10 Best Whole House Water Filter Systems 2020 (Review and Buying Guide)

According to a recent stat shared by the World Health Organization (1), every year, globally, 485,000 people die due to diarrhea caused by contaminated drinking water.
This is primarily because most of those contaminants are invisible to the human eye, but they cause havoc when they enter our bodies. For all those who are itching to google a solution, wait up, we have compiled it all for you here. All you need is a whole house water filter system!

In this post, we’ll help you in choosing a suitable whole house filtration system. However, before we tap into these 10 best options, let’s have a look at what it is, and how does it work!

WINNER

Aquasana Filter for House

 

  • Involves all 4 steps of water purification including desalination
  • Removes 99.99% of contaminants
  • Filtration cost of $0.01 per gallon
RUNNER UP

Express Water WH300SCKS

 

  • Tested and verified by the American Nation Standards Institute (ANSI) and the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF)
  • A flow rate of 0.25 gallons per second
  • A pressure gauge on each filter to monitor the performance
ALSO GREAT

APEC 2-Stage Filter System

 

  • Made from superior-quality polypropylene
  • Removes chlorine that can have an adverse impact on health, skin, and hair
  • Removes sediments
  • Filters up to 70,000 gallons of water

10 Best Whole House Water Filter Systems Comparisons

By now, you would have understood the general procedure through which a water filter purifies the incoming water in your house through the mainline. Now, it’s time to choose one that suits your household’s needs.

For this section, we thoroughly analyzed tens of thousands of options available on Amazon and then tested multiple options to identify the 10 best house filter systems for you. It covers all the different categories in terms of stages, quality, and budget. Let’s get started!   

  1.   Aquasana Whole House Water Filter System w/ UV Purifier & Salt-Free Descaler

 

Aquasana Whole House Water Filter System

Choosing the top whole house filter system from the 10 best options that we had deduced from numerous tests was rather tricky, but the Aquasana Whole House Water Filter System with its UV purification and desalination capability left us no choice, but to make it our ultimate favourite.

First of all, after buying this filter, you won’t have to change it every year because it has been designed to last for at least 10 years. It has the capability to filter up to 1 million gallons of water.

It removes almost all the contaminants, ranging from physical to biological ones, including salt. However, it doesn’t remove Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), which are basically inorganics salts and certain types of organic matter. Don’t worry! According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), they don’t pose a threat to human health, they only have cosmetic (discolouration of teeth) or aesthetic effects (color, taste and odor issues), and are usually absent from drinking water.

This product might at first seem expensive, but in the long run, it’s quite cost-effective. If we break down the cost per gallon, it comes out to be less than $0.01 per gallon. While searching for other such systems, we noticed that most of them had almost double cost.

It has a unique up-flow and dual tank design, which ensures that the water flowing through it has maximum exposure to all the contaminant capturing media, thus, resulting in maximum purification and treatment.

Its desalination step prevents various minerals from forming bonds that later result in scale buildup. This is the hard chalky deposit usually found in kettles in which hard water has evaporated. 

Let’s have a look at what particles it removes, and how much!

  • This system is capable of removing up to 97% of chlorine present in the water.
  • Its UV filtration step modifies the cell structure of up to 99.99% of harmful bacteria and pathogens present in the water,
  • In addition to biological contaminants and chlorine, it reduces agricultural runoff such as pesticides, heavy metals including lead and mercury, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and many more.

Water Filtration Procedure

The Aquasana Filter contains the following water filtration steps:

  • Sediment pre-filter: This is similar to what we have explained earlier in the working procedure of filter systems. It removes physical contaminants such as sand, silt, and other such particles.
  • Salt-Free Water Conditioner: This is an optional step. It generally removes salt and is essential for areas where water comes from wells. It reduces scale buildup that can restrain the flow of water from your plumbing system to an extent where it is damaged.
  • KDF Filtration: Next step is mineral filtration through a KDF filter, which reduces chlorine, heavy metals, and restricts the growth of bacteria.
  • Activated Carbon Filter: It removes chemical and radiological contaminants such as herbicides, pesticides, and nitrogen and phosphorus dissolved due to fertilizer runoff.
  • Post Filter: This step is also optional. It removes any physical, chemical, or radiological contaminants left even after going through all these stages.
  • UV Filter: This stage removes biological contaminants such as bacteria and pathogens.

