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The health benefits and filtration methods of purified water

© Ryan Ormrod 2019, for www.mindyourwater.com. All rights reserved.

(We have combined some of our older articles with this one, to improve user experience. You may have been redirected here as a result of this change).

In the following article, we present the health benefits of purified drinking water.

We will also explain why it is better to use a water filter bottle rather than purchasing single-use plastic bottled water.

Lastly, we will show you some of our favourite water filter products on the market in 2019.

All of the product models that are available in this article will have a better than average water filter cartridge included, and will outperform their rivals in design and deliverability.

Overall, we hope to encourage you to consume more water than any other beverages such as coffee, sodas, juice, tea and sorry, alcohol.

As according to (Harvard, 2019) there is an issue of many people in developed countries turning a blind eye to the seemingly unlimited supply of fresh drinking water, and that is despite warnings from health experts.

We believe one of the major issues for people is that they just don’t prefer the flavour of water, but what if the flavoured could be improved upon?

Well, water filter cartridges are renowned for their ability to remove impurities from drinking water and therefore improve the overall safety and taste of drinking water.

So let’s hope we can convince you.

What is water?

Water is a polar molecule (part is slightly positive and another part is slightly negative) that is comprised of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. 

The oxygen atoms in water usually have 8 protons and 10 electrons with a negative charge, and tend to draw the electrons away from the hydrogen atoms. It has 10 electrons but only 8 protons, because it takes an electron from each hydrogen atom.

The hydrogen atom in water usually has 1 proton and 0 electrons and a positive charge. Each hydrogen atom in water should have 1 electron but the oxygen atom has taken them away.

This exchange of electrons create a hydrogen bond, that makes water molecules adhere to each other, known as cohesion. The negatively charged oxygen atom bonds with a positively charged hydrogen atom.

Additionally, the hydrogen bond changes the distance of the water molecules in a solid form such as ice, meaning it can float on water. (University of Arizona, 2003).

Furthermore, biological machines such as human beings are “composed of atoms and molecules within aqueous solutions”. Basically this means that we’re made of various different materials that are mixed in water. (Estrella Mountain, 2007). 

Living creatures depend on water, they’re largely water based structures.

Why do human beings depend on water?

Water is an inorganic compound, which basically means that is does not contain both carbon and hydrogen. 

However, a handful do contain carbon atoms such as Carbon dioxide. Water can however be contaminated with organic compounds that contain both carbon and hydrogen. 

Such organic compounds are found in the human body also, as the human body (and other living creatures) synthesize it via covalent bonds. Some of the most common elements in a human body are carbon and hydrogen. 

Water is a major component in the way the human body works for example:

  1. It’s a lubricant: Water acts as a lubricant for joints, it helps the lungs expand and recoil, it keeps food flowing in the digestive tract and more. (Oregon State University, 2019).
  2. It’s a cushion: Water protects vital bodily organs and cells from physical trauma. Furthermore, it cushions the brain within the skull and protects nerve tissues in the eyes. It’s also present in the womb of mothers to protect the human fetus. (Oregon State University, 2019).
  3. It regulates temperature: It takes a lot of energy to heat water, you will realise this each time you boil a kettle, make a coffee or boil some water on a hob. Water therefore is a great heat sink as it does not increase in temperature very easily. Therefore, it keeps the body temperature stable through sweating. (Oregon State University, 2019).

What are the health benefits of consuming regular drinking water?

Ancient human beings and most other insects and animals were destined to drink water, and if we think about this clearly, that doesn’t mean they were destined to drink dirty water that consists of contaminants as this encourages ill health, but instead, they were destined to drink the purest and best tasting water available.

Additionally, ancient human beings understood the benefits of drinking clean water, while some harvested rain in containers others collected water naturally from streams, rivers and by digging for groundwater. (Dr. Universe, 2019).

Groundwater “is often safer to drink because it’s more protected from contamination”. (Dr. Universe, 2019).

Additionally, the Romans built aqueducts and sand filtration columns or simply boiled the water in much the same way as we would. (Dr. Universe, 2019).

However, despite our natural destiny, many of us have become bored of the repetitive flavour of water, and have deviated towards more unnatural and artificially created beverages. 

But what if we were to return to our natural destiny, and revert towards a plain and purified water based diet?

Would we see any natural benefits from our decision?

The answer is a resounding yes!

Let’s go over what some of these benefits might be.

The benefit of weight loss due to drinking more water

According to (Harvard, 2019), there was a survey conducted by the University of Illinois in the United States of America, included in the research paper, namely “Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics”, that suggested certain participants (of the survey) who had a higher level of water consumption than those who did not, were less likely to consume weight gaining calories.

By consuming more water than other beverages, their thirst was quenched and the total number of dietary calories reduced, every time they made their decision to do so.

Drinking water keeps you hydrated and healthy

Our bodies contain a lot of water, and we lose it frequently due to bodily functions such as sweating and urinating. A healthy intake of water improves our health and keeps us hydrated.

So it is important to ensure that we drink enough water everyday.

How much water should we drink a day?

We need to drink water to avoid dehydration. 

According to (University of Rochester, 2019), dehydration is simply “when you don’t have enough water in your body” and that water is what “keeps your body healthy and working well.”

If we don’t consume enough water, we become dehydrated, which leads to health problems depending on how severely dehydrated we are.

A mild level of dehydration can cause problems  human beings problems with their “heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature”. Severe hydration can cause “weakness and confusions”, and extreme hydration can cause “brain damage and even death”. (University of Rochester, 2019).

So it’s absolutely important to ensure that we drink enough water each day to stay hydrated, but the big question is, how much water is enough? 

The main answer of course is dependent on each individual as we each have unique bodily requirements, shapes and sizes. Some of us are also more active than others and also how hot the weather is on average where we live, is another factor. 

However, (Harvard, 2019) has suggested that generally healthy people should aim to follow a four-to-six cup rule, meaning you should consume between four to six cups of water a day on average.

If you’re not generally healthy, and might be suffering from illnesses such as thyroid, liver, heart or kidney issues then it is possible to drink too much water. If you suspect you have an illness, only a qualified Doctor can really individualise a daily water intake plan. (Harvard, 2019).

Additionally, it’s not just drinking water that rehydrates you, as a bonus, you also intake water from food sources, especially water-rich foods like salads and fruits. (Harvard, 2019).

Increase in brain function

Consuming enough water in a day, expands blood vessels which consequently helps them to deliver oxygen to the brain. 

According to (Harris School of Business, 2019), our “energy, memory, and cognitive abilities improve”. 

Increase in physical performance

Your physical performance will increase, this is due to the nutrients in drinking water that then “helps to lubricate cells and prevents contractions in muscles”. (Harris School of Business, 2019). That painful calf cramp right? Perhaps you didn’t drink enough water…

But that’s not the only benefit that increases physical performance, water also helps to “energise muscles”. Meaning that, it revitalises cells and expands the levels of oxygen. So it’s best to remember to drink water before and after exercising. (Harris School of Business, 2019).

Everybody’s most favourite benefit, saving money!

That’s right, with increasing prices of soda due to sugar taxes being introduced in the UK. The general cost of tea and coffee beverages being less affordable than drinking tap water. If you wish to save money, drinking mostly water is the way forward.

Imagine the cost of a single bottle of water, on average, for the sake of simplicity, as roughly £1.

If you’re the type of person who buys just one bottle of water a day, that’s £365 a year.

Additionally, if you are the type of person who drinks a bottle of water and a cup of takeaway or in-store coffee at the rate of one a day, and again for the sake of simplicity, at an average of £2 per drink.

You would be costing yourself an additional £730 a year.

