Chemical Filters

Sick of chemicals in your water?

All tap water has chemicals in it. Just because water is made microbiologically pure by disinfectants, does not necessarily make it optimal for drinking and bathing. If you notice skin irritation, chemical odor, or brittle hair, it is likely you realize the unintended side effects of chemicals in your tap water. Put your mind and body at ease by removing chemicals and compounds such as chlorine, chloramine, fluoride, VOCs, and PFAS with a filtration system for your entire home. Unsure what system is best for you? Consult with a live certified water specialist today by call 800-608-8792

From trihalomethanes to pesticides, a significant number of chemicals can make their way into the water in our homes. With a reliable chemical water filter system from US Water Systems, you'll get cleaner, better tasting water with the chlorine, volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), and other contaminants removed. Our water chemical filtration systems use various forms of activated carbon to trap and hold contaminants, which can then be flushed away in the backwashing cycle. Call our experienced Certified Water Specialists at 1-800-608-8792 for help determining the right water filter for your home.

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Reel with Water

What Chemicals Might Be in My Water?

The composition of chemicals present in your water can vary depending on its source. Municipal water treatment plants often use chlorine or chloramines as disinfectants, which can persist and end up in your drinking water. Moreover, the breakdown of these disinfectants can generate chemically volatile byproducts such as trihalomethanes (THMs), a carcinogenic substance. Although water treatment plants employ multiple techniques to eliminate various possible pollutants, there exist numerous unregulated chemicals in water that do not have legally enforced thresholds.

What is Chlorine? What is Chloramine?

Chlorine is a gaseous element that appears in various compounds. As an exceedingly potent oxidizer, it can induce the loss of electrons from other substances. Consequently, it serves as a highly efficient disinfectant - when living cells encounter chlorine in water, their outer membranes undergo electron loss, leading to disintegration and death. Unfortunately, this trait also renders chlorine poisonous to humans and other creatures.

Chloramine is a disinfectant employed in numerous water treatment plants to eliminate hazardous pathogens and bacteria. It is frequently utilized as a substitute for free chlorine since it generates fewer byproducts and lingers in the system for an extended duration, providing added safeguard as the water flows through pipes and into residences. However, chloramine present in water can trigger several potential side effects, such as causing an unpleasant taste and odor.

Chlorine 17 Cl 35.453

Woman Drinking Water

Is Drinking Chlorinated Water Dangerous?

Although chlorine in drinking water can have some side effects, it is generally not considered hazardous in and of itself. Exposure to water containing chlorine, such as during swimming or washing, can lead to dry skin and hair, and cause eye irritation. Many individuals also find the taste and odor of chlorinated water unpleasant. However, when chlorine reacts with organic substances present in water, it can generate disinfection byproducts (DBPs) that might pose a health risk.

One such DBP is trihalomethanes (THMs), a carcinogenic compound linked to cancer, liver and kidney problems, developmental disorders, and respiratory ailments. Unlike other disinfectants, chlorine can be absorbed through the skin and inhaled, making it unnecessary to ingest chlorinated water for it to enter the body.

Apart from the health concerns, the use of chlorinated water can negatively impact the growth of plants and vegetables, altering their color and taste. Chlorine also corrodes rubber, resulting in plumbing parts made of this material potentially failing.

Most experts in water quality contend that no level of chlorine or its byproducts is acceptable in water.

How to remove chlorine and chloramine from your tap water

Activated Carbon is the most effective and affordable process for removing chemicals such as chlorine, chloramine, VOCs, pharmaceuticals, toxins, PCBs, THMs. It can even reduce PFOAs and PFAs. Activated carbon can trap contaminants through a process called adsorption. Adsorption is different than absorption, adsorption is a process where molecules adhere to the outside surface of the carbon substrate rather than soaking into the substrate.

Activated Carbon is effective because it is chemically fertile That is because it has a large amount of surface area relative to its mass. This means there are millions upon millions of pockets and pores that chemicals can adhere to throughout the filtration process. This means that 1 cubic foot of activated carbon can effectively filter tens of thousands of gallons of water at the proper flow rate.

Activated Carbon

Activated Carbon Bags 5 Stars for US Water Systems

Is all activated carbon the same?

There are hundreds of different manufacturers and hundreds of different types of activated carbon used for different industries and applications. US Water Systems is committed to only providing the safest and highest grade activated carbon available on the market.

Manufactured and imported from Sri Lanka, our activated carbon is made quite literally from charred coconut shell remains. This makes it safe, certified, and eligible for food grade applications. There is presently no US-based carbon manufacturing due to environmental regulations. In addition to high quality of the material, the carbon is also washed, meaning it will not be contaminated with fine dust or debris, ensuring the highest quality water upon initial installation.

At US Water Systems, we recognize that municipalities employ multiple disinfection techniques. Some municipalities will alternate between using chlorine and chloramine as residual disinfection. That is why our Bodyguard and Bodyguard Plus filter systems use a special blend of two unique carbons in our systems. Catalytic Carbon, which has a strong affinity for chloramine, and Granular Activated Carbon, which has a stronger affinity for chlorine.

What makes US Water Systems' carbon filtration systems better than others?

