Activated Carbon Water Filter: What Can It Remove?
August 4th, 2018BlogNo Comments »
Activated Carbon Water Filter: What Can It Remove?

Activated carbon is a natural when it comes to removing toxins, bad flavor, and odor from tap water. The compound is made from wood, coal, coconut shells, and other organic materials treated at extremely high temperatures. But understanding how and when an activated carbon water charcoal filter functions can be confusing, and for some, complicated.

How It Functions

Activated carbon water filters are essentially small pieces of carbon. They’re either available as granular or in blocks, and have undergone strict treatment to make them highly porous. A gram of activated carbon can easily cover a surface area of football field. It’s the compound’s surface area that makes it possible for active carbon filters to function effectively in eliminating contaminants and other unwanted substances.

Aside from its surface area, active carbon water filters have varying capacities in terms of the size of contaminants they can eradicate. These can be anywhere from 0.5 microns to as much as 50 micros. The smaller the number, the better it can filter.

Whenever water flows through an activated carbon water charcoal filter, unwanted substances stick to the carbon leading to a cleaner water output. Its efficacy will depend on the temperature and the flow of incoming water. That means smaller activated water carbon filters should be utilized at low pressure and at cold temperatures.

What It Filters and Removes

Activated carbon is high effective in eradicating more than 100 hundred different chemicals and substances. However, it’s not capable of removing anything in tap water.

Based on reports from an environmental agency in the United States, activated benefits of charcoal is the only kind of filter in the world that can remove more than 30 organic contaminants. The same holds true to more than 20 different types of herbicides and pesticides it can filter out.

Trying to comprehend the aspects of water contaminants can be challenging. Hence, it’s essential to only concentrate on certain problems that one can encounter with tap water.

Water Content and Activated Carbon

A majority of tap water systems in North America and Europe are regulated, extensively tested, and certified for drinking. But in order to make this happen, chlorine is thrown in. This could make the water smell and taste bad. Activated charcoal tablets water filters are great in removing chlorine and its associated odor and taste.

One of the most pressing concerns with tap water is the by-products that come with chlorine like THMs, which have been identified to cause cancer. Fortunately, filters with activated carbon can help remove these.

What Can’t Be Filtered

Even with a high number of contaminants that an activated benefits of charcoal filters can remove, there are some contents that it can’t eliminate on its own.  These include:

  • Acids that have been dissolved including salts, minerals, and other metals not considered to be harmful (ex. iron).
  • Microbiological contaminants such as bacteria, cysts, and coliform.
  • Inorganic substances (ex. asbestos).
  • Small traces of radionuclides.

Activated carbon doesn’t completely minimize Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), which is a measurement used in water filtration. The compound isn’t made to sufficiently remove these known substances:

1. Lead

In buildings and areas consisting of old pipes and soft water, there’s a risk of lead blending in with tap water. A typical activated carbon filter isn’t as effective in eradicating this, but there are specialized filters (ex. TAPP 2) that can effectively remove the lead.

2.Microbiological contaminants

This happens to be one of the most known water issues found in less developed nations. Such contaminants have led to waterborne GI diseases (ex. diarrhea) that most Western tourists aren’t accustomed to. Activated carbon water filters aren’t sufficient enough to eradicating such contaminants.


This substance is commonly found in areas where groundwater is contaminated. While an activated carbon uses water filter can remove as much as 70% of arsenic in water, it’s not enough in places where arsenic is deemed a major threat.

If one’s local water has more of than one of these substances, then it’s imperative to have a filter that would reduce the arsenic to a safer level. For the most part, that would mean mixing activated carbon water filter with other filters like Ion Exchange.

Filtration with Limitations

Activated carbon is an excellent technology for filtering water and solving most issues with it. Hence, t’s essential to understand the fundamental capabilities and restrictions of an activated carbon uses. If one is uncertain of how an activated carbon water filter works, contact the manufacturer or talk to the salesperson so they can answer your inquiries.

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