The use of a water filter system healthy drinking water in the household is becoming increasingly important. We all know the importance of clean water for the human body. The human body needs at least 2 to 3 liters of water daily

People who work or live in hot areas of India need at least 4-5 liter per day for proper hydration.

Unfortunately, clean water is scarce in India. Due to this fact, many people get sick every year because of water-borne diseases. The risk of getting affected is high among children and old people which can be fatal sometimes. 

In simple terms, the water filter is the system that cleanses the water from dirt particles and pollutants to improve overall water quality. Today, there are countless different systems on the market to filter water, which differ depending on the application area, location, filtering process, focus (pollutant reduction or flavor improvement) and quality.

As an introduction, in this guide, you will know different types of water filters in India. You will also learn how different water filter systems work and how to find the right one for yourself. 

The need for Water Filter System

We all know tap water in India is not clean or safe to consume directly. For this reason, most households either have a filtration system or buy bottled water. 

Do you know we have more than 200 brands selling bottled water in INDIA!

Some of these brands use a catchy phrase like Himalayan pure water or mineral water.

This statement by companies sounds reassuring and gives the impression that it is absolutely harmless drinkable good quality water. 

However, according to the study by the state university of New York. 90% of bottled water sold worldwide contains tiny pieces of plastics. 

If we talk only about India the situation is much more severe. BARC took 90 samples from 18 brands of a water bottle from Mumbai. According to their research, 27 percent of samples contain a higher quantity of bromates than recommended limits by WHO. 

For the complete article, you can check The Times of India website here.

Unfortunately, water from taps in India is also not free of contamination. 

Compliance with limit safe values ​​does not mean that impurities have been completely removed from the water! 

For many highly toxic pollutants, there should be no residues, even micro-small ones, such as lead and copper. 

Who can guarantee that even the small impurities will not affect our health in the long term? Perhaps the official designation as “drinking water” by the government is completely misleading? 

The water filter system at home or work for drinking water can help you to play it safe!

In India, tap water is primarily used as utility water for irrigation, showers, toilet, dishes, garden, and cleaning. 

Quality of tap water is a compromise of technical boundaries, health, and environmental compatibility, economic and political interests. 

Is tap water in India fit for human consumption?

Water is usually treated in water treatment plants. After this, treated water pass through kilometer-long pipelines, which cannot be ruled out as an additional source of contamination. In particular the last few meters in your own building are often problematic.

Also, old water pipes can greatly reduce the quality of drinking water.

As you know most of the cities have one or two water treatment plants. The water from the water filter center has to pass through water feed pipes before reaching our taps at home. In some cases people have bore well at their premises; it still has to pass through your house water pipes. 

Most authorities only check the water at the premises of the water purification center. They don’t take into account that water will travel from an old piper which is often corroded or rusted. There are also chances that water will encounter debris and dust until it reaches our taps. Also in some cases, water can get contaminated due to bacteria, viruses, and microorganisms. 

Most water treatment plants in India are also not up to date in technology. The common method for treating water in these centers is chlorination. Chlorinating water is very efficient in cleaning water and killing microorganisms. But, unfortunately, this method also changes the taste of water. There are also recent studies that prove that chlorination of water is not efficient against some parasites such as Cryptosporidium. This parasite can cause several health issues such as dehydration and diarrhea. 

Therefore, a filter for drinking water directly at the point just before it is consumed is recommended.

Water Filtration Technologies and Types in India

The water filter is based on different technologies and each manufacturer will recommend the benefits of the one on their model. Below we will discuss the common technology or system for water filtration in India. 

The water quality and type of contamination vary a lot in India depending on the region. So the choice of water filter system which will suit your household is important. 

Below we have mentioned which aspects are important and what you should really pay attention to before buying a water filter. 