The most important consideration for carbon filtration systems is contact time. By giving water a longer and more torturous path of travel through the carbon filter, you can maximize the waters time-in-contact with the filtration substrate. Competitors rely on using smaller platforms with less carbon to either reduce cost or maximize profit. The difference between 2 cubic feet of carbon vs a competitors 7 lbs. of carbon can have an impact on reduction potential by orders of magnitude. Insufficient vs sufficient contact time can be the difference between 40% chemical reduction versus 99% chemical reduction.

Additionally, US Water Systems' Bodyguard Chemical Filter systems utilize a proprietary blend of catalytic and granular activated carbon. This blend maximizes chemically reduction potential and safeguards your water from any changes your municipality may make in chosen disinfecting chemicals. The proprietary blend is combined with a media tank utilizing StackFlow technology, maximizing our systems' ability to remove chemicals from your homes water.

Stackflow US Water Systems
Normal Flow and Backwashing Flow Diagram
StackFlow US Water Systems Diagram

What is the difference between backwashing and non-backwashing carbon filters?

Backwashing Filters

A Backwashing Filter's service flow will always been “down-flow” configuration. This means that water will enter the tank chamber at the top, flow downward across the carbon media, then up through the center tube. On a schedule that you dictate, the filter will “backwash” This will reverse the flow of water, and discharge to the drain for a typical interval of 10 minutes. This will flush the carbon bed of any non-chemical impurities that may have entered the tank. The backwash sequence will also lift and redistribute the carbon in the tank, which prevents a phenomenon known as “channeling.” Channeling is when water forms a small river through the media bed by taking the path of least resistance. This is only a risk for filters plumbed in the “downflow” configuration.

We recommend backwashing filters in homes that are vacant for long periods of time or home that are on well water. The backwash cycle will clean out the tank at a time interval you designate, keeping the tank fresh and preventing the water from turning eutrophic.

If your residence does not have readily available drainage accommodations at the install location, or if you use water consistently year round, or if you are focused on minimizing your environmental impact, a non-backwashing system may be best for you as no drainage or electricity is required.

Non-Backwashing Filters

A Non-Backwashing Filter's service flow should always be in the “up-flow” configuration. This means that water will enter the tank via the center distributor tube, travel downward, and enter the tank chamber through the bottom plate of the tank. This water then travels upwards across the layered media bed consisting of a washed gravel base, KDF-55 Media, granular activated carbon, then catalytic carbon. This upward flow of water fluidizes the media so it will not be subject to channeling as it is working against gravity.

This layered solution allows you to forego the backwash function which allows for a carbon filtration system with zero drain required and no electricity required. The non-backwashing carbon filter is a green and eco-friendly solution for effective chemical removal.

What is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a chemical compound that is commonly added to drinking water in the United States and many other countries worldwide. The purpose of adding fluoride to tap water is to promote oral health by reducing tooth decay. However, the practice has been a topic of debate for several decades, with some individuals and groups voicing concerns about its potential health effects.

Fluoride is a chemical compound that is commonly added to drinking water in the United States and many other countries worldwide. The purpose of adding fluoride to tap water is to promote oral health by reducing tooth decay. However, the practice has been a topic of debate for several decades, with some individuals and groups voicing concerns about its potential health effects.


Little Girl Drinking Water

Is fluoride in tap water dangerous?

Fluoride has been added to tap water in the United States since the 1940s, and today, it is estimated that over 70% of the U.S. population has access to fluoridated drinking water. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers water fluoridation to be one of the most effective public health measures in reducing tooth decay.

Fluoride in tap water is typically added in the form of either sodium fluoride, sodium silicofluoride, or fluorosilicic acid. The concentration of fluoride in fluoridated water typically ranges from 0.7 to 1.2 parts per million (ppm).

Despite its benefits, fluoride in tap water has been the subject of much controversy. Some individuals and groups have raised concerns about its potential health effects, including:

Dental fluorosis: A condition in which the enamel on the teeth becomes discolored or mottled due to excessive fluoride intake.

Skeletal fluorosis: A condition in which fluoride accumulates in the bones, causing them to become brittle and more prone to fractures.

Thyroid problems: Some studies have suggested that fluoride may disrupt thyroid function and contribute to hypothyroidism.

Neurological effects: Some studies have suggested that fluoride may affect brain development and lead to lower IQ scores in children.

How is fluoride in tap water removed?

There are two highly effective methods of removing fluoride from tap water, the most economical solution for whole-house filtration is bone char media. As the name would suggest, bone char media is made from charred and washed cattle bones. The material is food grade and NSF certified and has a strong affinity for fluoride.

If you elect to use this method for your homes filtration, it is important to note that chlorine and chloramine can lead to rapid decay of the bone char media. It is important that a bone char fluoride filter is pre-treated with a sufficiently sized carbon filter, to remove the chlorine and chloramine from the water before it enters the bone char fluoride filter.

For point of use filtration, reverse osmosis treatment is highly effective. Reverse osmosis removes the broadest spectrum of contaminants, removing up to 99% of all solutes in your water supply.

US Water Systems is also the industry leading manufacturer of whole-house reverse osmosis systems.

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