If the price is driving your choice, then we would advise you to consider a carbon filter.
These are not as effective in removing contaminants as reverse osmosis filters for example – but they still do a great job. They are significantly cheaper than RO systems, and require less maintenance, far less energy and almost no water wastage compared with the RO options too.
Effectiveness between brands varies so check the NSF site when making your purchase decisions.
Carbon filters tend to be available as jugs and consumers often tend to pick one off the shelf and assume that this is enough to cleanse their drinking water and ensure a safe supply with no contaminants. However, most of these jugs only actually reduce four contaminants, chlorine, copper, cadmium and mercury.
They generally eliminate micro-organisms, traces of pharmaceuticals and heavy metals. People often report that water tastes better after being filtered this way.
To maintain a jug filter, you will be required to replace the filter in the jug periodically, which may result in a similar cost to a faucet filter, using the same technology over the course of a year.
Carbon/Activated Carbon: Activated carbon chemically bonds with and removes some contaminants in water filtered through it. Carbon filters vary greatly in effectiveness: Some just remove chlorine and improve taste and odor, while others remove a wide range of contaminants including asbestos, lead, mercury and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). However, activated carbon cannot effectively remove common “inorganic” pollutants such as arsenic, fluoride, hexavalent chromium, nitrate and perchlorate. Generally, carbon filters come in two forms, carbon block and granulated activated carbon. – EWG.com
If cost is no problem, then Reverse Osmosis is a good way to go. There is no question that this is the best option to remove the maximum amount of contaminants. Many claim to provide completely pure water, which means it will contain zero Total Dissolved Solids (TDS).
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