That’s a whopping £1095, a figure that doesn’t even include the price of tea, coffee, sugar, milk, sodas, juices that you buy for your home and so on.

So why not increase your daily water intake, by drinking the tap water which in the United Kingdom, you are already paying for each month?

Introducing filtered water

So you’ve just discovered some of the major benefits of drinking water regularly has for both your mental and physical health and your pocket.

Now you’re probably wondering about filtered water, what it is? What is behind the technology of water filter cartridges? And what kind of benefits drinking purified water can have? 

So let’s take a closer look at filtered water.

What are some of the most common contaminants that can be found in drinking water?

Algae

Overgrowths of Algae in water, known as algal blooms, can be blue, red or brown and can be both toxic and nontoxic. Harmful algal blooms can produce extremely dangerous toxins that can cause illnesses and even death in people. 

Aluminium

Aluminium is Earth’s most abundant metallic element, found in over 8% of Earth’s crust and has many practical usages for example in the automobile, construction and aircraft industries to produce metal alloys. Aluminium is a naturally occurring water contaminant, however, it has not been proven to have any long term negative health related effects, but short and high term exposure can cause short-lived symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, mouth ulcers, skin ulcers and skin rashes. There are also concerns that aluminium can contribute to senile dementia, but this has not been clarified.

Antibiotics

Antibiotics are useful for preventing and treating bacterial infections in human beings. Molecules with antibiotic properties have been attacking bacteria naturally long before human beings discovered the effectiveness of antibiotics. Man-made antibiotics can enter drinking water as a byproduct of the production of pharmaceutical ingredients or by the unsafe disposal of medicines by consumers. Although antibiotics are used to treat or prevent illnesses, and under ideal circumstances, they help to destroy bacteria in drinking water, more persistent antibiotics have been found in drinking water, namely trimethoprim and sulfonamide, macrolide, quinolone, and tetracycline.  While there’s little evidence to suggest that antibiotics being ingested by human beings is directly harmful, indirectly they promote resistance development in human pathogens and therefore make stronger and more harmful bacteria in the environment.

Arsenic

Arsenic naturally occurs in rocks and soil, because of this, small amounts can dissolve into groundwater that can become drinking water. Drinking water with Arsenic over prolonged periods of time can cause illnesses such as cancers of the bladder, lungs, liver and other organs. Additionally, Arsenic can be associated with diabetics. 

Asbestos

Asbestos is a general term for fibrous silicate minerals containing iron, magnesium, calcium or sodium. There are two main groups of fibrous silicate minerals, namely, serpentine (e.g chrysotile) and amphibole (e.g. amosite, crocidolite, and tremolite). Asbestos, when inhaled, is widely accepted to cause respiratory and other illnesses such as asbestosis, bronchial carcinoma, malignant mesothelioma of the pleura and peritoneum, and possibly cancers of the gastrointestinal tract and larynx .  However, while Asbestos can become airbourne if present in drinking water, it’s not thought to be harmful whether inhaled or ingested this way.

Atrazine

The herbicide known as Atrazine, is most commonly used to control broadleaf and grassy weeds among row crops such as corn, sorghum and sugarcane.  Atrazine enters groundwater after being used for agricultural purposes. Consumption of Atrazine may cause human health problems, such as a cause of cancer and reproductive problems.

Bacteria

Bacteria are a major water quality concern throughout the world. Bacteria are naturally present in water and can cause waterborne diseases such as diarrhoea and gastrointestinal illnesses. 

Bentazone

Bentazone is a herbicide that is used to control broadleaf weeds and sedge weeds for food crops such as soybean and corn. It enters the environment when it is applied to control weeds among crops.  Short exposures to Bentazone can cause fetal death, while longer exposure is associated with anaemia and other blood system complications.

Benzene

Benzene is a colourless liquid that has a characteristic odour. The primary use for Benzene is in the chemical industry, it is used to produce styrene/ethylbenzene, cumene/phenol and cyclohexane.  Benzene contaminates water by atmospheric deposition, spills of petrol and other petroleum-based products, and chemical plant effluents.  A small exposure of Benzene in high concentrations affects the central nervous system and can even cause death.  It is thought that considerable amounts of exposure to benzene can cause Leukaemia, preceded by pancytopenia, or aplastic anaemia.

Bromodichloromethane

Bromodichloromethane is a colourless, heavy, nonburnable liquid that is usually found evaporated in the air or dissolved in water that does not usually exist as a liquid in the environment.  However, since Bromodichloromethane is a byproduct of adding chlorine to drinking water to kill any disease-causing organisms, it can enter the environment this way.  It is not currently known what harm human exposure to Bromodichloromethane there is, but studies of animals have shown liver and kidney damage and impaired fetal development.

Bromoform

Bromoform is used in geological tests as a fluid to test for mineral ore separation, additionally, it is used as a laboratory reagent and in the electronics industry for Quality Assurance. Traditionally, Bromoform was used as a solvent for wax, grease, oils and additionally in fire-resistant chemicals and in fluid gauges.  Drinking water disinfected with chlorine, bromine or bromine compounds can be a route to human exposure.  The short-term exposure to high levels of Bromoform can affect the nervous system and slow down brain functions,  it can also injure the kidneys and liver. Long-term exposure to high levels of Bromoform have not been fully studied, however, animal studies suggest that it can affect the liver, kidneys and central nervous system. Other incomplete studies suggest a positive correlation between levels of Bromoform in drinking water and the incidence of several tumour types, but this research is inconclusive.

Cadmium

Cadmium occurs naturally in the Earth’s crust and soil, it has many practical uses such as in batteries, paints, pigments, coatings and some types of inexpensive jewellery.  Low-level exposure to cadmium can decrease bone density, especially in growing bones in children. Cadmium also tends to build up in the kidney and is not filtered out of the body, and lifetime exposure can cause kidney disease.

Calcium

Calcium is an alkaline metal that is essential for living organisms to survive, it is derived from nearly all rock with the greatest concentrations being in limestone and gypsum. Almost all  (99%) of calcium within a human body is stored within bones and teeth, while the remaining 1% serves as a signal for vital physiological processes in human metabolism. Calcium makes hard water and is often filtered out of drinking water to prevent limescale. Calcium is not usually harmful to humans but too much can cause stomach pain and diarrhoea.

Carbofuran

Carbofuran is a white crystalline solid that is used worldwide as an insecticide, acaricide and nematicide. It’s rarely found in water. There has been no research into the effects of ingestion by humans via drinking water, but a report of three female farm workers that suffered from vomiting, lassitude, nausea and hypersalivation suggest it can become toxic to human beings if ingested.

Chlorine

Chlorine is a pale green reactive gas which was used as a chemical warfare agent during World War 1, but it now used to disinfect water in the developed world and therefore enters drinking water via the disinfection process.  While usually safe, Chlorinated water has been associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer over long periods of time.

Chloroform

Chloroform, also known as trichloromethane,  is a chemical that is used to make other chemicals and a byproduct of chlorinating water.  It can be found in groundwater, surface water and drinking water. Since Chloroform is used to treat water and reduce the risk of illness from bacteria and viruses, most people are exposed to it in their drinking water. Long-term exposure to chloroform can damage the liver and kidneys.

Chromium 6

Chromium is an odourless and tasteless metallic element found naturally in rocks, plants, soil, volcanic dust and animals. Chromium-6 is a hexavalent chromium, which is a term used in chemistry to describe the property of an element that determines the number of other atoms which an atom of the element can combine. Chromium-6 is found in the environment naturally due to the erosion of natural chromium deposits, but it can also be man-made as part of industrial processes. Other ways Chromium-6 can enter the environment is by leakage, poor store or inadequate industrial waste disposal practices.  Long-term exposure to Chromium-6 can result in allergic dermatitis.