Tips

  • Always tighten filters to their caps.
  • Make sure that the O-rings are at their exact position
  • Replace pre and post-filter after every 1 to 3 months
Pros
  • Unique upflow and dual-tank design for longer and maximum interaction with filtration media
  • Removes 99.99% of contaminants
  • Removes 97% chlorine
  • Per gallon, the filtration rate is $0.01
  • Capable of filtering a million gallons
  • Includes installation kits
Cons
  • A few customers complained that the installation process was a bit tricky.

 

Read Full Aquasana Filter System Review Here

  2.   Express Water WH300SCKS Whole House Filter

 

Express Water WH300SCKSIf you are in the hunt for a whole house system that can be installed within a few minutes without a lot of technicalities, then you should get your hands on the Express Water WH300SCKS Whole House Water Filter. In addition to having an easy installation procedure, it is also the customers’ favourite among numerous e-commerce stores. 

This product comprises three stages that clean radiological, chemical and physical contaminants from your water, after which you’ll have the freedom to drink water directly from the tap. 

Each individual part of this system is made from superior-quality 100% food-grade material, that is, ABS and PCE plastic. The quality isn’t limited to just the housing, the flow connectors are also high-quality industrial bonded ones, which can handle a pressure of 45 to 80 psi, and can flow water at a rate of 0.25 gallons per second. The American Nation Standards Institute (ANSI) and the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) have verified that its components meet their standards.

Its manufacturers have an eye for detail, which is evident from the translucent first filter responsible for ridding the water of physical contaminants. This minute feature allows the customers to judge with ease that whether the filter requires replacement or not. The housings are fitted with a mount made from stainless steel so that the customers can easily install the system. 

Now, for all those who despise the filter-change process, this system’s filters have a capacity to clean approximately 100,000 gallons before they need a replacement. This means you’ll be free from this task for at least 6 and at most 12 months. 

Even when you’ll have no option but to change the filter, you won’t be exasperated due to the simple twist-off housings and drop-and-go filter change procedure. Furthermore, you can also use the three pressure release buttons for this purpose. 

Do you get frustrated when water trickles slowly from the taps? Well, not anymore, because the Express Water WH300SCKS filters the water at the same pressure as that of the mainline. In addition to this, it has a pressure gauge with each filter so you can keep an eye out for any changes, which usually happens when the filter is in need of replacement. 

Don’t worry about the installation, the system comes with a detailed installation manual. Furthermore, the customers shared in the reviews that the installation procedure is quite simple and doesn’t require external help. 

The Express Water WH300SCKS Filter is capable of removing three distinct contaminants.

  • It removes coarse particles also termed as physical contaminants. These include dirt, sand, and rust. 
  • It ensures that your water doesn’t provide breeding ground to various microorganisms such as algae and fungi. It also removes heavy metals, including but not limited to, Iron, Lead, Arsenic, Aluminum and Mercury, and harmful chemicals such as Chloramine, Sulfur and Hydrogen Sulfide. 
  • It removes various radiological particles and contaminates generated as a result of the introduction of agriculture waste, such as pesticides, insecticides, and fertilizers and pharmaceutical waste into the water bodies. 

Water Filtration Procedure

  • Sediment Filter: The first step involves the removal of physical contaminants through a sediment filter made from polypropylene microfiber. It comprises of four layers that stop the coarse particles from moving forward in the system in decreasing diameters up to 5 microns. 
  • KDF Filter: The second step is centred around the removal of chemical contaminants through a KDF85 filter. This one is slightly different from the ones that we have discussed earlier because, in addition to copper and zinc, it also contains catalytic carbon. This results in the maximum adsorption of heavy metals. 
  • Carbon Black Filter: This filter is also known as Activated Carbon Filter (ACB). It is made from highly dense and vacuum heated carbon. This stage removes all the remnants of agriculture and pharmaceutical waste present in the water. 

