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The Ultimate Guide To Home Water Filtration

Home Water Filtration

Do you think tap water in the US is safe to drink? Think again!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 2,500 instances of Cryptosporidiosis, over 18,000 cases of Giardiasis, and over 6,000 cases of Legionnaires’ disease were recorded in the United States in 2019. 

Seniors, infants, toddlers, and pregnant women are at the highest risk. So, what’s the solution? 

Home Water filtration. But without proper knowledge of different filtration methods, you’ll be unable to pick the right system for your home.

And that’s why we are here with this massive guide. So, let’s dive right in! 

What Are The Modern Methods Of Home Water Purification?

Filtration methods How it works Pros Cons Cost estimates (in $)
Sediment filtrationWater filtration through a filter media.Efficient
Clogging, Limited flow rate$50-200
Carbon filtrationUsing activated carbonVersatile
Easy to install
Finite lifespan, disperse tiny carbon fines $50 to $150
Activated AluminaUsing activated aluminaVersatile, Durable, and stableCostly than other$20 to $30
AerationIntroducing air in waterCost-effective, environment-friendly Less energy-efficient, less effective sometimes$50-$300
Oxidizing Media  Using mediums like Hydrogen peroxide, and chlorineLasts long, low-maintenanceRelease undesirable contaminants$50-$500
KDF Using a mixture of copper and zincLong lifespan, compatible with other filtersExpensive, difficult to maintain$30 to over $200.
Potassium PermanganateUsing KMnO4Enhance flavor and appearance. Leaves skin discolored, leaves purple residue$10- $20
Also Read: What’s The Difference Between Water Filter And Water Softener?

Sediment Filtration

Sediment filters are frequently used as a pre-treatment step in-home water purification systems. They effectively remove large particles before the water is treated with reverse osmosis or activated carbon filtration. 

A Sediment pre-filter can be made of polypropylene or cellulose and come in various forms, such as filter cartridge, bags, and pleated elements.

The benefits of sediment filtration include:

  • Efficiency: Sediment filtration removes most sediments, such as dirt, sand, and other debris, from water.
  • Low maintenance: Sediment filters require little upkeep because they can be easily removed, cleaned, and replaced.
  • Cost-effective: Sediment filtration is a low-cost approach to water purification.

Some cons of sediment filtration include:

  • Limited removal of contaminants from water: Dissolved pollutants, such as chemicals and bacteria, are not effectively removed by sediment filtering.
  • Clogging: Sediment filters can become clogged with sediment over time, limiting their efficacy and requiring replacement or cleaning.
  • Limited flow rate: Sediment filters have a low flow rate and are ineffective in treating large water volumes.

Price Range:

Pricing can vary from $50 to $200 for a small, point-of-use system for a single faucet or shower head. Prices for a house water filtration system typically fall between $800 and $2,000.
Additional features, such as automatic backwashing and the need for professional installation, can all add to the price of a filtration system.

Carbon Filtration

A Carbon filter can eliminate chlorine, filter bacteria, chloramines, volatile organic compounds A (VOCs), and pesticides. It uses an activated carbon block filter to absorb and bind all harmful substances to get clean water. 

The pros of carbon filtration include the following:

  • Carbon filters are excellent at removing a wide variety of harmful contaminants from water, including chlorine, chloramines, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), harsh chemicals, pesticides, and more.
  • Carbon filters can also enhance the water’s flavor and aroma by filtering out chlorine from water and other chemicals that contribute to an unpleasant aftertaste.
  • Carbon filters are a popular option for both commercial industries and residential settings due to their low cost and ease of installation.
  • Carbon filters are versatile in point-of-use and point-of-supply systems.

Carbon filtration’s downsides:

  • Carbon filters have a finite lifespan and will need to be replaced at various intervals depending on the quality of the water filtered and the filter’s design.’’
  • Contaminants like bacteria, viruses, and heavy metals may resist carbon filtration systems.
  • Some carbon filters disperse tiny carbon fines into the water supply, which can clog fixtures and appliances.