Copper

Copper is a naturally occurring, used to make many products including plumbing systems, therefore, it can enter drinking water through household plumbing systems. Consuming copper long periods of time can cause a variety of illnesses, such as vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach cramps, nausea, liver damage and kidney disease.

Cryptosporidium

Cryptosporidium is an intestinal parasite, a protozoan, which is a slightly more complex type of organism than a bacterium or a virus.  Cryptosporidium is responsible for the illness called Cryptosporidiosis, which is the infection of the intestine where the organism emerges from its shell, called the oocyst. Cryptosporidium is commonplace in rivers and lakes, especially in waters contaminated by animal waste. The main symptoms of Cryptosporidiosis are diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramping. In people with weaker and more vulnerable immune systems, Cryptosporidiosis can become a cause of death.

Detergents

Detergents are artificially created cleaning products that are regularly used to wash clothes worldwide, and they’re usually used in their powder or liquid forms. Detergents can enter drinking water due to how frequently they are used by human beings. However, in water contaminated by powdered detergents, there is a significant increase in levels of certain chemicals such as chloride, sulphate, carbonate and bicarbonate, while liquid detergents similarly contaminate water, it is a nominal increase. Preliminary reports suggest that cancer-causing chemicals such as NDMA and other nitrosamines can be created during the disinfection process.

Dibromochloromethane

Dibromochloromethane (DCFM) is an industrial chemical used as a propellant, refrigerant, fire extinguisher and solvent and is a colourless liquid or gas with a sweet odour. DCFM is thought to contribute to the depletion of Earth’s Ozone layer and is under an international agreement to be phased out by 2030.  DCFM most commonly contaminants water draining from landfills and at hazardous waste sites. There have been no studies on the health effects of DCFM in drinking water but it is thought to be less toxic than Chloroform.

Dinoseb

Dinoseb is a pesticide that was used among crops such as soybeans, and corn to control weeds, fungus and insects.  It is no longer legal to use in agriculture due to the risk of birth defects and male reproductive problems. The risk of contaminated drinking water is thought to be unlikely. 

Endrin

Endrin is an insecticide used against agricultural pests and is particularly effective against butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera). It is mostly used on cotton but has additional uses amongst rice, sugar-cane, maize and other crops. Additionally, it can be used as a rodenticide. Endrin is rarely found in water used for human consumption, however, exposure to a toxic dose of Endrin can cause signs and symptoms of intoxication as excitability but also convulsions. If the appropriate treatment is not given to a person that has been intoxicated by Endrin then death may follow.

Fine Solids

Fine solid is a term used for particles with a diameter between 2 and 75 microns. Examples of fine solids are silt, coarse clay, organic fines, and phytoplankton. Fine solids get accumulated in the water through industrial discharges, sewage, fertilizers, road runoff, and soil erosion. There is no known direct hazard to health. Nevertheless, in high concentration fine solids in drinking water can act as the carrier of toxins and affect the taste of water.

Giardia

Giardia is a microscopic parasite that lives in the intestine and causes Giardiasis which is a diarrhoea illness. Brace yourself though… millions of Giardia can be released by the bowel movements of an infected human or animal and this waste can enter water wells during periods of flooding.

Glyphosate

Glyphosate is a herbicide used in agriculture, forestry and aquatic weed control. The usage of Glyphosate can leave residues in drinking water, especially since it is not taken up by the roots of plants and plants cannot metabolise it. Glyphosate is not thought to be harmful to human beings under usual conditions, however, higher nonstandard levels of intoxication can cause erosion of the gastrointestinal tract, but evidence of this is based on intentional intoxication.

Heavy metals

Heavy metals are normally present in drinking water in small amounts and support everyday body functioning; however, excess exposure to heavy metals is a hazard for health. Heavy metals enter groundwater geologically, as a consequence of agricultural activities and through industrial wastewater. Effect on the human body varies depending on the metal variety and concentration. It may include allergic dermatitis, renal arterial hypertension, liver and kidney diseases, bone and brain diseases, delays in the physical and mental development of infants, and more.

Heptachlor

Heptachlor is a white crystalline solid that is used to control insect pests and it is applied to soil, seeds and foliage. Acute exposure to Heptachlor can cause nervous system effects such as irritability, salivation, laboured respiration and more, however, it is not thought to be carcinogenic.

Herbicides

Herbicides are a term used to describe a range of chemicals that are used to treat and control weeds. Herbicides used a variety of active ingredients, some of which are more likely than others to transit to the groundwater through the soil after an application. Level of herbicide contamination in water can vary from month to month and from season to season. All herbicides have some toxicity to them, levels of which vary between products; the effect of them on human health would vary depending on the consumed chemical and dosage.

Iodine

Iodine is a non-metallic element and naturally occurs as iodide in water, but becomes iodine once oxidised by water treatment processes. While higher dosages of iodine can cause symptoms such as irritation to the lungs, gastrointestinal tract and eyes, angio-oedema, iodism, pulmonary oedema and other illnesses or death, the chronic consumption of normal levels of iodinated drinking water are not thought to be harmful to human beings.

Iron

Iron is the fourth most abundant mineral that is found in the Earth’s crust, soil and rocks. Iron is beneficial to the human body, it gives the haemoglobin of blood its red colour and allows blood to carry oxygen. Since Iron is needed to transport oxygen in the blood, it does not usually present a health problem, however, some pathogenic (harmful) organisms require iron to grow, and the presence of iron particles makes the elimination of such organisms more difficult.

Large Bacteria

Whilst the majority of bacteria that is transmitted by water affects the gastrointestinal tract; there is a number of waterborne pathogens which are transmitted during bathing via inhalation and direct contact with water. The latter pathogens cause infections of the respiratory tract, brain and skin lesions.

Lead

Lead is a poisonous metal, the consumption of lead can cause long-term health and behavioural problems. There is no safe level of lead, it can damage the brain, kidneys and nervous system.

Lindane

Lindane is an insecticide, which is used on a variety of crops and greenhouse vegetables, and in forestry for seed treatment. In addition to this, lindane is used as a therapeutic pesticide, for example as a scabies treatment in humans and animals. Lindane can physically enter the water from direct application for the control of mosquitos and from use in agriculture and forestry. The main route of exposure to humans is through the consumption of food. Both short-term and long-term studies have concluded that lindane was toxic to the kidney and liver regardless of route of exposure.

Mercury

Mercury is an element that naturally occurs in rocks, soil, water, air and living beings. Short-term exposure can cause skin rashes, diarrhoea and respiratory distress. Long-term exposure can cause muscle tremors, irritability, personality changes and rashes.  Mercury can also cause nerve damage and may cause a loss of sensitivity in the hands and feet, difficulty walking or slurred speech. Mercury consumption can also cause paralysis or death in rare cases.

Nitrate

Nitrate ions occur naturally as part of the nitrogen cycle and are used as inorganic fertilisers. Nitrates can also be used in the production of explosives and glass making. Nitrogen can infiltrate both surface and groundwater due to agricultural use. When high levels of nitrates have reduced to nitrites, the nitrites may cause illnesses such as methaemoglobinaemia, congenital malformations, goitre, cancer and more.

Oxamyl

Oxamyl is a pesticide used to control insects and mites on a variety of crops, as well as on tobacco and in plant nurseries. Short-term exposure to the chemical will lead to tremors, salivation and tearing due to interference with nerve function. Oxamyl will decrease body weight if exposure id long term. It is recommended by the US Environmental Protection Agency to use granular activated charcoal to remove oxamyl from your drinking water.