The most common type of water filters are:

  • Activated carbon
  • RO (reverse osmosis)
  • UV (ultraviolet)
  • Gravity water filter
  • Distillation 
  • Ion exchange filters

Activated carbon filter

The activated carbon water filter is an economical and simple way to clean water in India. Activated carbon as a filter technology represents one of the oldest filtration methods ever. It can work without electricity and chemicals. It can remove many impurities from the water due to its properties by mechanical and catalytic form but leaves all valuable minerals. 

Carbon filters depend on the process of adsorption.

In simple terms, adsorption is a natural process in which the porous structure of carbon traps the molecules in the water. 

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The carbons filters are cheap and very efficient in removing chlorine, volatile organic compounds and sediments. 

Does your tap water smells or taste weird? Well, carbon filters will be highly efficient in solving this problem.

So there must be a catch right? Unfortunately, these affordable carbon filters are not effective in removing minerals, salts and dissolved inorganic compounds. 

Activated carbon block filters are available as filter cartridges for up or under-table filter systems and connected directly to the water circuit. 

You can find many models of water filters using an activated carbon filter. Unfortunately, all of them are not the same in terms of performance and efficiency.

Some reputable brands use bonded block carbon baked at high temperatures. These water filters are more efficient as compare to the ones with loosely poured activated carbon granules. 

The efficiency is better with block activated carbon filters as it has a larger surface for adsorption. Some brands also use an additional silver layer to prevent bacteria growth. 

In GAC (Granulated activated carbon), the surface area is smaller as compared to block carbon.

The most common complaint about activated carbon filters is the efficiency drop after a certain time. Please note that it is important to replace the activated carbon of our filter after a certain time for optimal filtration. 

Advantages of Activated Carbon Filters

High-quality activated carbon block filters have an extremely high absorption capacity and can, therefore, remove any suspended solids and particulate pollutants. 

In addition to rust particles, sand, and asbestos fibers, they can also remove heavy metals, drug residues, bacteria, pesticides, parasites, chlorine, and other organic compounds.

  • This type of water filter is a low-cost water filtration option in India.
  • They are effective in removing bad smells, taste, sediments, and chlorine.

Disadvantages of Activated Carbon Filters

Dissolved ingredients are not filtered, which includes lime (calcium/magnesium) as well as nitrate, nitrite, and ammonium. 

Even dissolved heavy metals and dissolved aluminum remain in the water. Similar to a sponge, the activated carbon block can only absorb a certain amount of pollutants. Therefore, filter changes are necessary after six months at the latest.

  • Not suitable for hard water
  • There is a chance of bacteria growth if not taken proper care.

RO (Reverse Osmosis)

Reverse osmosis is one of the common hyper-filtration processes in India for high-grade purification of water. It is probably the best selling water filtration system in India. 

Reverse osmosis is used worldwide in the industrial production of bottled water and process water (ex. for pharmacies) as well as for the treatment of salty seawater. In this process, the resulting osmosis water contains only H2O molecules and a few small dissolved ions. Therefore, RO is common in many households; unfortunately, there is a lot of wastage of water in this process. 

RO filters are available in the form of kitchen appliances as an up and under-table model. 

Reverse osmosis is an extremely fine mechanical filtration process (also called hyperfiltration). Artificially generated pressure forces water through a semipermeable membrane of cross-linked Composite plastic, which only lets through the water molecules and retains all other ingredients due to their size and the natural phenomenon of osmosis.

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The membrane as such is not a sieve or porous but can absorb water only in their intermolecular spaces. To function smoothly, the residues accumulated on the inlet side must be continuously removed and fresh raw water directed to the membrane.

Advantages of RO Filters

The reverse osmosis technique allows almost complete cleaning of drinking water from pollutants. Virtually all known undisclosed and dissolved foreign substances can be almost completely removed. 

  • High efficiency in producing clean water
  • It can remove up to 95-98% of water contamination.

Disadvantages of RO Filters

The reverse osmosis system’s biggest advantage is the high volume of wastewater. On average one liter of clean water is produced by the RO system using 3-10 liter of tap water. The amount of wastewater depends on water pressure, temperature and model (with or without storage tank).