Setup Specifications

  • All the housings are attached with a stainless steel frame that can be mounted or kept on the floor.
  • All the connections in the system have a diameter of 1”. This ensures that the pressure doesn’t drop and the flowrate stays consistent at 0.25 gallons per second. 
  • Each housing of the filters has a pressure gauge attached to keep their working in-check. 
Pros
  • The system is tested and verified by the American Nation Standards Institute (ANSI) and the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF)
  • Made from 100% food-grade materials
  • A flow rate of 0.25 gallons per second at 45 to 80 psi
  • The filters are capable of purifying 100,000 gallons of water
  • No pressure loss
  • Pressure gauge monitoring and translucent filters to verify when the filters require replacement
  • The whole system is attached to a standing frame that can be mounted or placed on the floor
  • Two methods of filter removal
Cons
  • It doesn’t soften water. 

 

Read Full Express Water Whole House Water Filter Review

  3.   APEC 2-Stage Filter (CB2-SED-CAB20-BB)

 

APEC 2-Stage FilterAmong all the companies that are designing whole house water filter systems, APEC, no doubt, is one of the most versatile ones with multiple options capable of catering to numerous water issues with diverse procedures. It has been serving its customers for the last 20 years, and therefore, has established its name in terms of quality and performance in the water filter industry. In this post, we will discuss the APEC 2-Stage Filter (CB2-SED-CAB20-BB).

As the name suggests, this system includes two stages of contaminant removal, these include sediments and chlorine. Now, most of you would be wondering, why do we need to remove chlorine?! It kills bacteria!

My dear readers, you are absolutely correct, chlorine kills bacteria and is used in treatment facilities for this purpose. However, studies suggest that long-term intake of excess chlorine left after water treatment, also known as residual chlorine, can lead to bladder cancer.

In addition to its adverse effects on health, chlorinated water also damages the hair and skin. Usually, short-term exposure doesn’t have an apparent impact; however, continuous and long-term exposure damages them. The main reason behind this is chlorine rids the hair and skin of their natural oils, which results in a dry and lacklustre texture. 

This whole house water filter system is capable of purifying 70,000 litres of water. Each housing, that is the components that contain the filters, have a dimension of 20” by 4.5”. It is made from superior-quality polypropylene and is capable to withstand varying pressures from the mainline.

The housing caps are also made from the same polypropylene material. The inlet and outlet FNPT ports have a diameter of 1”, which provides ample space for optimum flow. The internal ports that allow the water to flow through the cap into the filter have a diameter of 1.25”.

This system has been designed, engineered, and manufactured in the USA. Unlike the majority of its counterparts, this water filter system’s filters work at once to provide clean and contaminant-free water at a good flow rate. This water filter is not just designed for homes, you can also use it for commercial and residential purposes.

Now, let’s have a look at what contaminants does this filter clean from the water flowing into your house through the mainline!

  • It removes all the coarse particles, that is the physical contaminants from the water. These particles not only have an adverse impact on your health, but they also degrade the filter and your plumbing system. They include sand, silt, dirt, and rust.
  • It removes the odor, color, and taste of chlorine from water left after disinfection in the water treatment plant. The intake of chlorinated water might result in bladder cancer. It also has an adverse impact on skin and hair.

Water Filtration Procedure

  • Sediment Filter: The first housing of the water filter system contains a 30 microns sediment filter that stops coarse particles.
  • Carbon Filter: Even after passing through the 30 microns sediment filter, certain contaminants are left in the water. Keeping this in view, the second carbon 25 microns filter, further removes the physical contaminants such as sand, silt, and clay, etc. through adsorption. In addition to this, it also removes chlorine and volatile organic compounds (VOC); thus, providing you odorless, clean, and healthy water.
Pros
  • Made from superior-quality polypropylene
  • Removes chlorine that can have an adverse impact on health, skin, and hair
  • Removes sediments
  • Filters up to 70,000 gallons of water
  • Clean, clear and odorless water
  • Suitable for light commercial and industrial use
Cons
  • It doesn’t remove heavy metals.
  • A plumber might be required for installation.

 

Read Full APEC 2-Stage Filter Review Here

  4.   Home Master HMF2SmgCC Whole House Two-Stage Filtration System

 

Home Master HMF2SmgCC Does your water come from the municipal city water supply? If yes, then you need a system that is capable of cleaning sediments, chlorine, chemicals, and certain hardness minerals. One of the best whole house water filters system for such water purification is Home Master HMF2SmgCC Whole House Two-Stage Filtration System.