Pentachlorophenol

Pentachlorophenol is a synthetically manufactured chemical, which takes the form of a clear crystal. Pentachlorophenol is used as a pesticide and wood preservative. Currently, sale and use of the chemical is restricted and it is unavailable to the general public. Exposure to pentachlorophenol causes issues with liver, kidneys, blood, lungs, nervous system, immune system, and gastrointestinal tract.

Pesticides

Pesticides is a term used to describe a range of chemicals that are used to treat pests like weeds and insects. These chemicals include herbicides, disinfectants, fungicides, insecticides, natural and biological pesticides, repellents, and rodenticides. Level of pesticide contamination in water can vary from month to month and from season to season. All pesticides have some toxicity to them, levels of which vary between products; the effect of them on human health would vary depending on the consumed chemical and dosage. Charcoal filters and reverse-osmosis treatments can be used to remove or minimise pesticides in drinking water at home.

Petrochemicals

Petrochemicals is a term for a variety of compounds that can be derived from the petroleum refinery products. One is the most common ones are xylene, styrene, toluene, parabens and bisphenol A. A lot of these are known neurotoxins and have an adverse effect on human health; many of them accumulate in tissues/organs and cause brain, nerve and liver damage, as well as birth defects, cancer, asthma and hormonal disorders. Long term exposure leads to skin irritation, ulcers and allergic dermatitis. Please refer to individual contaminants to learn more about them individually.

Pharmaceuticals

Pharmaceuticals is a term for chemicals (both natural and synthetic) that exist in a variety of drugs, for example, prescription and over-the-counter drug as well as veterinary medicine. Pharmaceuticals penetrate surface water and drinking water through raw sewage and wastewater discharges. Consumption of water with a low concentration of pharmaceuticals is extremely unlikely to cause any significant adverse health impacts on humans. Some advanced water treatment processes target specific pharmaceuticals compounds and can achieve high removal rates (above 99%), namely, ozonation, advanced oxidation, activated carbon and membranes (e.g. nanofiltration, reverse osmosis).

Phenol

Phenol is obtained through a distillation of coal and mainly used in the production of plastics, pharmaceutical products, as a general disinfectant and in consumer products such as mouthwashes, gargles and throat sprays. Phenol gets into the water following release from the manufacture, use and disposal of phenol-containing products, and by travelling through the soil. Consumption of ethanol can lead to gastrointestinal irritation, cardiac dysrhythmias and cardiovascular shock, respiratory distress, renal failure, dark urine, a variety of neurobiological effects, as well as coma and death.

Plumb

Plumb consists of lead and other heavy metals. It gets in the water through corrosion of household plumbing. Lead is highly toxic and may cause delays in physical and mental development in infants, as well as a variety of kidney problems and blood pressure issues in adults.

Pollen

Pollen is a fine powder of yellowish grain-like pores, originating from the fertilizing element of flowering plants. Pollen absorb heavy metals from the air and can have an indirect effect on human health when consumed.

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) are synthetic chemicals and do not naturally appear in the world. 130 variations of PCBs were identified in commercial use as dielectric and heat exchange fuel. Humans are exposed to PCBs via air, drinking water and food. Toxicological effects include progressive weight loss, effects on liver, skin, immune system, the gastrointestinal tract, the reprodactive system, oedemas, thyroid gland disturbances, as well as induction of cancer and, in acute cases, death.

Protozoan Parasites

Protozoa pathogens are the most common underlying causes of infections and diseases in humans and animals; they are also responsible for “emerging diseases”, such as cryptosporidiosis. The pathogens produce disinfection-resistant cysts, oocysts or eggs, which are transmitted by water and can be challenging to filter out. Effects on the human health and organs involved will vary depending on the pathogen.

Radium

Radium exists in several forms of isotopes, which naturally occur during the breakdown process of uranium and thorium. It is a radioactive metal, which is silvery-white in colour and can be found at very low levels in most rocks and soil. Radium is released into the atmosphere via coal combustion, which can later also contaminate soil as a fallout of coal fly ash; the metal contaminates water as the result of leaching of uranium mine tailings. Long term inhalation of the particles leads to acute leukopenia. Long-term ingestion of radium leads to bone sarcomas, carcinomas of the perinasal sinuses and mastoid air cells, deterioration of skeletal tissue and death.

Radon 222

Radon 222 is the most common isotope of radon, which is a noble gas and occurs naturally as a part of radioactive decay of radium. Humans are exposed to the radon mainly via radon-contaminated soil; however, exposure can also occur from air and drinking water. Induction of lung cancer is the only effect that radon exposure has on human health.

Silver

Silver occurs naturally in nature and is a by-product of the retrieval of copper, lead, zinc, and gold ores. The metal is commonly used to make jewellery, silverware, electronic equipment, and dental fillings. Silver is known for its antibacterial qualities and is often used to disinfect drinking water and water in swimming pools. A number of products that help to quit smoking, such as lozenges and chewing gum, were noted to contain silver. Everyone is exposed to a very low amount of silver daily through food, water, air and wearing jewellery. Exposure to a large amount of silver can cause respiratory irritation, abdominal pain, skin discolouration and burns, and weight loss.

Styrene

Styrene is an easily evaporating colourless synthetic chemical, which is often presented in a form of liquid with a sweet aroma. The chemical is known under other names: vinylbenzene, ethenylbenzene, cinnamene, or phenylethylene. Traces of styrene are found in food, however, the majority of styrene is generated commercially to produce rubber, plastic, insulation, fibreglass, pipes, automobile parts, food containers, and carpet backing. The production and use of chemical cause water, soil and air pollution. It must be noted that styrene would rapidly reduce in soil and evaporate from water into the atmosphere, which makes air the main route of exposure. Styrene is found in combustion products like automobile exhaust and cigarettes. Exposure to styrene would greatly affect the neural system: partial hearing and colour vision loss, vestibular effects, neurotoxicity symptoms (“feeling drunk” and fatigue), reaction time delays, attention and memory impairment. Last but not least, styrene has been classified as a human carcinogen.

Toluene

Toluene is a clear liquid with a unique odour. It is present naturally in crude oil and the tolu tree. The colourless liquid is also a by-product of various fuels (eg gasoline) that are processed from crude oil and making coke from coal. Toluene is a solvent and is often used in paint and paint thinners, as well as in lacquers, adhesives, rubber and other processes. Toluene is rarely found in food or water and the main route of exposure to the contaminant is through breathing in car fumes and cigarette smoke, and through using various paints and polishes. Minor exposure to toluene can affect the nervous system: weakness and fatigue, memory loss and confusion, nausea and loss of appetite are common symptoms of low exposure. Some occupations can lead to long-term exposure to toluene and would manifest itself in partial hearing and color vision loss.

Trihalomethane

Trihalomethane is a common disinfection byproduct, which occurs when disinfectants interact with naturally present organic matter in water during public water systems disinfection processes. Prolonged consumption can lead to bladder cancer and developmental effects.

Turbidity

Turbidity is a term used to describe the cloudiness of water. The major source of turbidity is suspended fine particles, such as soils, clays and other natural organic matter, which are harmless in their nature. Nevertheless, turbidity may also be caused by the presence of hazardous chemical and microbial contaminants, which will have a serious effect on human health.

Uranium

Uranium is a common radioactive substance, which occurs naturally as a mineral in air, water, soil and rocks. There are three varieties of naturally occurring uranium isotopes: U-234/234U, U-235/235U and U-238/238U. All three isotopes present the same chemical, however, the radioactive effect varies among them. Primary exposure to uranium happens through consumption of food and drinking water, in particularly root crops and unwashed potatoes. People living next to uranium mines, as uranium processing and manufacturing facilities are more likely to have a higher rate of exposure to the substance. In terms of effects on human health, uranium causes kidneys damage.

