Water Treatment Technologies

Let’s compare the most popular water treatment technologies. There are many water filter products that claim to rid your water of contaminants. Here is a list and some facts on water filter types.

End of Tap (Faucet Mount)

Low filter capacity. Frequent filter changes needed, resulting in ongoing filter replacement costs.
Reduces some contaminants of health concern.

Carafe/Pitcher (pour-through)

Reduces some contaminants of health concern, but not VOCs. Inconvenient to use: water must be poured through the filter and then refrigerated while you wait.
Low capacity requires frequent filter changes.
Must replace filters about every 40 gallons at $7-$10 each, or $130-$190 for 750 gallons (Multi-Pure’s 750 gallon filter is only $59.95).

Reverse Osmosis

No independent ability to reduce most Volatile Organic Chemicals.
Very low output – takes up to 24 hours to process 5 gallons of water.
Must have holding tank to store the processed water.
Wastes water – for every gallon processed, 3 to 9 gallons are wasted.
Removes minerals and trace elements essential to good health.

Charcoal Filters

These come in powdered or granulated form which allows water to flow around rather than through the carbon.
Referred to as taste and odor filters because of the limited contact time the water has with the carbon.
Can promote the growth of bacteria.

Silver-Charcoal Filters

Same as Charcoal Filters above; however, uses silver to inhibit the growth of bacteria while water sits in filter.
Silver ingested in certain doses can be poisonous to the human body; therefore, it must be registered with the EPA as containing a poisonous substance.

Limited Media Filters

As the demand for quality drinking water continues to grow, new types of media will be test-marketed, from metal shavings to coconut shells. Some materials can be quite ”exceptional” in reducing a particular contaminant in the water, but there is a wide range of contaminants that should be addressed – not one or two.


Removes dissolved minerals and trace elements essential to good health.
No independent ability to remove all chemicals – the chemicals can vaporize and re-condense into the distilled water.
Daily chore to provide enough water for the entire family.
Requires electricity at a cost of about $240 per year.

Water Ionizers

Water ionizers separate water into alkaline and acid fractions using a process known as electrolysis.
Water ionization has no proven effect on health when the source water lacks mineral ions, such as distilled water or water filtered by reverse osmosis.
There is some controversy in the scientific community whether or not drinking ionized water will have a noticeable effect on the body.
Electrolysis devices do not remove contaminants in the water.

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