The pollution in tap water is constantly increasing, retrofitting the waterworks is too expensive, so the demand for water filters for the home area in Germany is increasing. The water filter market is extremely confusing, and, in addition to a large number of suppliers, various systems sometimes pursue different application objectives. To select the best water Purifier filter for your home, different water filtration systems are described below and compared with each other in terms of their performance, functionality and pros and cons.
Reasons For a Water Filter
To be able to answer the question of the best water filter, concrete motives are required. Is lime the biggest problem for you, or do you not like your tap water? The smuggling with the boxes is a thorn in your side? For us, the most important argument besides its environmentally friendly properties is the quality of water and its non-polluting. But in turn:
Reason 1: Our tap water is anything but the best drinking water
According to environmental studies, pollution of drinking water is becoming more severe, especially from medicines, pesticides, and everyday objects such as plastic bags and packaging materials. As a result of this pollution, local wastewater treatment plants are often no longer able to completely free the water from pollutants.
A chemist Prof. Klaus Kümmerer showed that an average wastewater treatment plant could only filter out 80% of the active ingredients . However, many pollutants are still present in tap water to a certain extent. In addition to these “controlled” substances, however, there are other water traces, such as drug residues, which are not or hardly measurable.
The multitude of substances in the water creates new chemical compounds, making it impossible to know and control all pollutants . Apart from that, only 3% of tap water is actually drunk. The rest is used, among other things, for rinsing, showering or cleaning. The question arises, of course, whether, with such a small part of the pure use of drinking water, high-quality water is really always provided for you.
Suitable water filter types: Powerful water filtration systems remove as many or all pollutants as possible from the water. These include high-quality activated carbon block filters or reverse osmosis systems. Possibly still the steam distillation.
Motive 2: The permanent topic of lime and its proportion in tap water
The amount of lime in the pipes varies from household to household. Water with a high lime content is called “hard” water. Lime consists of two minerals, magnesium and calcium, which are very important for the human body. Therefore, the main difference between “hard” and “soft” water is particularly similar in taste, which means that calcareous water is not considered a health concern. However, those who attach particular importance to taste nuances in the preparation of tea and coffee prefer to use decalcified water.
Suitable water filter types: To reduce lime, ion exchangers or reverse osmosis plants are primarily used. These will be illuminated in more detail below.
Central descaling systems are available for the general reduction of their entire service water in their own four walls, installed directly after the water meter and thus provide soft water even in showers—more about lime.
Motive 3: Protecting your wallet and the environment
Tap water can be sourced from the tap conveniently and cheaply at home, while you have to transport mineral water from the supermarket home first and often pay a lot for it. Apart from these practicable reasons, however, the question also arises: is purchased mineral water always free of pollutants?
Für den Verkauf von Mineralwasser gibt es eine eigene Verordnung, die Mineral- und Tafelwasser-Verordnung, oder kurz MTVO genannt. Deren Aufgabe besteht darin, sämtliche Abläufe der Mineralwasserherstellung zu überwachen und zu definieren. Und da Mineralwasser für gewöhnlich aus naturbelassenen tiefen Vorkommen gefördert wird ist es grundsätzlich besser vor Verunreinigungen geschützt. Gelegentlich werden aber trotzdem Schadstoffe darin gefunden. So hat z.B. ÖKO-Test nachgewiesen, dass Abbauprodukte von Pestiziden aus der Landwirtschaft mitunter sehr tief in die Erde eindringen und dadurch auch im Mineralwasser auftauchen können .
Which water filtration system is the best, or which one do I need?
After looking at the above aspects, let’s take a look at the most common water filter types and their strengths and weaknesses:
The best water filter on sale – table pot filter
Probably the most common type of filter is the handy table pot filter. This works with the help of an activated carbon/ion exchange granulate and is primarily used to eliminate taste disturbances and lime residues. However, you should not expect a complete cleaning of the tap water here. Pesticides, parasites, bacteria and other pollutants are not filtered out of the water with these devices. Hardly any manufacturer gives specific information on potential filter performance. The table pot filter is, therefore, primarily used to improve the taste.
The advantages are only low acquisition costs and easy handling. The can filter does not have to be mounted on the water pipe, nor must it be assembled in a complex manner. The disadvantages are all the more serious: Due to the low filter performance, almost all pollutants are left behind in the drinking water, making even the main application for coffee and tea preparation questionable. Furthermore, compared to the purchase price and the performance, very high follow-up costs are created by the filter’s frequent replacement requirements, which can quickly become a breeding ground for germs with irregular maintenance.