Viruses

Majority of viruses that are transmitted by water belong to a group known as enteric viruses, which are associated with infections of the gastrointestinal tract. In addition to the enteric group of viruses, water can also facilitate the transmission of other types of viruses. As a result, symptoms, routes of transmissions and sites of infection will change with types of stains.

Xylene

Xylene is a colourless and highly-flammable liquid, which occurs naturally in petroleum and is produced from it. It is used commercially as a solvent, a cleaning agent, and a paint thinner and in the printing, rubber, and leather industries. Exposure to xylene occurs primarily from car exhausts via air; however, the liquid can enter soil and water at hazardous waste disposal sites and through spills. Although xylene is not commonly found in the drinking water, short-term exposure to high levels of xylene results in skin and ENT irritation, impaired function of the lungs, reduced response to a visual stimulus, memory issues, stomach discomfort and possible changes in the liver and
kidneys. Effect on the nervous system is manifested through headaches, lack of muscle coordination, dizziness, confusion, and changes in one’s sense of balance.

Zinc

Zinc is a common metal, which is present in the air, water, soil and all food. Commercially the metal is often used for coatings that prevent the appearance of rust, in dry cell batteries, and as alloys. The major route of exposure to zinc is through consumption of food and drinking water. High consumption of zinc leads to gastrointestinal irritation with vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal cramps. Long-term exposure leads to copper deficiency.

Ancient water filtering techniques

Evaporation in ancient Greece

Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle wrote in Meteorology 350 B.C.E, “Salt water when it turns into vapour becomes sweet”. This is the process of water distillation, that creates fresh water from seawater.

Hippocratic sleeve in ancient Greece

Hippocrates sleeve was a cloth bag that was used to filter water.

Wick siphons in ancient Egypt

A technique can be seen in paintings in Egyptian tombs, when 1500 Ancient Egyptians used wick siphons with alum to filter solids from water.

Future water filtering techniques

Sun powered water filtering

Researchers have developed a similar technique to that of ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, by using carbon dipped paper. 

By draping a sheet of carbon dipped paper in an upside down V shape, so that the bottom ends are in the water and soaking up the water, using solar energy from the sun, the carbon dipped paper heats up and evaporates the water. 

You can find out more at https://www.sunnycleanwater.com. (Buffalo, 2019).

Hydrogel based solar powered filter

A hydrogel is a network of polymer chains known for high absorbency, it’s basically a lot of molecules connected together. 

The hydrogel has both hydrophilic and semiconducting properties, meaning that it has an attraction to water and is solar absorbing. 

It is uses direct sunlight to produce water vapour which is then sent to a condenser to produce freshwater. (University of Texas, 2019).

Nanotech filter membranes

According to (HELIX, 2019), researchers are developing a cost-effective filter membrane using carbon nanotubes and electric charges to desalinate (remove the salt from) salty water to make it drinkable.

Graphene filters

Using an extremely thin form of carbon called Graphene as a filter, scientists have managed to “remove 99% of natural organic matter from water at low pressure”. (UNSW, 2019).

Carbon dioxide injection

Injecting carbon dioxide into water makes it more acidic, this creates charged particles, or ions. 

This results in a positively charged hydrogen atom and a negative charged bicarbonate ion. 

Moving at different rates, the hydrogen atom moving quickly and the bicarbonate moving slowly, a slight electric field is created that attracts contaminants which are either negatively or positively charged. 

The carbon dioxide can then later be moved by being left exposed to air. (Princeton University, 2018).

How do water filter cartridges work?

All water filter cartridge technologies provide different results because they use various different methods such as Active Carbon and membrane filters.

Active Carbon based water filter cartridges

Closely resembling powdered or granular charcoal, Active Carbon is a black substance which collects certain contaminants in a process known as absorption. 

As water passes through an Active Carbon filter, many contaminants within the water prefer the Active Carbon to the water itself and are attracted to it. 

Not all, but many organic compounds such as pesticides, benzene, chlorinated and non-chlorinated solvents, gasoline, pesticides and trihalomethanes are absorbed by Active Carbon.

In addition to organic compounds, Active Carbon can reduce levels of some metals and radon. There are also Active Carbon filters which may potentially reduce levels of lead, copper and mercury.

However, over time the Active Carbon will have absorbed as much as it possibly can and consequently the water treatment will cease when this happens.

Since however, Active Carbon reduces substances that can impair the flavour of water such as chlorinated solvents, the benefit of better tasting water coexists with the benefit of purer water. Meaning that drinking water can taste better after filtration.

Unfortunately though,  Active Carbon cannot reduce levels of major inorganic ions like sodium, calcium, chlorine, nitrate and fluoride. 

To ensure optimal filtration, it is recommended that a blend of Active Carbon is used. This is off the back of a study conducted by The Ohio State University. 

According to (Ohio State University, 2019), after they compared three popular water filter jugs (post filtration), for levels of microcystins in filtered tap water, they found that the fastest water filter cartridges using  “coconut-based activated carbon, removed 50 percent or less of the microcystins from the water”. However, the slower water filter cartridges which “was made from a blend of active carbon – rendered the microcystins undetectable in drinking water”.

Furthermore, according to the (University of Nebraska, 2019), idle Active Carbon filters that have not been used for a number of days are an excellent environment for non-pathogenic (usually harmless) bacterial growth, which can be a concern for young children or elderly people with a weakened immune system. 

To counter levels of bacterial growth, water filter cartridge manufacturers have introduced silver to reduce bacteria, but this is usually only advantageous (if at all) in the first month of use. (University of Nebraska, 2019).

The following water filter cartridges use Active Carbon technology:

BrandPreviewTitleOptions
15 months
Wellblue Alkaline Filter water filter cartridge bundle (blue) (15 months of WellBlue Alkaline) (3 cartridges)
3 months
Dafi Unimax water filter cartridge bundle (3 months of Dafi Unimax) (3 cartridges)
30 months
Wessper AquaClassic water filter cartridge bundle (30 months of Wessper AquaClassic) (30 cartridges)
12 months
PearlCo Unimax water filter cartridge (12 months of PearlCo Unimax) (12 cartridges)

Membrane based water filter cartridges

Water filter cartridges which include a membrane, tend to remove particles which are hard to see by the naked eye or are in fact invisible to the naked eye. 

The membrane has a porous structure (has small holes) that water can easily pass through but contaminants become trapped in the membrane. (Auburn, 2019).

Water filter cartridges vs commercial water suppliers

The big question now is, if various different water filter cartridges can process and purify drinking water, why isn’t this part of the water treatment process in water that is delivered to our homes?

It’s a very logical question, but it disregards several things. 

The network of pipes that deliver our water could become damaged over time or contain bacteria that enter the water flow post-treatment. 

If your home is old, it could use lead pipes which can contaminate the tap water.

Chemicals that are used in the water treatment process, create byproducts that impair the flavour of water.

A water filter cartridge acts as a stop gap when things go wrong!

The following is an overview of the main steps taken in a typical water treatment service so that it can be made fit for human use:

Screening

Surface water contains a lot of different types of debris, such as logs, leaves, trash, and of course fish, etc. In order to remove these objects, a screen is used that lets water pass through but prevents large objects from making it into the water treatment plant. (University of Washington, 2019).