The pure water by RO usually has a pH between 4.5 and 5.5 and is therefore in the acidic range. Neutral alkaline water, on the other hand, has a pH of 7.0, and even our blood is 7.4. There is much discussion about the health consequences of such acidic water. 

Also, many manufacturers have begun to re-enrich the osmosis water with minerals to give the water a taste as well as a higher pH value.

The very complex and purely synthetic manufacturing process additionally destroys the natural oxygen molecular structure of the water. Living water, on the other hand, has a harmonious and ordered structure of water molecules and should be able to better fulfill the life-giving functions in the human organism.

Due to their technical complexity, osmosis systems require special care and maintenance. Several pre- and post-filters require regular replacement (2-6 months), as well as the artificial filter membrane itself (every 2-4 years). 

The installation and replacement of the membrane by the layman are difficult to implement and require the help of a professional.

Prolonged downtimes or too low water pressure equivalent with no sufficient flushing of the membrane, they can severely damage and lead to bacterial growth even through the membrane. This retrograde contamination is a common problem, so regular disinfection intervals by hydrogen peroxide or chlorine are advised. 

UV (ultraviolet)

UV sterilizer in conjunction with a water purifier, reverse osmosis unit or water softener ensures perfectly sanitized water free of viruses, bacteria or germs. The UV sterilizer is increasingly popular with users who want to consume and use the best possible quality water.

The UV sterilizer consists of a transparent quartz tube illuminated by an ultraviolet (UV-C) neon lamp.

The set is contained by a stainless steel reflective box whose inner coating reflects the waves emitted by the neon (wavelength: 254 nanometers). 

The operating principle of a UV sterilizer is very simple. In this system, water is first treated by a water treatment device (softener, purifier, reverse osmosis unit, etc.), then circulates in the tube of the UV sterilizer.

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UV-C radiation penetrates the heart of the DNA of germs, bacteria, and viruses present in water and destroys them instantly, without the addition of physicochemical elements. 

Simple, effective and without adding any chemical!

The advantages of the UV sterilizer

  • Works without any chemicals
  • Simple installation and use
  • Low operating cost
  • Requires little maintenance

The disadvantages of the UV sterilizer

  • Doesn’t work for minerals and chemicals
  • Requires electricity

Gravity water filter

Gravity filters are the most well-known type of water filter in India. Gravity water filter serves primarily to improve the water in terms of taste and appearance. These water filters are low on cost and easy to maintain. 

Most gravity water filter has two parts. The above part is filled with water which passes through the filter and is collected in the reservoir. The cartridge consists of two filter techniques using granulated plastic resin and loose activated carbon granules. 

The resin replaces the impurity with other ions employing ion exchange in the water.

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For example, the calcium and magnesium ions responsible for calcification can be reduced to make the water softer. Also, loose granulated activated carbon granules are used in combination, which removes odor and taste-disturbing substances such as chlorine and organic compounds.

The advantages of the gravity water filter

The purchase and maintenance costs for gravity water filters are very low. Ingredients such as lime and chlorine are effectively removed, and even heavy metals such as lead or copper are separated.

  • Low cost
  • Removes lime and chlorine
  • Minerals stay in the water

The disadvantages of the gravity water filter

The biggest disadvantage is the limited filter performance. The classic contaminants such as pesticides, germs, bacteria, heavy metals, hormones or drugs are not filtered at all.

Distillation 

Distilled water is common in laboratories and pharmacies where water with a high degree of purity is required. 

Steam Distillation is a thermal separation process in which water is boiled at high temperatures. The result is water vapor, which rises in the device and condensed by subsequent cooling back to liquid water and collected in a separate container.

The advantages of the steam distillation

Steam distillation produces water with a high degree of purity. You can use this process to remove almost all kinds of impurities such as pollutants and minerals.

