What Do Carbon Filters Remove?Activated carbon water filters are probably the most familiar filtration products on the market. You can find them at any big-box store. They typically come in pitcher models and they’re relatively cheap.
Inside each pitcher is an activated carbon filter cartridge. Those tiny granules of carbon work to adsorb (with a “d”) certain contaminants in the water. Some can remove certain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) too, but they’re primarily used to filter out chlorine. As the water drips through the carbon cartridge, the carbon draws the chlorine disinfectant out of water. The water is then essentially chlorine-free because the chlorine bonds to the carbon. This helps drinking water taste better and takes away that bad chlorine smell, but these filters are far from perfect.
What Do Carbon Filters Miss?Most carbon filters DO NOT remove lead or other heavy metals from drinking water. Only special activated carbon filters can handle those contaminants. Across the board, carbon is ineffective against:
RO Filters for Drinking WaterA lot of families choose reverse osmosis (RO) filtration for their drinking water because it can take care of multiple issues in one compact setup. While activated carbon is only really effective against certain VOCs and chlorine, RO filters can remove so much more. Protozoa, bacteria, and viruses are no match for these setups. RO filtration works against all of the following, and more:
- E. coli
Rather than count on carbon to do it all, these kinds of RO systems give homeowners quality filtration in multiple steps. Hands down, they’re the better choice for getting chlorine-free, contaminant-free drinking water every day of the year.