Every water ionizer will have an internal filtration designed to remove chlorine and lead at the very least. These internal filtration systems vary company to company with some removing more contaminants than others.
In this segment you’ll learn the basics of internal water ionizer filtration systems, what to look for and what to potentially “look out for.”
Internal filtration systems are designed to remove contaminants from the water prior to ionization. Most water ionizers have multi-stage filtration systems designed to remove the most common contaminants and most will include one layer of filtration designed to precondition the water for ionization.
These preconditioning elements may be ceramics, bio-ceramics or calcium. Be on the lookout for filters that list calcium sulfite as an ingredient. While calcium sulfite is commonly used as a food preservative and not considered harmful by the FDA, food and beverage items containing calcium sulfite must list this item as an ingredient due to increasing negative reaction to sulfites.
Think about it. The more time water stays in contact with filtration media, the greater the potential for contaminant removal. Larger internal filtration systems will typically have several layers of filtration media designed to address more contaminants common in most source water. For this reason we recommend looking at water ionizers with dual filtration systems.
If you read the details of some water ionizers you will find that there are a couple that actually recommend using an external filtration system for effective contaminant removal. Be sure to read the fine print about filtration – there are even some companies that will void warranties if you cannot prove that you have been using the recommended external prefiltration system.
What Should be Removed
As stated earlier – at the very least your water ionizer’s internal filtration system should remove chlorine and lead. Ideally you want a water ionizer that removes a wide range of contaminants:
- Volatile Organic Compounds
- Trace Detergent Residue
You should also look for internal filtration systems that remove or reduce trace agricultural chemicals that are found in many water supplies.
What is NOT Removed
Fluoride is very difficult to remove from source water and for this reason, no respectable water ionizer company will claim that their internal filtration system can effectively remove it. While some may have an element in their filters that may reduce fluoride in trace amounts, this substance is notoriously difficult to remove from water.
For effective fluoride removal a separate external fluoride filter will be required. The properties of fluoride make it bond strongly with the hydrogen in the H2O formula. The more alkaline your source water, the more difficult it is to remove fluoride.
If you find a water ionizer company claiming that their internal filtration system effectively removes fluoride from the water – buyer beware.
What to Look For
Look for a water ionizer that has a large internal filtration system. Dual filtration with multi-stage cartridges allow your source water more contact time with filtration media for contaminant removal – and the multi-stages offer a wider range of contaminant removal.
“Preconditioning” elements are a good thing in an internal water ionizer filtration system too. These preconditioning elements naturally alter the water to enhance ionization.
Finding a water ionizer with .01 micron filtration or an option to upgrade to .01 micron filtration increases bacterial removal. Dialysis filtration is .01 micron for elimination of bacteria and unwanted micro-particulates.
What to Look Out For
Be on the lookout for companies that recommend an external filtration system OR have a “will void warranty” clause if you do not use their recommended prefilter system. Prefiltration systems aren’t a bad thing and most companies offer them – you just want to make sure you know what you’re getting with the actual internal filtration – and whether or not your warranty might be at risk if you don’t use a pre-filtration system.
Be on the lookout for companies that claim effective fluoride removal with their internal filtration system. Unless there is a separate cartridge that contains only fluoride and arsenic removal media it is doubtful you will have fully effective fluoride removal. (The filtration media listed by the EPA as “best available technology” for removing fluoride is activated alumina which also removes arsenic)
Be on the lookout for companies that try to “upsell” you something like “UV light protection.” While UV light does kill bacteria, .01 micron filtration removes bacteria before it gets to the ionization chamber. Also, the UV light is smaller than an eraser tip and only “treats” the water in one area of the ionization chamber. Finally, there is no way to determine if the UV light is actually working – and water treatment companies know that just because the bulb still works does not mean that it is still operating within the UV range.