The disadvantages of the steam distillation

  • Residues of benzene and chlorine can remain
  • Very high power consumption
  • Loss of valuable minerals
  • Great cleaning effort after each application

Ion exchanger filters

Ion exchangers are most commonly used for reducing hardness (lime) or nitrate. The process as such has nothing to do with filtration, but exchanges “ions” with a special resin. In the case of lime calcium and magnesium against sodium ions. The amount of ingredients in the water thus does not change, therefore ion exchangers are unsuitable as sole filtration methods. 

Nowadays you can also find ion exchange filters as water softening filters and deionization filters. These both are a common method for ion exchange and very similar. 

In deionization filters have hydroxyl ions and hydrogen ions for anions and cations. In this system, hydrogen replaces the metals to capture in the beads when metallic ions enter the filter.

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After this hydroxyl ions exchanges the anions which were originally present in the water. Therefore, in the end, you get mineral-free water because of the combination of hydroxyl and hydrogen. 

The advantages of the steam distillation

  • Efficiently remove metal present in the water
  • Efficient in removing the hardness of water

The advantages of the steam distillation

  • Big in size
  • Sometimes water taste salty

What are the main sources of water in India

  • Tap water 
  • Tap water from treated source 
  • Tap water from the un-treated source 
  • Well 
  • Hand pump 
  • Tube Well/ Borehole 
  • Spring 
  • River/ Canal 
  • Tank/ Pond/ Lake

Municipal Water

Most household in the cities has a water source from a local municipal source. In most cases, municipal treats water but unfortunately most municipal are not technologically advanced. In our research, we found that most of them still have a medium level of TDS. In short, we found that this water has a TDS level of under 300 ppm. If you have such a case then we recommend you go for regular Gravity filter or UV water purifiers. 

Ground Water

Groundwater is another common source of water in rural parts of India or if you have your own plot. Most people with plot make tubewell/ borehole and uses this water regularly for the household. 

The problem with groundwater is its high level of TDS. We found that a common rating of TDS from such water is 500- 1000 ppm. In some cases, we noticed the water has high TDS of up to 2000 ppm. For this we recommend you to go for RO filters. 

How to choose the right water filtration for your house

The main purpose of the water filter is simple: it is to get the purest water possible. If you do not want to buy water bottles that are both expensive and polluting, there are other solutions: water filtration systems. Water filters are simple-to-install and come with a variety of features.

Your new water filter can provide clean, healthy and pure water for your entire family. But still, it is necessary to choose an efficient filtration system. To find the right water filtrations system for your house please read below. 

As we mentioned above the supply of water is very different in Indian households. That’s why there are many different types of water filtrations systems in the market. Different types of water filters work on different technology. Hence, one type may be good at removing a certain type of contamination and not others.

Therefore it is very important to understand what kind of water filtration system will work efficiently for your house. The first step regarding this is to check the water quality. The below guide can help you with this task. 

Water test kit

Type of contamination

With water, there is a possibility of having a different kinds of contaminations. Some of the common water contaminants of water from Indian houses are chlorine, bacteria, pesticides, hardness, viruses and heavy metals.

It is important to know that all these contaminants along with the pH of water affect the quality of water. 

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Most city treatment plants use chlorine for disinfecting water but it also changes the taste of water. With water from the ground source, the main problem is the hardness. This makes it dangerous for drinking purposes and can also lead to the buildup of scales. Impurities such as nitrates and pesticides are very harmful, especially for children and old people. 

Selecting the test kit

You can find a water test kit easily from local chemist shops or online from Amazon or Flipkart. Usually, these kits come with various strips to measure a different kind of contamination of water. These strips change the colors and can help you to determine the level of water contaminations. 

Pay attention before buying a water test kit as I noticed some of them are selling the single strip which only measures the pH of water. 

Read the instructions

There are many water test kits from different manufacturers in the market. Most manufacturers provide detail instructions on the use of test kits. 

It’s important to read as you should know:

  • Time the strip should be in contact with water
  • Temperature of water
  • What color corresponds to the level of contamination

Use of water test kit

For using your water test kit correctly, follow the instructions carefully. Keep the strip underwater as mentioned in the instruction manual. You can use a glass of water for this. Now remove the strip and shake it to remove any water drops from it. Now check the results by comparing the color of your strip and the color illustrated in the instruction manual. 

