By discovering what's in your water you can decide the filter that will best suit your needs. For example, if you live in a rural area your water may not be chlorinated and cysts may be an issue. In the same way, chlorination in urban areas can cause unpleasant-tasting drinking water.
The following table outlines some common problems for you to consider. To help you, we also explain some filtration terms and phrases in our glossary and hints
||Effect of Contaminant
|Plumbing and appliances can be damaged over time. Rust particles can cause brown, yellow or orange spots on clothing, fixtures and toilets.
||Water unpleasant to drink, with solids and discoloured water. Can block and damage internals of taps/shower roses and hot water cylinders.
||A sediment filter will reduce sand, silt particulates and rust.
TASTE & ODOUR
|People often complain about taste and smell of chlorine in water. Water treatment plants use it to maintain a disinfection agent residual in the water.
||Unpleasant taste and odour. High levels of chlorine dry and irritate skin conditions. Can cause carcinogenic by-products when combined with certain contaminants common in most water sources.
||A Taste and Odour filter will reduce
Chlorine, offensive tastes and odours. Some also reduce Chloramines, a by product from chlorination.
|Lead was often used in pipes and to solder pipes in houses built before 1986. Water can leach lead and other heavy metals from brass taps and plumbing fittings.
||Lead consumption can cause health related development problems especially in infants and kids.
||Some filters will reduce lead.
|Encapsulated forms of single cell parasites that can be present in drinking water and resistant to normal chlorination.
||Ingested, cysts can cause abdominal cramping and diarrhoea in immune deficient people (kids and elderly) can cause death.
||A cyst filter will reduce Cryptosporidium and Giardia.
|Contaminants resulting from industrial discharge, pesticide runoff and gasoline leakage into ground water. People, animals and industry may add chemicals to the water supply.
||Atrazine can cause congestion of heart, lungs and kidneys; low blood pressure and muscle spasms. Mercury exposure can potentially cause liver damage.
||Chemical filter will reduce TTHM (Total Trihalomethanes), MTBE (Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether), Atrazine, Benzene, Cadium, Lindane, Mercury, Toluene, VOC's (Volatile Organic Chemicals).
|Hardness is caused by the presence of calcium and magnesium ions in the water. Hard water will reduce the ability to create lather and will also build up on heating elements and create scale - a hard deposit that forms in kettles etc.
||The build up of scale will reduce the efficiency of the kettles and will eventually cause the failure of the heating element.
||A scale reduction cartridge will minimise the formation of scale inside appliances.
|Harmless heterotrophic bacteria can grow on the pores within the activated carbon block present in filter cartridges. It can be more severe if the cartridge is not used for a long period of time.
||The bacteria can impart an unfavourable taste to the water.
||A carbon block with bacteriostatic properties will reduce the growth of bacteria on the carbon block.
Filtration Glossary and Hints.
Filters have been validated for cyst removal by a third party.
The best filter is the one with the largest micron rating (for a better flow and longer filter life) that still removes the contaminants you want to eliminate.
A housing is the pressure vessel that holds the filter media. 3M have transparent filter housings as well as opaque (blue coloured). Stainless steel housings are also available for hot water filtration.
A metric unit (1000th of a mm) used to indicate "nominally" the size of particle/contaminant a filter removes. The smaller the micron measurement, the tighter the filter pore size, allowing less contaminants through the filter and into the water supply. The tighter the filter is the greater the affect on the water flowing through the filter resulting in reduced water pressure.
The filter replacement frequency will depend on the quality of the "raw" water. Filter life is rated by the litres expected to pass through before the filter blocks. Best practice is to replace them every 6 months. It's also recommended that water filters should not be used for more than one-year maximum service.
Sanitary Quick Change
This system eliminates cross contamination by providing filters that are constructed to avoid contact with hands and harmful bacteria when changing. These filters are as easy to change as a light bulb.
The size and usage of water in your household dictates flow amounts.
For the purpose of this chart: Large flow= 4+ inhabitants. Mid flow= + inhabitants and low flow = 2+ inhabitants.
Larger units allow more water to flow through, affecting the water pressure less. Filters with lower micron ratings eliminate cysts but reduce the water pressure.