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When it comes to water filtration, generally customers seek the highest level of filtration possible. But with a little research, it becomes clear that not all water filters remove all or even most contaminants. And each type has its advantages and drawbacks.
One such technology that, while very thorough in terms of contaminant removal, has serious drawbacks, is Reverse Osmosis.
Now to be clear, there are some water sources for which Reverse Osmosis will create good drinking water when virtually nothing else will (of course, distillation is always an option as well but usually isn't practical because of power consumption and the slow rate of production).
More and more, however, we hear from customers who want to get away from reverse osmosis systems while still getting a high level of contaminant reduction.
The reasons are obvious. One, it's expensive to maintain RO since there's so many components that wear out a different rates. Two, the water it produces is naturally acidic and mineral deficient, which is a bigger and bigger concern among customers. Three, it produces a ton of wastewater for each gallon of good water, which is a concern in areas where there is drought or water rationing (such as California). Recently we wrote and entire piece on the Best Alternatives to Reverse Osmosis and the reasons why people want to avoid it.
So with RO out of the picture, the field is narrowed quite a bit in terms of choosing a water filtration system. But in reality there are some contaminants that may be in your water that are more concerning than others.
Arsenic is one such contaminant. It's toxic and dangerous in low concentrations (just 10 parts per billion is the top limit set by the EPA for safety).
The challenge is removing it. It's one of those contaminants that's really, really hard to effectively reduce. RO generally handles it well, but when you look for other systems that can do it without the drawback of reverse osmosis, it's tough.
First of all, many systems claim to reduce or remove arsenic, without any certifications or testing to validate those claims. I've personally seen testing done on a pitcher filter that claimed to reduce arsenic by 90%+, when in real life it reduced it by only 17%. This is common, unfortunately, among water filters that are not certified by NSF. They get away with ridiculous claims that put peoples' health at risk.
When you look at the field of non-RO systems that are actually NSF Certified to reduce Arsenic, it's a slim field.
They're also, in our opinion, far and away the best non-RO systems available anywhere.
The Aqualuxe has the same inner core as the Aquaperform, but has a nanomesh wrap around it that also offers an NSF-Certified 6-factor reduction of bacteria (99.9999%) and 4-factor reduction of virus (99.99%). If you're looking for the absolute highest quality non-RO water filter available anywhere, the Aqualuxe is it.
Both the Aquaperform and Aqualuxe are NSF-tested for Arsenic V at 50 parts per billion concentration. That's 5x the level deemed hazardous by the EPA.
If you're on a well with a higher concentration than that I would personally suggest an RO system that's NSF Certified, with an Aquaperform post filter (we can walk you through setting this up and have an inexpensive accessory to connect an Aquaperform with your RO system). This setup is what I would use on a water source with extremely high levels of arsenic. It might seem excessive but when it comes to health, I wouldn't want to take any chances for me or my family.
You might see cheaper systems out there that claim to remove arsenic, but always look for NSF Certification for Arsenic V under NSF Standard 53. It's really the only way to know for certain that a system will handle arsenic. Remember, this is your health folks. The consequences of arsenic consumption can be catastrophic and it's important to get a system with real independent testing and certification to ensure that your family is protected.
Feel free to call us, as always, if you have questions about our systems or removing arsenic.