The Home Master is an established name in the water filter industry. It is known worldwide for its innovative solutions to water purification centred around the reverse osmosis systems. You can get a variety of options from them for all purposes, including but not limited to, sink top filters, whole house filters, reverse osmosis, and gardening solutions.

This water filter system is generally sufficient for one year of water purification and treatment because it has a capacity of 95,000 gallons. However, this depends upon your usage and the type of sediments coming along with your water. With a few installation steps, you can install this system at the entrance point of your water supply with the main water supply line. It will remove 95% of all the contaminants dissolved in the incoming water.

It rids the water of chlorine’s color and taste, which can not only harm your health in case of long-term exposure, but it also dims the luster of your hair and skin. It also counters hardness, which generally results in scale-buildup that damages the filter system and the plumbing system. Furthermore, it also removes coarse particles that rub against various parts of the system and the plumbing system, and causes wear and tear.

The Home Master HMF2SmgCC Whole House Two-Stage Filtration System achieves all of the above targets by passing the water through a two-stage water purification apparatus. This includes sediment filter and KDF85 filter; these remove physical contaminants and chemical contaminants, respectively.

This filter system has a flow rate of 10 gallons per minute, which is quite optimum for a large number of purposes. The housings of the filters are quite spacious to ensure that water flows easily through them without the loss of pressure and flowrate. In addition to this, it also reduces the frequency of maintenance. Furthermore, their ports have a diameter of 1”, which also helps in maintaining the water pressure.

Now, coming towards the filter replacement. You might need to change the sediment filter with a frequency that depends upon the sediment concentration in the water. However, the carbon filter won’t generally require a replacement for at least one year.

The first filter, that is the sediment filter contains various layers that remove the sediments in decreasing order of the diameter, which increases its efficiency and dirt-holding/removal capability.

The Home Master HMF2SmgCC Whole House Two-Stage Filtration System comes fully assembled. All you need to do is attach it with the water supply line, which is quite easy, thanks to the detailed installation manual.

Now, let’s have a look at the contaminants and their density that this system will remove while purifying the water.

  • The Home Master HMF2SmgCC Whole House Two-Stage Filtration System removes 95% of all the contaminants in the water. This includes coarse particles, which are generally sand, silt, rust, and dust.
  • In addition to physical contaminants, it also removes 95% of all the radiological particles as well. These include heavy metals, such as lead and copper.
  • It also removes 95% of chlorine, chloramine, and other chemical contaminants, such as fertilizers, pesticides, and organic particles.

Water Filtration Procedure

  • Sediment Filtration: The first step involves sediment removal, also termed as physical particles. If not removed, they rub against all the surfaces that they flow through, such as the filter system and the plumbing system, and cause wear and tear, which results in early damage. This system achieves this particle removal through a sediment filter that has 4 layers that remove coarse particles in decreasing diameter. These layers include 25 microns outer layer, 10 microns inner layer, 5 microns inner layer, and 1-micron inner core layer. This filter is made from polypropylene.
  • KDF85 Filter: The next stage includes the removal of radiological and chemical contaminants. This is done via a KDF85 filter that is made from a combination of copper, zinc, and catalytic carbon. This filter serves as a sponge and adsorbs the remaining particles flowing through the water.
Pros
  • Suitable for municipal city water supply
  • Removes 95% of all the physical, radiological, and chemical contaminants
  • The sediment filter has four layers for maximum purification
  • A flow rate of 10 gallons per minute
  • Water filtering capacity of 95,000 gallons
  • Improves the color, odor, and taste of the water by ridding it of chlorine
  • The KDF85 filter lasts for as long as one year
  • Oversized filters to ensure maximum flowrate and pressure
  • The ports have a diameter of 1”
Cons
  • Individual parts are not easily available and cost a pretty penny

  5.   iSpring WGB32B 3-Stage Whole House Filter

 

iSpring WGB32BIs your water supply contaminated with intolerable amounts of chlorine? Is your water greenish with a weird smell?

