is 14 replacement
filters a year! At $8.50 each, the annual cost would amount to $119.00. The initial
cost of the water filter plus the 1 year of replacement filters would result in an total
cost of approximately $165.00 for the first year. In just 2 years I would spend more money
than I would purchasing a much better quality system that would effectively reduce a vast
number of contaminants and provide much better, and healthier drinking water.

The drinking water filtration system we use is rated at 1200 gallons. It is hidden
out of the way under the sink and has an independent faucet mounted on the sink, not
hanging off my faucet. It is one of the highest quality systems on the market, reduces
a very wide range of contaminants and is NSF Certified. I have had this filter for a
number of years. If I remember correctly, the initial cost of the system was $320.00.
Once a year I change the filter at a cost of $59.95. That amounts to only 5 cents per
gallon of quality drinking water.

Obviously, dollar for dollar, the real value is in the quality system.

So, how do we determine a water filter’s capability? When reading the label, check
to see if the filter is NSF Certified. Never buy a filter that is not NSF Certified.
Manufacturers of quality filters have their filters certified by NSF and are proud
to advertise their certification on the labeling.

Only if a water filtration device is NSF Certified can a consumer be certain that
the product meets strict standards for performance. Tested to NSF Standards does
not mean NSF Certified. Any water filter that claims to be tested to NSF Standards
has not actually been tested and certified by NSF. Here again, this is a prime
example of these companies misleading the consumer.

NSF tests and certifies water filters to do what the manufacturer claims. Not only
that, they also monitor the manufacturing process by doing spot checks. NSF will
come to the factory unannounced and monitor the manufacturing process.

Consumers can go to the NSF website and view the actual certification which will
show exactly what contaminants the filter will reduce, indicate the percentage of
reduction and will also indicate the filter life expectancy. The NSF website is, just click on consumer and search water treatment devices.

Water purification and water filtration are two different things altogether. Water
purification is the introduction of chlorine or other chemical agent that kills
bacteria in water.

Infared lighting can also be considered to be water purification as its sole purpose
is to destroy bacteria. Water filtration is exactly that, a water filter of some type.

Another thing to look for when shopping for a water filter is which technology is
best for you.

Avoid loose carbon filters as they allow air to be present within the carbon and are
nothing but a bacteria factory.

Most mixed media filters can be effective on a few specific contaminants, but do not
reduce a wide range of contaminants.

Distillation is a process in which the water is heated to the point of steaming.
The steam passes from the container it is heated to another container as the
steam cools.Distillation is highly effective on removing minerals and salts, but is
somewhat limited on removal of chemical contaminants as many chemicals evaporate right
along with the water.

I have found, many people are confused as to the capabilities of reverse osmosis.
Reverse osmosis is a process where the water passes through a membrane which will not
allow certain contaminants to pass. Reverse osmosis can do an effective job on barium,
radium, cadmium, copper, fluoride, perchlorate, minerals, salts and a few other
contaminants but is not effective on a wide range. Many reverse osmosis units include
additional types of filtration technologies. Some of these are very effective
depending on the other additional types of filters used. This type of water filtration
system is usually identified as 3, 4, or 5 stage system.

What I recommend to the average consumer is the solid carbon block filter or the solid
carbon block coupled with reverse osmosis. A high quality solid carbon block that filters
to less than 1 micron is very effective on a wide range of contaminants and does not allow
oxygen to be present within the carbon filter therefore bacteria cannot be allowed to pass
through or be produced within the filter carbon. The solid carbon block alone will not
reduce healthy minerals.

For maximum contaminant reduction, consider a drinking water filtration system using
reverse osmosis technology coupled with a solid carbon block but keep in mind it does
remove the healthy minerals.

In conclusion, always compare the NSF Certification when shopping for a water filter and
avoid the dishonest tactics of unscrupulous advertisers.

Armed with this information you are now a savvy water filtration shopper!

I hope this article helps in your pursuit of a drinking water filtration system. If you
would like more information on drinking water or water filters please see my site at

Choosing a Water Filter

Water filters are available in a huge and sometimes confusing range of types and prices. The technical terms used are sometimes confusing and before making a major purchase you should satisfy yourself that the water filter has a large enough capacity to handle all your drinking water needs.

Home Water Filters vary from simple jug or bottle filters with a basic charcoal filter up to serious water processing filters that will produce crystal clear water of far higher quality than municipal tap water.

Cost is a major factor of course but there are some outstanding bargains in home water filters.

Remembering your budget, think about how much you spend every week on bottled water. Bottled water comes in either 2 litre or 5 litre plastic bottles and according to which plastic the bottler uses can have a strong taste from the plastic material. Many brands of bottled water are just bottled tap water. Municipal tap water normally contains various chemicals and possibly micro-organisms

The average family drinks from 30 to 40 litres of water every week and that works out at over $1500 a year! That is for basic supermarket bottled water — Fancy imported water would double or treble that cost. That would buy a pretty fancy tapwater filter.

