Common Tap Water Contaminants
Tap water can be a great source of drinking water if it’s contaminant-free. Although municipal water is treated and tested at the source, some contaminants will still find their way into your tap water. Luckily, most tap water contaminants are not dangerous, however, some can be a health hazard.
Residential water filters can deal with several undesirable water ingredients improving both the taste and appearance of tap water, thus, transforming it into a cheap and convenient source of drinking water.
But which contaminants are most likely to be in your tap water, and how do you get rid of them?
Chlorine is a chemical used to disinfect water. It’s effectiveness against disease-causing microorganisms has been known since the 1850s, and was initially used as disinfectant in hospital wards.
Although its effectiveness against pathogens is undisputed, there are some concerns about the health effects of long-term chlorine exposure. Skin rashes, mucous membrane irritations, and even some forms of cancer are caused by exposure to chlorine.
Those already suffering from certain conditions like asthma or psoriasis, should avoid breathing in chlorine or bathing in chlorine since the chemical can trigger asthma attacks and cause skin disease flare-ups.
Removing Chlorine: Chlorine can be easily removed from tap water with the help of activated carbon filters. Thus, any water filter system that uses carbon block filters or granular activated carbon will successfully remove chlorine from tap water.
What is more, these filters can also improve the taste and odour of tap water. Some water filters like the PurePro RS4000 can remove up to 99% of chlorine present in tap water.
Chemical disinfectant by-products
When chlorine or other chemical disinfectants like chloramine react with other water ingredients (e.g. naturally occurring organic materials), they form by-products like Trihalomethanes (THMs), which are associated with adverse health effects such as cancer or reproductive issues.
Removing chemical by-products: Besides chlorine, carbon block filters can remove THMs as well. Any multi-stage water filter system that contains carbon block filters can be used to remove THMs as well.
Sediments are suspended particles that water picks up on its way to your home. Elements like rust flakes, sand, silt, dirt are quite common in tap water. While these particles are not dangerous to health, they can affect the appearance of tap water.
Removing sediments: Most water filter systems will have one or more sediment pre-filters that will remove suspended particles. In some water filter systems, removing sediment is an important step in the water filtration process. Sediments can clog reverse osmosis water filter systems or can shield bacteria in ultraviolet water filters, which is why they are important elements in the filtration process.
Fluoride in some areas
In some areas fluoride occurs naturally in tap water, in other areas it’s artificially added to tap water. Fluoridation is a controversial topic, which is why many countries have stopped adding fluoride to municipal water.
Fluoride is a toxic substance, associated with many health problems such as cancer, neurological and reproductive diseases.
Removing fluoride: Currently, activated alumina and reverse osmosis water filters are regarded as the best methods to remove fluoride from tap water.
Other contaminants that may be present in tap water – and it’s recommended to test your water for these too! – are heavy metals, bacteria, VOCs, herbicides, pesticides, hormones, etc. These may be predominant in industrial areas or agricultural areas in particular.
It’s important to find a water filter system that is designed to remove all the dangerous contaminants you detect in your tap water. Some contaminants are easier to remove than others. For example, any carbon block filter can reduce levels of chlorine, but some contaminants like heavy metals need advanced filters.
Water Filters Recommended to Remove Common Tap Water Contaminants
The filters presented below are designed to remove the most common tap water contamination issues:
This 6-stage RO filter system comes with an alkaline filter for pH balanced, great-tasting alkaline water. The filter is designed to remove common tap water contaminants, and many other dangerous water ingredients like bacteria and heavy metals.
✓ 6-stage filter system with sediment filters, carbon block filters, RO membrane, and alkaline filter;
✓ Booster pump included for low pressure environments;
✓ Installed under the kitchen sink;
✓ Faucet with ceramic valve included, can be used with 3-way tap as well;
✓ Low running costs;
✓ Easy maintenance.
The Pure-Pro RO system uses a combination of sediment filters, granular activated carbon filters, carbon filters and re-mineralising alkaline water for highly polished, contaminant-free tap water. This system is suitable for common tap water contamination issues, delivering a thorough filtration.
✓ Complex, 6-stage filtration with alkaline filter;
✓ Comes with booster pump included;
✓ Quick-change filter technology for quick and easy maintenance;
✓ Long filter lifetime and low running costs.
Combining the Doulton Imperial Ultracarb Cartridge and an activated alumina filter, the Osmio EZFITPRO-300 offers sub-micron level filtration removing suspended solids, microorganisms, chlorine, lead, THMs, fluoride and more.
✓ Two-stage filtration using activated alumina, carbon and ceramic filter;
✓ Silver-impregnated carbon inhibits bacterial growth;
✓ Filters are replaced every 6 to 12 months;
✓ Has a dedicated fluoride removal filter;
✓ Offers sub-micron level filtration.
When shopping for a water filter always make sure it’s equipped to target the contaminants present in your tap water. Most residential water filters use filter cartridges designed to remove chlorine, sediments, VOCs, and other organic contaminants, but they may not be equipped to handle other contamination issues. More advanced filters will also remove pathogens and heavy metals.
Multi-stage water filter systems are more adept in targeting a wide range of contaminants thanks to the various filter media in their filter cartridges. Both undersink and whole house water filters can offer multi-stage filtration, which will help you get rid of the worst contaminants found in tap water.