This situation indicates that you are in a dire need of a whole house water supply system because chlorine not only deteriorates your health, but it also impacts hair and skin, and spoils vegetables and fruits rather quickly than normal that are washed with chlorinated water. One of the best whole house water supply systems to counter this issue is the iSpring WGB32B 3-Stage System.

This system contains three housings, that is the components that contain filters. Out of these three housings, one contains a sediment filter, while the other two contain filters that counter the chlorine and other heavy metals found in the water. Each of them has the dimensions of 20” by 4.5”. The national pipe threads (NPT) used in this system have a diameter of 1”.

This system is an excellent choice for all those who are concerned about safety and are satisfied only with those products that are certified and tested. We are saying this because its filters have been declared safe and efficient by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) and the American Nation Standards Institute (ANSI).

The iSpring WGB32B 3-Stage System has a filtration capacity of 100,000 gallons, which is sufficient for a family of 4 or fewer members for one year. This system has a flow rate of 15 gallons per minute, which is maintained efficiently by the 1” NPT pipes. Furthermore, it has a minimum pressure of 25 psi.

This water filter system is better than the reverse osmosis (RO) systems available in the market because it retains the minerals that are an essential ingredient of healthy and clean water. 

The iSpring WGB32B 3-Stage Filter was tested by the Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS) as well. They found that this system removes 95% of contaminants, including sediments, chlorine, chloramines, and other chemicals that change the taste, color, and odor of freshwater.

Prior to buying this system, check the quality of your water. If it contains hardness, then you’ll have to install a softening system alongside this because it doesn’t remove the hardness causing ions. Remember, hardness can have a huge impact on not just the filter system, but plumbing as well because it causes scale buildup. These contaminants are usually found in water coming from wells, city water doesn’t contain it.

This system’s installation procedure is quite easy and doesn’t require a plumber in most cases. You can install it yourself from the help of the installation manual and the ample amount of YouTube video tutorials.

Now, let’s have a look at the particles removed by the iSpring WGB32B 3-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System.

  • This system removes 99% of the chlorine left after water treatment at the municipal level. It achieves this by using dual filters.
  • It restricts 95% of the physical contaminants, which are the sediments, from further entering the water flow.
  • Apart from sediments and chlorine, it removes 95% of rust, pesticides, herbicides, industrial solvents, VOCs, and multiple other chemicals and radiological contaminants.

Water Filtration System

  • Sediment Filter: The first step removes coarse particles such as dust, dirt, sand, silt, and rust. This filter is layered with polypropylene, which maintains pressure and helps in reducing clogs.
  • Carbon Block Filter: The next two housings after the sediment filter contain the same filter, which is the carbon block filter. The main purpose of the installation of two carbon filters is the complete removal of residual carbon for odorless, tasteless, and colorless water. These filters contain coconut shell carbon, which provides a high surface area, and thus results in maximum adsorption.
  • In addition to these three filters, there is an ultraviolet (UV) light placed at the start of the system, which modifies the cell structure of microorganisms present in the water. This helps in countering bacteria, fungi, and other such organisms.
Pros
  • Dual filter for chlorine removal
  • Certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) and the American Nation Standards Institute (ANSI)
  • Certified by Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS)
  • It has an ultraviolet light placed at the start of the system that throws UV light on all three filters, and thus, helps in neutralizing the effect of microorganisms
  • Purification capacity of 100,000 gallons
  • Suitable for a family of 4 or fewer members
  • Minimum water pressure of 25 psi
  • A flow rate of 15 gallons per minute
Cons
  • It doesn’t soften the water, so if you have a high concentration of TDS in your water supply, then you might need a water softener.

  6.   iSpring WGB22B 2-Stage Whole House Filtration System

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iSpring WGB22B 2-Stage

  7.   Dupont, WFPF13003B, Filter System

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Dupont

  8.   Home Master Whole House Three Stage Water Filtration System

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Home Master 3 Stage Filtration System

  9.   Aquasana EQ-1000 Whole House Filter System

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Aquasana EQ-1000

  10.   3M AP903 Aqua-Pure Whole House

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3M AP903 Aqua-Pure

 

 

What is a Whole House Filter?