Price Range:

Carbon filtration costs can change based on the filtration system’s tank size, filter capacity, the type of carbon used, and the filtered fluid. Carbon filters can cost from $20 to $50, while POS filtration systems can cost from $300-$1000, depending on their capacity.

Activated Alumina

When water is filtered using activated alumina, it first runs through a bed of tiny beads. Fluoride, arsenic, heavy metals, and radioactive materials are all adsorbed onto the surface of the beads as water flows through the bead bed, giving customers healthy water.


  • High adsorption capacity: Activated alumina has a large surface area, which allows it to effectively remove impurities such as fluoride, arsenic, and heavy metals.
  • Durable and stable: Activated alumina is highly stable and durable, making it well-suited for water filtration systems. 
  • Versatile: Activated alumina is used in other applications such as air and gas purification, catalyst, and desiccant.


  • Cost: When used on a large scale, activated alumina filtration might be more costly than other filtering methods.
  • Bead replacement: Depending on the water quality and flow rate, you’ve to replace beads at varying intervals, which might increase the total cost.
  • Limited removal of certain impurities: Activated alumina is most effective at removing fluoride, arsenic, and selenium and may not be effective at removing other potential contaminants.

Price Range:

The price of an activated alumina water filter may range from $20 to $30 for small shower filters to $100 or more for a whole-house water filter. 


Air is introduced into the water during the aeration process to boost dissolved oxygen concentration. This method filters out harmful gases like carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide while simultaneously encouraging the development of microbes that helps to degrade contaminants.


  • Cost-effective: Aeration is a relatively inexpensive water treatment process compared to other methods.
  • Environmentally friendly: Aeration does not require chemicals to reduce contaminants, making it a more environmentally friendly option.
  • Versatile: Aeration can be used for both surface water and groundwater.


  • They can be less effective at removing certain contaminants, such as bacteria, viruses, inorganics, and hard water minerals like calcium and magnesium.
  • Aeration water filters require a considerable amount of electricity to operate, making them less energy-efficient than other filters.

Price Range:

A basic aeration home water filter can cost anywhere from $50 to $300. More advanced or higher-capacity models can cost significantly more. The most basic aeration house water filter system can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $10,000.

Oxidizing Media

The most common oxidizing media include hydrogen peroxide and chlorine which are introduced to the filter in the form of a granular material. When water flows through a filter, contaminants are oxidized upon contact with the medium and filtered out, giving us cleaner water. 

There are many benefits to using an oxidizing medium water filter, including the following:

  • Oxidizing media filters are very efficient in removing contaminants like iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide from well water.
  • It’s easy to maintain as you rarely need to replace the medium. Hydrogen peroxide filters last for 10-15 years.
  • Oxidizing media is used with other filtration media for a more comprehensive approach to water treatment.

The disadvantages are:

  • You may need to remove oxidation products which can be an added hassle.
  • Can have chlorine taste instead of good-tasting water.
  • Oxidizing media can be relatively expensive, especially for larger systems.

Price Range:

On average, these filters can cost anywhere from $50 to $500 or more. Bigger and more advanced oxidizing media whole-house filtration systems may cost upwards of $10,000 on average. 


Kinetic Degradation Fluxion (KDF) is used to purify water by mixing copper and zinc. The electrochemical interaction between the metals and the water contaminants makes the procedure effective at removing the impurities and oxidizing the metals.

KDF filtration is often used in water filters and purifiers because of its efficiency in removing contaminants such as heavy metals, chlorine, organic pollutants, and microorganisms.

There are a few benefits and drawbacks of using KDF (Kinetic Degradation Fluxion) water filters:


  • Removal of heavy metals, microorganisms, and chlorine, among other impurities, is done effectively.
  • Compatible with other filtering technologies, such as carbon filters, for a complete purification process.


  • It can be relatively expensive compared to other water filters. 
  • KDF filters are ineffective at removing certain contaminants, such as viruses, fluoride, and some industrial chemicals. 
  • KDF filters require regular maintenance, such as cleaning or replacing the media, to continue working effectively. 