Sedimentation

Smaller debris and particles will make it through the screening stage because they are too small to be captured by it. Water is therefore left to rest so that these particles which are heavier than water will sink to the bottom. Once the particles have sunk to the bottom, the water at the top is carefully removed to avoid disturbing the particles at the bottom. (University of Washington, 2019).

Precipitation

Water also contains many molecules and ions in solution, these are removed by reacting the ions that need to be removed with other ions to produce insoluble solids. These solids can then be removed via sedimentation or filtration. (University of Washington, 2019).

Filtration

Passing water through a porous medium, such as sand and gravel, removes any larger solids from the water that may come about from precipitation. (University of Washington, 2019).

Absorption

Herbicides and industrial waste products are dissolved organic compounds in water that can be dangerous to human health and also affect the taste and odour of water. Active carbon in powdered form is used to collect these contaminants. The Active carbon can be removed and the contaminants taken out with it. (University of Washington, 2019).

Disinfection

The biggest health risk comes from bacteria, such infectious organisms are killed using chlorine. However, chlorine usage results in by-products, some of which are suspected carcinogens. (University of Washington, 2019).

What is the difference between filtered water, regular bottled water and tap water?

To begin explaining this, let’s consider something: the majority of water on planet Earth is dirty and salty.

Let’s also assume that:

  1. You wouldn’t willingly drink water that is dirty or salty because it is harmful to your body. You may have unwittingly tried when swimming in the sea however! YUCKY!

So then, why would you drink water that is contaminated with chlorine, limescale, lead?

Well, you might have tried some water at your local swimming baths before? Not very nice to taste right?

You may also have also owned a rusty kettle, covered in limescale deposits, leaking water everywhere, also not nice? But you’re drinking the limescale right? YUMMY OR NOT?

I mean you wouldn’t willingly drink those things just aforementioned, would you?

Well that’s essentially what you might be doing when you’re drinking water that has not been filtered using a water filter cartridge.

So what might the advantaged be with filtered water? When surely your regular bottled water, tap water or even well water is already safe enough to drink?

You’d be completely right to think so, and expect so, but you’re also completely WRONG.

As we’re going to explain to you right now, exactly why your health could be at risk if you do not filter your drinking water using water filter cartridges.

Filtered water vs. regular bottled water

Environmental impact

  1. Plastic on land and in Rivers and Oceans: Plastic drinking bottles have a purchase rate of one million per minute. (Unenvironment, 2019).

    Some of this plastic ends up in rivers and consequently, our oceans. Land waste is also an issue.

    This results in microplastics which are then “swallowed by farm animals or fish … and thus find their way onto our dinner plate”. (Unenvironment, 2019).

    Furthermore, according to (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2019), in the year 2015 two scientists travelled to a remote island in the South Pacific to carry out a survey.

    What they found after three months was that “Henderson Island was more densely covered in plastic than almost anywhere ever surveyed”, there were a total of 37 million pieces. (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2019).

Health impacts

    1. Microplastics: According to research by Dr. Sherri Mason at (Fredonia, 2019), microscopic particles of plastic were discovered in almost all types of bottled water.

      The sum of which, equated to an average of 10 plastic particles per litre of bottled water.

      According to (Guardian, 2019), “microplastic contamination has been found in tap water” … “European nations including the UK … and the lowest contamination rate, but this was still 72%”. There is currently an average of 1.9 fibers per 500ml of tap water.

      Clearly, we must reduce our dependence on single-use plastics such as regular bottled water.

      According to (Healthline, 2019), “chemicals in many plastic products might be harmful to human health”.

      Additionally, (Time, 2019) also believe that some of these microplastics are “small enough to pass through the body’s protective tissues and into the bloodstream and organs”.

      It is considered unclear what risk this exposure to microplastics poses as a threat to human health, but “they’re implicated in the obesity epidemic and in other metabolic diseases such as diabetes and heart diseases, as well as cancer”. (Time, 2019).

    2. Mineral deficiency: As a result of research, it appears that many brands of bottled water were deficient in magnesium, potassium and calcium. All of which are essential minerals for good human health. (University of Queensland, 2019).

    3. Chemicals: Another study found that 20% of bottled water samples had exceeded recommended levels set by the World Health Organisations, in substances such as chlorine, fluoride, nitrate and more. (University of Queensland, 2019).

Using recyclable water filters combined with a reusable water filter bottle, can help to reduce the environmental impact of single-use plastics. Additionally cutting down on the amount of microplastics overall, and some water filter cartridges are able to filter out petrochemicals.

Filtered water vs. tap water

We’ve already discovered that plastics can be found in drinking water from our taps, when we discussed “filtered water vs. bottled water”.

If you thought that was all, you’d be far wrong again.

According to (University of Michigan, 2019), around the developed world, “tap water is teeming with bacteria”. Not all bacteria are bad, and the water treatment process has the objective to “kill all bacteria”. However, some bacteria are harmful.

Additionally, according to (Mass.gov, 2019), lead can “leach into tap water if the service line that connects your home to the water main in the street is made of lead”.

Also, copper can leak into the water despite regulations and safe levels being tested for in the water supply chain, as not every tap is tested. (Washington University, 2019).

You’re most at risk of copper and lead leaking into your drinking water, if you’re living in an older home with older pipes. It’s recommended that you get water filter cartridges that can reduce levels of lead or copper, if concerned. (Washington University, 2019).

Furthermore, according to (Warwick.gov, 2019), “traces of pesticides can be found in some drinking water.”

Some of the other contaminants that could be present in drinking water include:

    1. Nitrates: as a result of the agricultural use of fertilizers, nitrates can enter drinking water. This can be harmful to young babies. (Warwick.gov, 2019).

      The following water filter cartridges and water filter jugs reduce levels of nitrates:

      BrandPreviewTitleOptions
      12 months
      AcalaQuell Premium water filter cartridge bundle (12 months of AcalaQuell Premium) (3 cartridges)
      4 months
      AcalaQuell Smart 12L water filter dispenser with cartridges bundle (white) (4 months of AcalaQuell Premium) (1 cartridge)
      4 months
      ZeroWater Ready-Pour 2.4L water filter jug with cartridges bundle (white) (4 months of ZeroWater) (1 cartridge)
      8 months
      ZeroWater Filter water filter cartridge bundle (8 months of ZeroWater) (8 cartridges)
      4 months
      ZeroWater Ready-Pour 2.4L water filter jug with cartridges bundle (blue) (4 months of ZeroWater) (1 cartridge)


    2. Iron: iron discolours water but is unlikely to pose a risk to human health. (Warwick.gov, 2019). You wouldn’t want to drink the reddish brown water though, would you?

      The following water filter cartridges and water filter jugs reduce levels of iron:

      BrandPreviewTitleOptions
      12 months
      Aquaphor Classic B100-15 water filter cartridge bundle (12 months of Aquaphor Classic B100-15) (12 cartridges)
      3 months
      Aquaphor Classic B100-15 water filter cartridge bundle (3 months of Aquaphor Classic B100-15) (3 cartridges)
      1 month
      Aquaphor Standard 2.5L water filter jug with cartridges bundle (blue) (1 month of Aquaphor Classic B100-15) (1 cartridge)
      6 months
      Aquaphor Classic B100-15 water filter cartridge bundle (6 months of Aquaphor Classic B100-15) (6 cartridges)
      6 months
      Aquaphor Maxfor B100-25 water filter cartridge bundle (6 months of Aquaphor Maxfor B100-25) (6 cartridges)


    3. Cryptosporidium: “this is a micro-organism found in man and many other animals and can cause a disease called cryptosporidiosis”.