Conclusion on the water test kit

While you check the individual strip from the chart, make sure to write the results in a piece of paper. Also while checking to be sure that you are checking the right strip with the right color illustrated in the instruction manual. 

If some values are coming extremely hazardous, then I recommend you to perform that specific test again. 

Smell, taste, and sight

Using senses to check the water quality is not an accurate way but can give you a lot of information. 

By smell

Smelling the water can help you in differentiating the type of contamination. If your local municipal water treatment facility is using chlorine then there is a chance that you will have a bleach smell. Often this water loses bleach smell after sometimes when exposed to air.

If there are any bacteria in bacteria in water then there is a chance that it will smell like rotten eggs. In this case, we recommend you to take water in the jar and leave it another room for a few minutes. Then smell again to check if the smell is still there. If the smell is no longer there then clean the origin room drains and pipes as they may be the cause of the problem. 

If you smell the muddy smell in water then there is a chance of organic matter decay or decomposition. 

By tasting

Another way to check the quality is by tasting the water. In this remember that you should not swallow the water if it tastes weird or foul. 

  • Low ph level or high level of minerals can give metallic taste in water
  • Chlorine can give bleach taste to water
  • Sulfates and chlorine ions can make the water salty

By using your sight

For checking the quality of water visually, fill the glass bowl of water. Then hold it up to the light and check for cloudiness or any particles. Chlorine can cause wear to the hoses over time and you may notice black particles in this case. With old pipes, another common problem is the rust. If you have rust in pipes you may see red, orange or brown particles.

If you notice that water is kind of white or have cloudiness than it may be the indication of a high hardness level. A high level of calcium carbonate or magnesium carbonate makes water hardness high. 

General cloudiness or white and tan particles indicate a high hardness level. The hardness is usually determined by an excess of magnesium carbonate or calcium carbonate in your water. You should also use your sight to examine the water’s color.

Quality report for water

If you are living in the urban area of India, then another way is to get a water quality report from your local municipality. Under Indian laws, it is necessary for water treatment plants to regularly check the quality of water. You can understand better about the water you get at home by having a copy of the water quality report. 

The problem is water treatment plants only check the quality of water until it leaves the treatment plants. Because of this, you will not get any contamination idea if it happens in the passage. 

Conclusion on choosing the right water filtration

Hopefully, by following the above steps, you will know about your water quality. You will have an idea of what kind of and level of contamination is in your water. After having the idea of level and type of contamination, you can choose the right water filtration system for the home. 

The decision on water filter

In the previous section, we mention the different types of water filter systems in India. You will notice that some water filter technology is better for eliminating the specific type of contamination than others. Depending on your water quality and your budget it is easy to select the right water filtration system for your home. 

For hard water

Hard water is a major problem in most of the part of India. The main reason for hard water is the high level of calcium and magnesium. This can also cause the problem of a limescale deposit. 

Water hardness ppm Parts per million (mg/l)
very soft 1-70
soft 71-125
medium hard 126-250
hard 251-500
extremely hard 501 and more
There are both low cost and expensive water filter systems for hard water. 

If you are tight on budget, then we recommend you to opt for a simple ion exchange filter. These filters will remove the calcium and magnesium and hence reduce the hardness of the water. These filters are cheap, easy to maintain and efficient in removing the hardness. The downside with ion-exchange filters is that they make water taste slightly salty because of the sodium which exchanges calcium and magnesium. 

If your budget is in mid-range then opt for the RO water filter system. They are efficient in removing the hardness of the water. On the downside, the RO system will require electricity to work and also regular maintenance costs. Apart from the money, the main drawback of the RO system is the high level of wastewater from this water filtration system. 

If you are ready to part away with INR 70,000 or one lakh then go for the whole-house water filter system. These water filter systems will help you to provide soft water for the whole house by removing the minerals which cause hard water. 