Price Range:

 KDF water filters range in price from about $30 to over $200. While a KDF shower head filter can cost $30, a whole-house KDF filter can be priced at $800 or more.

Potassium Permanganate

The chemical compound potassium permanganate (KMnO4) disinfects water by killing bacteria, viruses, and other microbes. Because of the chemical’s oxidizing properties, microbes are destroyed and can no longer multiply, and the chlorine and iron in the water are rendered harmless.


  • Since potassium permanganate is a strong oxidant, it is very efficient against iron & manganese, bacteria, and other waterborne microbes.
  • It improves water’s unpleasant tastes and appearance.
  • It’s simple to set up and operate and doesn’t cost too much.


  • Potassium permanganate is dangerous if taken more than 10g; thus, you must use it cautiously.
  • Potassium permanganate can cause staining of clothes and skin if not used correctly.
  • As a side effect, it sometimes leaves a stubborn purple stain behind.

Price Range:

The price of potassium permanganate might vary from a few cents to a few dollars per pound, depending on the vendor and the order’s total weight. In addition, equipment, human resources, and monitoring costs will differ based on your application.

DIY Method: Boiling Water 

Water purification by boiling involves heating the water to its boiling point, which is usually approximately 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit), to destroy any microbes or bacteria that may be present. 

This approach removes most pathogens, including protozoa, bacteria, viruses, and certain cysts. In addition, it is a simple and affordable technique to get water for drinking.

Still, it does not successfully eliminate dissolved compounds or heavy metals or enhance the water’s flavor or odor.

How Do I Choose a Water Filter for My Home?

Test Your Home Water Supply

Determine what specific contaminants are present in your water, such as lead, chlorine, or bacteria, and choose a filter specifically designed to remove those contaminants.

Local health agencies often do water testing themselves or might provide recommendations for reliable labs.

You may also buy a home test kit to check for various pollutants in your water supply. You can get these kits at any hardware or home improvement shop.

Find Your Water Filter Type as per Your Needs

Several water filters are available, including activated carbon filters, reverse osmosis, and ultraviolet filters. Each type of filter removes different contaminants. So choose one or a combination that addresses the specific contaminants in your water.


Reputable organizations like NSF International (NSF) and the Water Quality Association (WQA) examine manufacturers’ claims on contaminant removal and issue certifications. Always check such credentials before buying any water filter to be double-sure.

Home Water Filtration FAQs

How many types of water filters are there?

There are several types of water filters, including activated carbon filters, reverse osmosis filters, ultraviolet (UV) filters, ceramic filters, and multi-stage filters. Each type of filter uses a different method to remove impurities from water.

What should I look for in a home water filtration system?

The type of filter best for a particular application depends on the specific contaminants that need to be removed from the water. Always check if the filter you buy is designed to eliminate the harmful chemicals in your water.
Other factors you should check include the following:

1. Water filtration capacity [can it satisfy all my home water needs (for whole-house) or at a specific point-of-use like the bathroom kitchen?]
2. Water flow rate
3. Ease of installation & maintenance

Is a whole house water filtration system worth it?

It depends on the quality of your municipal water supply. POU water filters will do your job if your households water only has aesthetic impurities like excess chlorine. But if your water has dangerous levels of heavy metals and microbes, better install whole house filters as they’ll offer a complete solution for all water needs-cooking, laundry, bathing, and drinking.

Mind you, whole house water filters require significant investment, so consider all factors before buying one.

What is the cheapest way to purify water?

One of the cheapest water purification methods is boiling. It’s not complicated; you can fill your water in a kettle and boil it for atleast one minute to remove all bacteria and impurities. Then, let it cool down before drinking it.

Other inexpensive methods include water purification tablets, fruit peels, or DIY sediment filters.

Is filtered water better than bottled water?

No. Bottled water is simply treated water packed in plastic bottles. They can contain microplastics and are unjustly expensive. Installing a water filter will be much cheaper than packaged water in the long run. In addition to this, it’s safer and purer.

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