A whole house water filter system is a treatment and filtration system that purifies all the water entering your house through the main water line at the entry point.

This means it filters all the water that will be used in your house, regardless of whether it will be used for drinking, in the kitchen, or for bathing purposes. It is also termed as Point of Entry (POE) system

How Does a Whole House Filtration System Work?

It comprises of multiple components and works in various stages. What are these? Let’s have a look!

Stage 1: Sediment Pre-Filtration

Although the water that comes to our houses through the main water line is treated prior to supply, still, it contains certain contaminants that are harmful to human health. One of them is physical contaminants, which can be detected through the naked eye because they usually make the water murky. These contaminants include sand, silt, organic matter, and other such particles.

The sediment pre-filtration step removes these physical contaminants by passing the water through a 5-micron sediment filter. This step is not only essential for water purification, but it is also necessary to extend the lifetime of the system. The physical contaminants are microscopically sharp, due to which they rub against the surface of various filter system’s components and cause wear and tear.

This step also extends your plumbing system’s lifetime by eliminating clogging and wear and tear due to the rough texture of the physical contaminants.

Now, a lot of you would be wondering, what is a 5-micron filter and how does it work?

A filter is like a sieve that stops visible particles such as sand, silt, and clay, etc. from passing through it. The term 5-micron means that this filter could stop particles having a diameter of 5-micron or over from passing through it.

The efficiency of these filters depends upon a rating termed as the filter micron rating. There are two types of these ratings, absolute and nominal. A filter with the nominal rating captures 90% particles; whereas, absolute stops 95%.

The sediment pre-filtration step doesn’t have any impact on water’s taste or odor quality, it only improves its aesthetics, or murkiness, which is scientifically termed as turbidity.

Stage 2: Mineral Filtration

The second stage of water filtration, mineral filtration, removes chemical contaminants from the drinking water. These particles are usually difficult to detect from naked eyes. They enter the water bodies through various man-made, and at times natural processes. These contaminants generally include metals, agricultural waste such as fertilizer runoff  and pesticides, bleach, salts, and toxins produced by bacteria.

In this process, water passes through a special filtration media made from a combination of copper and zinc. It restrains heavy metals, chlorine, and other chemical contaminants from entering the further purification and treatment process. It also filters out bacteria and other microbes.

Sometimes, this process is merged with the third stage, which is activated carbon filtration, which will be discussed next. They achieve this by installing Kinetic Degradation Fluxion (KDP) media inside the carbon filter used in the next stage.

For all those who are wondering, what is KDF and how does it work, KDF is a media that contains zinc and copper granules. These metal particles perform an oxidation and reduction process, scientifically termed as redox, to eliminate heavy metals, chlorine, and hydrogen sulfide particles.

Stage 3:  Activated Carbon Filtration

Apart from the types of contaminations discussed earlier, your drinking water also contains radiological particles, which are chemical elements that can emit ionizing reduction due to an unbalanced number of protons and neutrons. Examples include cesium, plutonium, and even uranium.

Scientifically, this process involves the removal of contaminants by passing water through a bed of activated carbon, which results in chemical adsorption.

Let’s break it down into simpler terms. Activated carbon is a type of carbon that has millions of minutes pores or holes between its atoms. This structure is achieved by treating it with oxygen.

Chemical adsorption is the process of contaminants’ removal by adsorbing/attaching it to the surface of the activated carbon. In simpler terms, the zinc and copper media acts as a sponge and absorbs all the contaminants.

Stage 4: UV Purification

This step, which is centred around the removal of biological contaminants, is optional.

First, let’s understand what are biological contaminates. As the name indicates, these particles are various biological organisms present in the drinking water. These impurities, which are also termed as microbes and microbiological contaminants, include bacteria, parasites, protozoa, and viruses.

In this process, ultraviolet (UV) light is used on the water at varying intensities. This results in the alteration of the microbes’ DNA, which makes them harmless, and thus, the water drinkable.

These are the four essential steps that comprise a whole house filter system. No matter which system you pick from our suggestions, these steps will be included in its working. However, as mentioned earlier, the last step is optional, but I suggest you should pick a system capable of removing biological contaminants for better quality and safe drinking water.

 

 

(1) https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/drinking-water