The BEST and WORST Aspects of Different Water Filter Systems

Water Filter Systems Distillation

Water distillation is perhaps one of the oldest forms of water purification. In this method, the water is first heated till boiling point and the steam is condensed into a separate container.

Distilled Water FilterThe idea is that most of the main contaminants will stay behind in the original vessel.

While the clean “distilled” water will be moved into the new container. It is a fairly straight forward process. So simple that you can do it by yourself at home.

However, this process is not 100% fail proof.

This is because sometimes “carry-overs” can be found in the distilled water. Also, organic substances like pesticides and herbicides cannot always be removed efficiently. Even with boiling points lower than 100°C.

Another potential issue with water distillation is cost. This process typically requires a large amount of time and energy to produce enough clean water.

Finally, the water distillation process takes out most of the minerals you would normally find in water. This means that it often has a “flat taste”. Hence, why it is more commonly used in industrial processes.

Green Plus ArrowThe Best Aspects
Red CrossThe Worst Aspects
  • Removes most of the common contaminants.
  • You can DIY (Do It Yourself) with almost no cost.


  • It needs big amounts of energy, space.
  • It is very slow to filter.
  • Some contaminants might still remain in the filtered water.
  • Requires careful and continuous maintenance to ensure purity.
  • Left with a “flat taste” after all the minerals have been removed.
  • It is not 100% fail proof because sometimes “carry-overs” are left over in the distilled water.
  • Does not effectively remove organic substances like pesticides and herbicides.

Ion Exchange

Ion exchange systems efficiently remove dissolved ions from water. This type of treatment is very good for “water softening”.

OptimH2O Reverse OsmosisBy water softening I mean removing calcium and magnesium ions from water. Water softening is often a form of water pre-treatment method to reduce water “hardness”.

Another type of ion exchange in water treatment is “deionization”. This water filtration process removes all dissolved solids.

DI (Deionization) can be an important component of a larger water purification system because it’s an effective means of removing water hardness and this is particularly true of carbon adsorption and reverse osmosis (RO) filtration systems.

DI systems are effective at removing ions, however, they do not effectively remove most microorganisms or organics.

Green Plus ArrowThe Best Aspects
Red CrossThe Worst Aspects
  • Effective at “softening”water i.e. removing calcium and magnesium ions.
  • Effectively removes dissolved inorganics.
  • Is not effective at removing bacteria, particles or pyrogens.
  • DI beds can create culture bacteria and resin particles.
  • Expensive over the long-term.

Carbon Adsorption (aka Activated Carbon)

“Carbon adsorption” happens when a solid adsorbent material (that contains carbon) filters water.

AquaTruActivated carbon is porous, inexpensive and absorbs or removes contaminants over a large surface area.

It comes from almost any feed stock that contains carbon such as coconut shells and products from the coal family.

Carbon adsorption is a popular form of home water filtration.

This is because it can efficiently remove bad tastes and odor (including chlorine). it also removes chemicals, gases as well as many microorganisms.

However, it wont remove hardness nor will it dissolve solids or heavy metals.

In fact, there are only a small number of certified carbon filter systems that can remove coliform, asbestos, cysts and lead. As a result, activated carbon is popular in commercial product applications. And the majority of wastewater plants use this carbon process to purify water.

There are two types of carbon filter systems

i) solid block carbon and

ii) granular activated carbon.

Both these methods can be used along side a “reverse osmosis system“, which will be discussed next.

Carbon Adsorption
Green Plus ArrowThe Best Aspects Red CrossThe Worst Aspects
  • Effectively removes bad tastes, odor (including chlorine), chemicals, gases as well as many microorganisms.
  • You can DIY (Do It Yourself) with almost no cost.
  • Does not remove water hardness nor will it dissolve solids or heavy metals.
  • Very slow and time consuming.
  • Unless certified, it will not remove asbestos, cysts and lead.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis (RO) the best water filter system? Well it is by far one of the most effective methods for removing 90% – 99% of all impurities in water. It works by using a semipermeable membrane (almost like a sponge that filters and purifies water.

It will remove molecules, ions as well as other particles from water.

This can also happen in nature and this occurs when osmotic pressure pushes water through a membrane.

Thereby diluting it and the end result is cleaner water.

Reverse osmosis (RO) is one of the most efficient and effective methods for filtering tap water.

This filtration type requires proper installation to accommodate specific water issues you might have.

Also, it is the best water filter system for nuclear radiation. people who live near nuclear power plants use this filtration system.

Reverse Osmosis
Green Plus Arrow Pros Red CrossThe Worst Aspects
  • Effectively removes most impurities up to 99%, this includes colloids, particles, pyrogens and in-organics.
  • Requires very little maintenance once installed properly.
  • It is a little expensive and a little complicated to set up and install.

Conclusion – Which Water Purification System is the Best?

Mr Water Geek ThinkingThis article has highlighted just a few of the most popular water purification systems.

Different water filtration systems are appropriate for removing different contaminants.

You can not rely on any single filter to remove every possible type of impurity.

However, the best option is probably a combination of different water filters so that you can achieve the best water quality.

Which is the best water filter system? Reverse Osmosis seems to be the best from this list.

Why? Because it removes most impurities and once set up to work from your tap, it works automatically with very little maintenance.

A basic RO water filter system will turn your standard quality tap water into cleaner, purer, better tasting water.

Water Filter Comparison Table Chart

AquaTru Water Filter

Berkey Water Filter

AquaTruProPur Berkey Looking Water Filter System
- Arsenic: Approx 90% (unspecified).
- Fluoride by 91.8% (WITHOUT extra filters).
- Lead 97.5%
- Benzene 99.9%
- Chlorine 96.6%
- Cysts 99.99%
- Arsenic by 99.9% (special filters required).
- Fluoride by 99.9% (special filters required).
- Lead 97.5%
- Benzene 99.8%
Available in 1-size only. Available in various sizes.
Plastic materials.Metal & plastic materials.
Number of filters: 3Number of filters: 2 - 4
Filter methods: Mechanical, Reverse Osmosis & Activated Carbon filters.Filter methods: Black microporous-filters & white fluoride Filters
4-stage filter process.2-stage filter process.
Holds a maximum water capacity of 3-quarts.2.25 Gallons
45.7 x 45.7 x 38.1 cm 19" High x 8.5" Diameter
System: 1 year limited warranty.Filters: 2 years; System: 1 year.
Full Performance Data Sheet (AquaTru).Berkey Contaminants List
NSF/ANSI test results
Yes, use code MRWATERGEEK
AquaTrue Coupon
Yes, Big Berkey bundle sale
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