Here is a breakdown of the different kinds of water filter available:

Jug type water filters – commonly the Brita is the most popular and is a good choice as it comes with a good filter cartridge. It is possible to use cheaper supermarket cartridges but these often leave an after taste and do not last as long. There is a counter top model which uses the same Brita filter and has a larger reservoir for filtered water/Filters last around 2 months. Most jug type filters are designed to fit into a refrigerator door. Lids on this type of filter are sometimes fragile.
Cartridges are widely available.

Refrigerator Filters – these are plumbed into a refrigerator.This is an easy to use filter that needs to be change every 6 months. Main advantage is that cold drinking water is always available on tap

Under sink water filters. These are plumbed in to your kitchen faucet and provide clean water on tap. They have the disadvantage of not removing micro-organisms. Should be changed every 2 or 3 months, Cost around $30 for new cartridge. Some units have a charcoal and a ceramic cartridge and the charcoal cartridge needs changing regularly. The Ceramic cartridge needs cleaning and can normally be reused.

Multi stage filters. These are usually a multi part filter system which may have three different filters. These are usually pumped systems so they need an electricity supply. First is a sand or gravel filter that removes organic matter (peat etc) next is a charcoal filter which cleans larger particles and is followed by a ceramic filter that filters out many micro-organisms. A refinement to this type of filter is a UV (Ultra Violet) filter that kills microbiological creatures like Giardia and Cryptosporidium which are the two main causes of stomach upsets from the water supply. Multi stage filters are basically similar to the filters used to filter water in aquariums for tropical fish but are on a larger scale. They can also be fitted as under counter units.

A further advanced filter is called the reverse osmosis filter. Although this filter produces excellent quality water, but the process is rather slow and can take a time to process enough for a large family.

Whole House Water filters are much larger but work on the same basis as multi stage water filters. They are correspondingly more expensive and many whole house water systems are designed for different house sizes. These will filter all water coming into your house and can also be incorporated with a rainwater collection system to cut down your water costs and needs. Think about how many bathrooms, toilets and water dependent machines you own (dishwasher, washing machine etc)when making your decision.

Advances in water filtration are always being made but these are the basic categories of water filters currently available

A Must Read On Best Home Water Filter Systems

Water is life but not all water is clean. Installing a quality home water filter system is very important, because you need to protect your family from water borne diseases. Making the correct choice, however, is not as easy as you can find home filter water filter systems in the market today. It is now scientifically proven that there is no guarantee that bottled water is safe in spite of its cost, so what should you do but install your own home water filter system to improve your drinking water.

Water Filter System That Works Best

Well, I can tell you that the best and easiest home water filter system is not usually the most expensive. Most people will look down on them but the Carefe or water pitcher filter happens to do more guaranteed filtering than most expensive water filters in the market.

Carefe or water pitcher filters are very suitable for apartment dwellers for reason of not having the right to make permanent installations of water filter systems. Even for home owners who are not keen on installations, these very simple filters come handy. The only down side for this type of filter is that they require frequent filter replacements.

Consider Faucet Mounted Filter Systems

Faucet mounted filters systems are their name implies are connected to your tap giving you the choice to either use the tap water direct or have it filtered before use. In these again, apartment dwellers and home owners who have no need for installations of heavy home water filter systems find better choices. Another advantage is that they are not expensive. Mounting a faucet filter on your tap requires little effort and know-how. Again the down side is frequent replacement.

Undersink Water Filters

These filter types are more expensive to acquire but they do excellent filtration indeed, though apartment dwellers may not find them very suitable because they require space for installation. Home owners who are interested in Undersink water filters should bear cost in mind and the need to hire a qualified technician before buying this product. Undersink filter cartridges last very long, but they are very effective water filters too.

Whole House Water Filter Systems.

Whole home water filter systems come in different sizes, brands and prices which are not cheap for they are usually filtration network that filters water for the whole house on a continuous basis delivering filtered water from every faucet in the house. Apartment owners have nothing to do with this type of home water filter system while home owners should consider their budget very well, work out feasibility for installation before accruing this type of home water filter system. A qualified plumber should carry out the installation for you.

Reverse Osmosis Water Filter Systems

This is a higher grade home water filter system, the dream of most home owners, because of its superiority over most other home water filter systems. This water filter is sophisticated. It removes the minutest pollutants from you water including arsenic. The down side of Reverse Osmosis water filter system is that it wastes a lot of water during filtration plus, they occupy a lot of space in the house.

Home water filtration can be achieved with several water filter systems, but they are not all of the same efficiency. Most people will go for the first four options above and still get good enough drinking water in their homes for healthy living. Before installing a home water filter system consider your budget, space and durability of filter component. As said earlier, a home water filter system doesn’t have to be expensive and big to do the good job.