Zero Water vs Brita vs Pur

What Do Water Filters Remove from Water?

Do you have a water filtration system, or are you considering the option?

Regardless, you would likely want to know what they remove from water.

The answer, contaminants — dozens of them.

According to the Safe Water Drinking Act, any substance in water that is physical, biological, chemical or radiological is deemed a contaminant. Let’s look at just one sample in each of those categories — although there are several in each.

Physical — Microplastics

Biological — Parasites

Chemical — Pesticides

Radiological — Radon

Fortunately, almost all hazardous contaminants in our drinking water can be removed. Activated carbon technology is one way to do that.

How does a carbon filter work?

The process used is absorption, and the carbon filter attracts contaminants like a magnet. The quality of the carbon filter determines what substances are removed. Top-quality carbon filters for both commercial and household settings have five stages by which they remove contaminants.

The first stage eliminates gravel, sands and other solids and the second stage improves the smell and taste. Thirdly, reducing chlorine in the water further refines the odor and taste of the water. Stage four removes all the dissolved solids, and the final stage increases the water’s clarity.

What do water filters remove?

Further to the single examples of contaminants mentioned, filters remove lead, bacteria, chlorine, minerals, calcium, carcinogens, salt and minerals. This list is not even close to comprehensive. Although most water filtration systems aim to remove as many contaminants as possible, here are five contaminants that could significantly lower water quality.

Microscopic particles are blocked by the first filter stage. They include fibers, rust, metals, oils, silica, gravel, sand, dust, microplastics and more.

Chlorine is a sanitation agent widely used, and although it is effective, it typically leaves an unpleasant smell and taste. Furthermore, this chemical increases the risk of cancer by about 93%. On its own, chlorine is not nearly as big a problem as combined with other compounds present in the water. Additional risks of drinking water with chlorine include weakening your immune system and eliminating beneficial bacteria in your stomach.

Radium is a naturally occurring odorless and tasteless radioactive material in the earth. Therefore, the poison can enter your body without you even knowing. Once inside, it replaces the calcium in your body, degrading your bone strength. Radium consumption could cause nausea, vomiting, hair loss, fatigue and cancer. Therefore, any water filtration system regards removing radium as essential.

Lead is one of the top concerns when considering water filters, especially in households with children. The adverse effects of lead poisoning in childhood could last a lifetime. Lead is a known contaminant in water, and exposure causes kidney damage, high blood pressure, brain damage and developmental issues.

Arsenic can get into groundwater in several ways. It can originate from agriculture or industrial plants or leach from certain rock formations. It is a poison that can cause cancer, skin lesions, diabetes and ultimately, death.

On a final note

If you were unsure about the benefits of a water filtration system in your house, you now have multiple facts to consider. 

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Amanda Perkins

Amanda began her career as a technical writer for a healthcare group in 2008. Years after getting married and starting a family, she joined her husband Joshua on the Water Filter Authority journey to educate other families and households about safe, affordable, and effective water filtration systems.