      The following water filter cartridges and water filter jugs reduce levels of iron:

      BrandPreviewTitleOptions
      GRAYL Ultralight 0.473L water filter bottle with cartridges bundle (green) (1 cartridge)
      12 months
      LifeStraw Go water filter cartridge (12 months of LifeStraw Go) (1 cartridge)
      GRAYL Ultralight 0.473L water filter bottle with cartridges bundle (orange) (1 cartridge)
      12 months
      LifeStraw Go 2 water filter cartridge (12 months of LifeStraw Go 2) (1 cartridge)
      12 months
      Cleansui CP305E 2.1L water filter jug with cartridges bundle (white) (12 months of Cleansui CPC5MF)


      However, from April 2000, water companies are “required by law to sample continuously, and analyse daily” to protect the public. This doesn’t make it impossible to enter your tap water however.

But, what about the benefits of drinking purified water that is filtered using a water filter cartridge?

In this section we’ll explain the benefits of drinking filtered water as opposed to drinking water straight from your tap.

Reduced exposure to harmful contaminants

We’ve already shown a list of common water contaminants that can be reduced by using a water filter cartridge under the heading  “What are some of the most common contaminants that can be found in drinking water?” 

A water filter cartridge will remove a number of these contaminants from your water, leaving purer, better tasting and healthier water for you and your family.

As a precaution

If lead, copper or even bacteria manages to make its way into your tap water, and this is 

not at all impossible, the preventative you have would be a water filter cartridge technology that is designed to remove those impurities.

According to (University of Washington, 2019), “water treatment does not eliminate all of the impurities from water” … “he impurities added during the treatment process generally help to make water more suitable for human use.”.

Even after water is thoroughly treated and cleaned, water samples can still contains dissolved species such as ions, dissolved gases, organic by-products of decaying leaves and, industrial or agricultural waste.  (University of Washington, 2019)

What kind of products can you buy to filter water?

Whether you want to improve the taste of water, or increasingly live a healthier life. 

You will probably want to involve the purest, healthiest and best tasting water.

You can achieve this by utilising a water filter cartridge, but which kind of water filter product should you buy?

There are many types of different water filter products but the main ones are:

Water filter jugs

 Here are some of the pros and cons of owning a water filter jug.

They protect your kettle from Limescale buildup

If you live in a hard water area then you might get more limescale building up in your kettle than living outside a hard water area.

But what is limescale?

Limescale is a mineral deposit that is found and in and causes hard water.

Hard water can be softened by a process known as ion exchange.

So how does a water filter jug help?

Using a water filter jug that reduces levels of limescale can help prevent limescale buildup in your kettle as there is less limescale.

BrandPreviewTitleOptions
3 months
LAICA Bi-Flux water filter cartridge bundle (3 months of LAICA Bi-flux) (3 cartridges)
3 months
AmazonBasics Water Filter Cartridges - 3 Pack - Fits BRITA Maxtra Jugs (not Maxtra+)
1 month
Aquaphor Standard 2.5L water filter jug with cartridges bundle (blue) (1 month of Aquaphor Classic B100-15) (1 cartridge)
15 months
AmazonBasics AMWTFLTC15 water filter cartridge bundle (15 months of AmazonBasics AMWTFLTC15) (15 cartridges)
6 months
AEG PureAdvantage PAA6P Filter Cartridge Pack of 6

They are convenient to use

A lot of thought has gone in to the design of water filter jugs.

Most especially they can almost always fit inside a fridge door, they are designed to pour easily and some are even made to remind you of when to replace the water filter cartridge

We recommend looking out for a water filter jug that at least has an electronic filter life indicator.

They improve the taste of water

This is dependent on the water filter cartridges and the personal taste of each individual. 

However, you can see countless reviews online on websites like Amazon.co.uk that suggest that drinking water does indeed taste better.

They remove a lot of unwanted water contaminants

There are lots of contaminants that can cause water to taste bad or don’t really do much good to human health.

See our A-Z index of common water contaminants for more information.

But are there any downsides?

There are always pros and cons to everything. 

It does take a while for the water to filter through the water filter cartridge into the jug. 

The cost of the water filter cartridges is an additional expense.

And if you do follow our recommendation to get an electronic filter life indicator, there’s the cost of a battery coming up!

Conclusion

Water filter jugs improve the quality and taste of water, making it seem “purer” but it takes a while for the water to pass through the water filter cartridge into the jug.

Some of our favourite water filter jugs include:

  1. Aqua Optima Minerva Plus 2.5L

    BrandPreviewTitleOptions
    3 months
    Aqua Optima Minerva Plus 2.5L water filter jug with cartridges bundle (white) (3 months of Aqua Optima Evolve 30-Day) (3 cartridges)


    Starting with the water filter jug we use ourselves, the Aqua Optima Minerva Plus has been a great addition to our kitchen.

    We adore the overall product design, we feel it looks really nice and like a premium product.

    The slightly curved handle is easy to grip, the jug fits in the fridge door, it is quite easy to fill up with water and it has a filter life indicator.

    Pros

    It uses the aqua optima evolve water filter cartridge that reduces levels of chlorine, heavy metals, herbicides, lead, limescale and even pesticides.

    It also has a non-slip base.

    Multi-layered filtration.

    Cons

    The filter life indicator is manual, which needs to be frequently updated by the user.

  2. Brita Marella XL 3.5L

    BrandPreviewTitleOptions
    1 month
    Brita Marella XL 3.5L water filter jug with cartridges bundle (white) (1 month of Brita Maxtra) (1 cartridge)
    1 month
    Brita Marella XL 3.5L water filter jug with cartridges bundle (blue) (1 month of Brita Maxtra+) (1 cartridge)


    Brita are one of the world’s leading manufacturers of water filter jugs and water filter cartridges.

    Brita’s superior products are renowned for their great design and their filters reduce many of the most common water contaminants.

    This water filter jug comes with 100% recyclable water filter cartridges.

    It can store a whopping 3.5L of water in total (2L of filtered water).

    The lid can be easily opening as it has a flip top and it also comes with an electronic filter life indicator.

    Pros

    It uses the Brita Matra+ water filter cartridge that reduces levels of chlorine, copper, lead and limescale. Improving the taste of water and when used in conjunction with a kettle or coffee machine, it can also help to reduce limescale buildup.

    The filter life indicator is electronic, so no need to manually keep track of when to replace the water filter cartridge.

    Cons

    It is quite large and may not fit inside of all fridge doors.

  3. AmazonBasics AMWTFLT2_3 2.3L

    BrandPreviewTitleOptions
    1 month
    AmazonBasics AMWTFLT2_3 2.3L water filter jug with cartridges bundle (black) (1 month of AmazonBasics) (1 cartridge)


    From the world’s largest online shopping company, the AmazonBasics is a highly adored product.

    It has a curved ergonomic handle that is easy to grip, it comes with an electronic filter life indicator which produces a signal when it’s time to replace the water filter cartridge and additionally it fits in the fridge door.

    Pros

    It uses the AmazonBasics water filter cartridge that reduces levels of reduces chlorine, limescale and other impurities. Improving the taste of water and when used in conjunction with a kettle or coffee machine, it can also help to reduce limescale buildup.

    The filter life indicator is electronic, so no need to manually keep track of when to replace the water filter cartridge.

    AmazonBasics is an affordable brand, making this water filter jug an absolute bargain.

    Works with AmazonBasics water filter cartridges and Brita Maxtra water filter cartridges.

    The water filter cartridge is filled with activated carbon made from coconut shells.

    Cons

    The design is not as appealing as the Aqua Optima Minerva or Brita Marella water filter jugs.

Water filter bottles

Here are some of the pros and cons of owning a water filter bottle.

