WATER FILTERS\ACTIVATED CARBON FILTERS: ACTIVATED CARBON FILTERS

Activated Carbon (AC) filters are designed around activated carbon, a form of carbon which has been steam-treated. These work by adsorption, mopping up contaminant chemicals which pass through the filter and stick to the filter medium. They can absorb organic chemicals, pesticides and chlorine; many filter cartridges also contain ion exchange resins which reduce metals.

Suppliers will not make specific claims about the levels of contaminants which are reduced. A Which? report in August 1990 showed wide variations in the purity of results from comparable filters. But people who use them report significant improvement in their water quality and say they are worthwhile. People who use plumbed-in undersink or tap filters notice a marked improvement even over jug filters.

No AC filters kill bacteria. Filters containing silver are claimed to reduce bacterial growth in the system itself. You need to take care, particularly with jug filters, not to allow bacteria to grow in standing water. If you are concerned about bacteria in a plumbed-in system, run the tap for a few minutes each morning, or after an absence from home, to allow fresh water from the mains to flow through the filter.

Minerals are not absorbed by AC filters, so tapwater retains an acceptable taste.

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