The benefit of soft water in the shower is that it will make your hair and skin look better after the shower. 

For bad taste or weird odor

If you get the bad taste or weird odor from water then you can choose from following water filtration system depending on your budget. 

You can have an activated carbon water filter if you are on a tight budget. Activated carbon filter comes in different sizes which can filter water according to your requirement. For improving the taste and odor of water, this type of water filter is a sufficient and low-cost solution. 

If you can stretch your budget to 4 to 5 thousand INR, then choose from ozone water filters. Ozone water filters are very efficient in removing bad odors from water.

For a high budget, we recommend the RO system. They are very efficient in purifying the water and improving the taste and smell of water. 

For removing bacteria

If your water has a high level of bacteria then you need a system that can kill them and purify the water. IN this case, you can choose from water distillation filters, UV filters or RO systems. 

In this case, we recommend using UV filters as they are very efficient in killing bacteria and viruses. The wastage of water and maintenance cost is also low with UV filters. 

If you noticed that your water bacteria levels are high after testing it, you should install a filter capable of killing them. There are several viable solutions, depending on your budget.

Maintenance of water filter system

Regularly checking and maintenance of water filter is very important for having good quality water. 

But how to do it? 

Well, you can either call a service guy every 6 months or follow the below steps.

Filters

Filters are a very important part of any water filtration system. It doesn’t matter whether you have an RO system or Gravity based water filter system. After regular use, they need to be replaced for proper functioning. You should check the instruction manual of your water filter to know about the life expectancy of your filter. 

Beads

Just like filters, changing the beads of the ion exchange filter or deionization unit from time to time is essential. These beads provide charge for exchanging calcium and magnesium of water. After regular use, they lose this charge and become useless.

For UV filters

In UV filters ultraviolet rays which are electromagnetic radiation kills viruses and bacteria from the water. These UV rays come from the bulb in the water filter system. You must replace this bulb from time to time. In some models, there is even LED or some sort of warning notification which lets you know that bulb is not functioning properly. 

Benefits of Using a Water Filter

1. Improve the taste and smell of water

Bad taste and odor of water, makes it very hard to use especially for drinking purpose. Many water filter systems in the market are available which can improve the taste and smell of municipal and bore well water.

2. Health

Water is very essential for the human body. Water filter systems can remove contaminants, bacteria and other harmful chemicals from water. This helps you in maintaining your overall health and decrease the risk of getting water-borne diseases. 

3. Environmentally Friendly 

Buying a water bottle is very harmful to the environment. Imagine all those plastic bottles which are harming your nature and choking our rivers and lakes. 

4. No Plastic 

As we mentioned in the above section of this article, bottled water is not exactly pure and clean. In many cases, water samples showed an excessive level of BPA which can cause many health problems.

5. Cheaper

For most of us buying bottled, every time is not an option in the long term. You will not only harm our mother nature but also your monthly budget by this. 

Note: unless you are Virat Kohli who spends a fortune on precious water according to this news 

On the other hand, we recommend you to always opt for environment-friendly solutions. 

6. Health of children

Children can get nitrate/ nitrite poisoning easily. These contaminants are mostly found in municipal water but can also be found in underground water. 

7. Toxins

According to some research, water can have more than 2000 different types of toxins. With the right water filter, you can reduce the risk of ingesting toxins present in the water. 

8. Chlorine

Most municipal water treatment plants use chlorine for disinfecting water. This gives a weird bleach smell to the water. Excessive levels of chlorine can also cause several health issues. With the right water filtration system, you can get rid of this problem.

9. Skin and hair

Hard water is not good for our hair and skin. A regular bath with hard water can make hair fuzzy and also increases the chances of having white hair. With soft water, your hair and skin will be healthier and look better. 

Conclusion

Consuming safe and clean water is essential for our overall health. Buying bottled water is not only expensive but also very harmful to our environment. 

Fortunately, there are many water filtration systems available in the market. You can select the filtration system depending on your water quality. 

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