Fashionable

Water filter bottles come in a variety of different designs, you can even personalise some water filter bottles. Make yourself stand out in a crowd!

Environment

As roughy one million regular single-use plastic bottles of water are purchased every minute around the world, purchasing a water filter bottle means that you will reduce the amount of plastic waste you produce. As single-use plastic in all of it forms, endangers wild and marine life, including human lives, it’s time to change our behaviour. (Unenvironment, 2019). 

They improve the taste of water

This is dependent on the water filter cartridges and the personal taste of each individual. 

However, you can see countless reviews online on websites like Amazon.co.uk that suggest that drinking water does indeed taste better when filtered via a water filter cartridge.

They remove a lot of unwanted water contaminants

There are lots of contaminants that can cause water to taste bad or don’t really do much good to human health.

See our A-Z index of common water contaminants for more information.

But are there any downsides?

The cost of a water filter bottle will be more expensive than purchasing a single-use plastic bottle in the short term. This with the additional cost of regular water filter cartridge replacements, could reach beyond your average spend on bottled water in a year. But unless you lose your water filter bottle, the savings will eventually arrive in the long term.

Some of our favourite water filter bottles include:

  1. GRAYL Ultralight 0.473L

    BrandPreviewTitleOptions
    GRAYL Ultralight 0.473L water filter bottle with cartridges bundle (green) (1 cartridge)
    GRAYL Ultralight 0.473L water filter bottle with cartridges bundle (black) (1 cartridge)
    GRAYL Ultralight 0.473L water filter bottle with cartridges bundle (blue) (1 cartridge)
    GRAYL Ultralight 0.473L water filter bottle with cartridges bundle (orange) (1 cartridge)


    This water filter bottle is a great addition to camping or travelling.

    The water filter bottle itself is roughly around 10oz in weight.

    It is BPA-free and is equipped with a carrying loop.

    And, it only takes 15 seconds for water to be purified.

    Pros

    It uses a powerful one press water filter technology that reduces and removes levels of arsenic, viruses such as Rotovirus, Norovirus and Hepatitis A, bacteria such as E.Coli, Salmonella and Cholera, protozoan cysts such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium, Chlorine, heavy metals, Benzene and lead.

    Cons

    It only holds 0.473L of water, while many competitor products hold 0.55L or more.

  2. LifeStraw Go 2-Stage 0.65L

    BrandPreviewTitleOptions
    12 months
    LifeStraw Go 0.65L water filter bottle with cartridges bundle (blue) (12 months of LifeStraw Go) (1 cartridge)
    12 months
    LifeStraw Go 0.65L water filter bottle with cartridges bundle (blue) (12 months of LifeStraw Go) (2 cartridges)


    This water filter bottle is a great for hiking, camping or travelling.

    It has an integrated award-winning LifeStraw filter, that uses an advanced hollow fiber membrane to filter out contaminants larger than 0,2 microns.

    This water filter bottle enables you to drink water safely from rivers, streams, ponds, lakes and even glaciers.

    It protects you from bacteria, parasites and microplastics.

    Pros

    It uses a powerful and award-winning LiteStraw filter that uses a hollow fiber membrane that reduces and removes levels of viruses such as Rotovirus, Norovirus and Hepatitis A, bacteria such as E.Coli, Salmonella and Cholera, protozoan cysts such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium.

    In addition to the membrane, there is an activated carbon capsule which reduces Chlorine and organic chemical matter.

    The award-winning LifeStraw filter’s hollow fiber membrane can purify a whopping 4000 litres of water before it needs to be replaced.

    By purchasing a LifeStraw product, a school child in a developing community receives clean drinking water for a year!

    Cons

    The active carbon capsule needs to be replaced separately to the hollow fiber membrane, after 100 litres of use.

Water filter coffee machines and kettles

First of all, we know you’re probably thinking, “why would I need a water filter coffee machine or kettle when I already own a water filter jug?”.

The answer to that probably is, that you don’t, as long as you put filtered water into your coffee machine or kettle  then you’re good to go. 

Practically no difference whatsoever in the end result.

However, if you’re regularly drinking water at home you might have to keep refilling your water filter jug.

This could become frustrating if you’ve had your filtered water in the fridge all night just to boil it in the morning!

So it might be better to get a water filter coffee machine or kettle.

References

 

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-much-water-should-you-drink

 

https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=85&contentid=P00828 

 

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/big-benefits-plain-water-201605269675

 

https://www.harrisschool.edu/the-health-benefits-of-drinking-water/

 

http://www.chemistry.wustl.edu/~edudev/LabTutorials/Water/FreshWater/hardness.html

 

https://green.harvard.edu/tools-resources/green-tip/reasons-avoid-bottled-water 

 

https://www.fredonia.edu/news/professors-research-bottled-water-achieves-worldwide-audience

 

https://www.augsburg.edu/green/2018/01/17/environmental-impacts-of-bottled-water/

 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/06/plastic-fibres-found-tap-water-around-world-study-reveals 

 

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/how-dangerous-are-microplastics-to-your-health#Toxic-building-blocks-

https://time.com/5581326/plastic-particles-in-bottled-water/

 

https://edu.rsc.org/feature/plastic-waste/3009361.article 

 

https://news.umich.edu/bacteria-in-tap-water-can-be-traced-to-the-water-treatment-process/ 

 

https://health.wusf.usf.edu/post/which-water-best-health-hint-dont-discount-tap#stream/0

 

https://www.mass.gov/guides/is-there-lead-in-my-tap-water 

 

http://dwi.defra.gov.uk/private-water-supply/local-auth/parameters.html 

http://www.biology.arizona.edu/biochemistry/tutorials/chemistry/page3.html s

 

https://www.warwickdc.gov.uk/info/20519/water_pollution/611/drinking_water 

 

https://communityenvironment.unl.edu/activated-carbon-filters-water-treatment 

 

https://outdooraction.princeton.edu/training/guide-water-purification

 

https://www.nap.edu/read/9595/chapter/13#230

 

https://askdruniverse.wsu.edu/2018/08/31/dr-universe-people-ancient-times-filter-water/ 

 

https://source.wustl.edu/2004/08/tap-water-just-as-safe-as-bottled-says-environmental-engineer/ 

 

http://web.sahra.arizona.edu/programs/akyw/carbon.html

 

https://news.osu.edu/buyer-beware-some-water-filter-pitchers-much-better-at-toxin-removal/ 

 

https://extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/WQ/WQ-13.html 

 

https://news.psu.edu/story/281060/2013/07/08/arts-and-entertainment/ancient-filtering-system-brings-clean-water-poor-and

 

http://www.buffalo.edu/ubnow/stories/2018/05/solar-evaporation.html

 

https://helix.northwestern.edu/article/freshwater-scarcity-and-future-filtration 

 

https://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/science-tech/revolutionary-new-filter-can-improve-drinking-water-quality 

 

http://www.biology.arizona.edu/biochemistry/tutorials/chemistry/page3.html 

 

http://www.chemistry.wustl.edu/~edudev/LabTutorials/Water/PublicWaterSupply/PublicWaterSupply.html 

 

https://sustainability.uq.edu.au/projects/recycling-and-waste-minimisation/real-cost-bottled-water 

 

https://news.utexas.edu/2018/04/03/water-purification-breakthrough-uses-sunlight-and-hydrogels/

 

https://innovation.princeton.edu/news/howard-stone-water-purification-less-energy-and-no-filter 

 

https://open.oregonstate.education/aandp/chapter/2-4-inorganic-compounds-essential-to-human-functioning/ 

 

https://ssl.acesag.auburn.edu/natural-resources/water-resources/faq/subject.php?code=310&display=25&page=21