The best middle way – activated carbon block filters
This type of filter system is available both as an on and below table version. The activated carbon block filter works with the activated carbon’s help, just like the table pot filter. In contrast to the activated carbon granulate filter, however, it can remove various pollutants, such as residues of pharmaceuticals, pesticides, many toxic heavy metals, pesticides, germs, bacteria, and other odours flavours such as chlorine. This is primarily due to a completely different form of production. Block filters are sintered (baked) in an innovative manufacturing process and brought into the characteristic block shape.
The reliable filter line for most common pollutants has been verified in various independent reports (including TÜV). In addition to this advantage, the retention of all important minerals in drinking water is also mentioned. On the other hand, it is not suitable for the targeted reduction of lime and nitrate. The disadvantages are common to all water filters; regular maintenance and replacement of the filter insert at the latest every six months. Thus, the activated carbon block filter is the best way to optimize its drinking water, with high retention values against pollutants with unchanged mineral content.
The best filter performance – reverse osmosis systems
Plants that use the reverse osmosis process (UO or reverse osmosis in English RO) are also sold as table or bottom table systems. The process originally used for seawater desalination convinces by a very high degree of purity. In addition to lime and almost all pollutants, they even free drinking water from dissolved minerals and salts.
A reverse osmosis system works with a semi-permeable filter membrane that only passes through the tiny H2O molecules. As a result, the tap water is almost completely cleaned. The advantages are, therefore, clearly in the high degree of cleaning. However, they are coined with some disadvantages:
In addition to a high water waste (depending on the model, up to 11 litres of water is needed to produce only 1 litre of drinking water/permeate), the removal of the minerals also reduces the ph-value of the water into the acidic area and makes it aggressive and responsive. The taste and digestibility can therefore be disputed, especially since minerals are the flavour carriers of water. Furthermore, UO systems are generally among the most expensive water filtration systems, as acquisition and maintenance costs are higher than e.B. for activated carbon block filters. Many UO plants are also sold via dubious structural sales via direct home visits under the guise of questionable tests.
If you have no problem adding the necessary minerals to your drinking water, such as gemstones or other cartridges in the housing, this system is the best for you.
The best for selective filtering – ion exchanger
Ion exchangers are not water filters in the true sense of the word because only individual substances can be exchanged from the water in a targeted manner using ion exchange. For example, to extract lime, the hard water is removed .B. calcium ions and replaced with sodium ions. This will make the water softer, but all other pollutants such as heavy metals or pesticides and drug residues remain in the water. Further disadvantages are the continuous monitoring and maintenance as well as the sometimes negative change of the water. Therefore, it becomes more acidic and more aggressive and can contain excessive values of the exchanged substance, e.B. sodium, which is not optimal for every health condition.
Steam Distillation – The Best Filter in Power Consumption
This form of filtration heats the tap water to over 100 degrees Celsius and causes it to evaporate, as the name suggests. The evaporated water is collected, cooled and thus returned to the liquid state. Content and pollutants with a higher boiler point than water are not filtered and remain in the steam boiler. Although the degree of purity is very high, such devices have high energy consumption and require a very high cleaning effort (practically after each application). Therefore they are mainly used in laboratories.
The result – The best water filter for home use
In a final comparison of all these different filter systems, it can be clearly stated that activated carbon block filter and reverse osmosis systems are the two most useful systems for optimizing drinking water and are clearly superior to the conventional and widely sold table pot filter.
To which professional system In addition to financial aspects, it is more of a question of preferences and is therefore left to everyone. Both plants allow a perfect drinking water treatment, whereby the filtration via activated carbon block filter is the more natural process and leaves important minerals in the water. On the other hand, reverse osmosis achieves the best possible degree of cleaning through an elaborate artificial process. The subsequent addition of minerals often compensates the disadvantages described (acid, if any, indigestible end product).
Not to be despised: The physical side of the water as another dimension of quality
For the sake of completeness, when choosing the best product to optimize tap water, it should also be taken into account that water filters primarily improve the chemical side of the water by removing pollutants. But water as a vital elixir is not the same as water. No other element has so many anomalies that are not explained by science’s current state (density, aggregate state, and boiling point).
In modern water research, more and more clear aspects of water’s biophysical properties are emerging, which have a significant influence on the quality and taste of the water as a whole. Thus, the water molecules’ structure and arrangement predominant in the water play a decisive role in the tolerability and performance of the water in our organism. If you are interested, you can find out more in our category water revitalization.