Carbon Filtration

(TREATS: Fishy Oily / Radon / PFAS / THMs & Haloacetic Acid)

What is carbon filtration?

Carbon filters, like all water filters, are barriers that capture substances that contaminate your drinking water. Ancient Egyptians were the first to discover carbon’s detoxifying powers. Carbon is still used today to remove contaminants from water in addition to making foods and beverages taste and smell better.

How does a carbon filter work?

Carbon filters remove contaminants through adsorption. Absorption soaks up particles like a sponge to water. Adsorption adheres particles to a surface like a piece of Velcro. Organic compounds bond or stick to the surface of a carbon filter because water and contaminants are both polar compounds that attract one another.

Carbon filters are extremely porous and have a large surface area, making them effective at reducing bad tastes, odors, and other particles in water. A carbon filter acts as a parking lot with pores for parking spaces for contaminants as water flows through. The tiny pores are measured in microns. The smaller the micron, the finer the filtration. Low flow rate and pressure give contaminants more time to park or adhere to the carbon. The more contact time water has with the surface of a carbon filter, the more efficient the filtration.

What’s inside a carbon filter?

  • Bituminous coal
  • Wood-based media
  • Coconut shell media

Of the three types of filter media, coconut shell carbon is the most renewable. This type of carbon is made from the shell of a coconut rather than the meat inside, so it doesn’t cause allergic reactions or flavor water. Wood-based carbon is made from burned wood ground into a granule and resembles what the ancient Egyptians would have used. Bituminous coal used less frequently today since traces of arsenic have been discovered in the media.

What is activated carbon and how does it filter water?

Carbon is activated by heat or steam. The activation process opens the pores of a carbon filter, increasing the surface area and giving the carbon more capacity to hold contaminants. All the carbon filters we supply are made from activated carbon in the form of granular activated carbon (GAC), carbon block, or radial carbon filters.

Are carbon water filters safe?

Carbon water filters are safe, especially if they’ve been rated by a third party for material safety. All carbon filters are rated for CTO (chlorine, taste, and odor) removal, and sub-micron carbon blocks remove other contaminants like lead or cysts. Activated carbon block filters with sub-micron ratings go above and beyond to remove additional particles through mechanical filtration. Mechanical filters work like a screen door– they keep unwanted elements out and let clean water through. Pores of a carbon block filter that measure less than one micron are too small for cysts to pass through.

What do activated carbon filters remove?

According to EPA (the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States) Activated Carbon is the only filter recommended to remove all 32 identified organic contaminants including Trihalomethanes (THMs – by-products from chlorine). In addition Carbon can remove all 14 listed pesticides and 12 herbicides. Carbon filtration is also effective at removing a variety of odors and bad tastes from the water. It does not, however, remove everything from the water, including “dissolved solids” such as iron, copper, sodium, lead or Arsenic

Activated carbon filters are best at removing chlorine and bad tastes or odors, but may be certified to remove other contaminants.

Activated carbon and chlorine

Removing chlorine is the most common reason to use a carbon filter. Chlorine makes your food, beverages, and drinking water nasty and emits a gas that you inhale in the shower. Chlorine does not adhere to carbon. Instead, a carbon filter removes chlorine through a chemical reaction. Activated catalytic (more reactive) carbon chemically alters the chlorine molecules, converting them into a chloride.

TrueWaterQuality offers a variety of Carbon Filtration solutions including the Entipur Carbon Filter


Twin Tank Carbon System

For more information or service please contact us at: 978-212-9191 or email us:

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