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DIY solutions for toxic tap water

MagazineApril 2009 (Vol. 20 Issue 1)DIY solutions for toxic tap water

DIY solutions for toxic tap water

DIY solutions for toxic tap water

In 2004, WDDTY's sister service PROOF! reviewed nine water filtering and treatment methods, and rated them according to function, simplicity and cost. Here's a selection that are still available

(** = fair, *** = good, **** = very good, ***** = excellent).

GS2 Gravity Water Purifier

Distributor: Fresh Water Filter Co Ltd,

www.freshwaterfilter.com; tel: 020 8558 7495

Price: lb103.63

Rating: *****

Large but portable, this countertop filter system produces 9 L of water using two six-stage filter cartridges-with a 0.5-micron membrane-resulting in serious filter power that removes all heavy metals, pesticides, chlorine, disinfection byproducts (DPBs), Cryptosporidium (a stubborn parasite), phenols and solvents, yet retains beneficial trace minerals and fluoride (although there's an extra filter for removing fluoride if desired). It takes 1 hour to filter 1 L of water.

Pozzani IX 600

Manufacturer: Pozzani Pure Water plc,

www.pozzani.co.uk; tel: 01507 608 100

Price: lb70.00

Rating: ****

Pozzani is a British company that's been making water filters for over 70 years. This version is among the least-expensive plumbed-in systems on the market, and is a relatively simple DIY job to install. The filtration system is a single cartridge, comprising a membrane, an activated carbon plus ion-exchange resin and a carbon block. It gets rid of up to 95 per cent of most heavy metals (lead, aluminium, iron, copper and cadmium), 90 per cent of organic material (such as pesticides and DBPs) and almost all chlorine.

Its advantage over countertop systems (and reverse osmosis) is that it produces a constant flow of water (about 3 L/min). However, to allow such good waterflow, the membrane has relatively large (5-micron) holes, which may not remove all cryptosporidia. (If this poses a problem, Pozzani's IX 250 does a more thorough job.)

4-Stage Reverse Osmosis

Distributor: H2Onics

www.h2onics.co.uk; tel: 0800 298 5031

Price: lb249.39

Rating: ***

This system claims to remove up to 98 per cent of all contaminants-by which they mean the usual culprits, including bacteria. This also includes fluoride, but it takes out all trace elements, too. This DIY under-the-sink installation, like all reverse-osmosis (RO) kits, needs more space than other filtration systems and requires a separate storage tank. With a 9-L capacity, it was the best value RO kit in the survey.

Freshwater Pur-Wa Water Distiller

Manufacturer: The Freshwater Filter Company

www.freshwaterfilter.com; tel: 020 8558 7495

Price: lb246.75

Rating: **

If you want 100-per-cent guaranteed contaminant-free water, this is for you. This product, which has a 4-L tank capacity, offers nothing but distilled water, made in the time-honoured way of condensing steam and passing it through a final carbon filter to improve the taste.

You simply pour your tap water into the device, which boils it and turns the steam into water. The result is no pesticides, no DBPs, no nitrates, no bacteria, no viruses, no minerals, no oxygen-nothing but chemically pure H20 and, some would say, no taste.If you're prepared to put up with that, you probably won't mind having to wait the hour and a half to get just 1 L of water at a time.

This may appeal to very sick people who have com-promised immune systems but, even then, it may have negative health consequences as the slightly acidic water leads to an unhealthy acidic body state.

Tony Edwards


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