Why use Activated Carbon for Home Water Filtration?

If my tap water is safe to drink, what is the purpose and benefit for household consumers like us to have an activated carbon filter? 

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, activated carbon is the only technology recommended to remove all 12 identified herbicides and 14 pesticides, along with all 32 identified organic contaminants. For households, activated carbon has the basic utility of removing chlorine for a purer and better-tasting water. Safe levels of chlorine have been added for disinfection purposes as water travel through to our homes, but being able to remove them before consumption is definitely preferred by most.

Activated carbon is treated to make it absorbent and incorporated in granular form to increase surface area to volume ratio. This quality makes it highly effective in removing contaminants through adsorption. 

Despite initial stages of purification from our public water systems, impurities can still enter our water as it passes though pipes, plumbing and fixtures of variable conditions to each household tap. Depending on the property and estate that you are living in, whether it is old or new, the amount of contaminants and other substances differ. The aesthetic quality of water, its smell and taste, also varies. Commercial activated carbon filters thus act an additional line of defence to some of these common substances that may be present in our tap water:

  • Chlorine and potentially carcinogenic by-products from chemical reactions with chlorine
  • Organic and synthetic materials
  • Inorganic compounds e.g. nitrates, fluoride, phosphates, heavy metals (lead, copper)
  • Naturally occurring compounds affecting smell and taste

Activated carbon filtration has to be complemented with other material technologies to produce premium clean water. At Tomal, activated carbon is the 2nd out of our 5-stage filtration process in our FreshDew series designed for everyday consumers.