How to pick a quality Under sink Water Filter or Reverse Osmosis System
This is a question that we are asked often and here are our top tips for choosing the correct system
Where is the system manufactured?
There are many different systems on the market and unfortunately a few companies are economical with the truth when it comes to country or origin. Unfortunately some sellers will tell you just about anything to get the sale, an example is one company told a prospective customer that their filter was the only system in Australia that was made in the USA, on further questioning it became clear that not only was this simply untrue but that the system that they were selling was actually assembled in Asia. Ask the seller to provide proof of country of origin before making your choice.
Is the system certified to remove contaminants such as fluoride or chlorine?
The National Sanitation Foundation is an independent international which was set up in 1944 to monitor products that affect food or water safety. There are many different standards by which water filters are measured; below are the most relevant certifications that you should look for when choosing a reverse osmosis or water filter in Australia:
Drinking Water Treatment Units – Health Effects
This certification is important to measure the water filtration systems ability to reduce a specific health-related contaminant from the water for example lead reduction, VOC reduction, cyst reduction and many more contaminants.
Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Treatment Units
This certification is the industry guideline to whether or not a reverse osmosis membrane can remove specific contaminants such as fluoride from the drinking water.
Drinking Water Units – Aesthetic Effects
This standard covers point of use and point of entry water filters, that are designed to reduce certain aesthetic or non-health related contaminants such as chlorine, taste and odours.
It is important to remember that any reputable company would be able to supply a link to the NSF website where the product name and details are displayed, unfortunately there are companies who state that their products are NSF certified when this is not actually true. If a company claims that their product is tested to NSF or similar language it is a dodge, the thing that matters is certified by NSF. For example there are a lot of shower filters supplied that use media that is NSF approved however they are not NSF 177 certified, a quick search of the NSF website reveals that there are only 8 companies which carry NSF 177 certification.
Is the System certified to Watermark Level 1
WaterMark Level 1 certification is generally applied to products that are installed in the hot or cold water supply system with pressure applications. Typical product groups that fall under this certification level are:
Hot and Cold Water Supply Pipes and Fittings
Taps and Valves
Sanitary Fixtures – Water Closets, Bidet/Bidettes
Appliances (High Hazard)
Water Filters and Water Treatment Devices
Material and product failures in plumbing systems can cause contamination of the water system and be a public health concern. The WaterMark Certification Scheme is a mandatory certification scheme for plumbing and drainage products to ensure that plumbing and drainage materials and products are fit for purpose and appropriately authorised for use in plumbing installations.
The Plumbing Code of Australia requires certain plumbing and drainage materials and products to be certified and authorised for use in a plumbing or drainage installation. These materials and products are to be certified through the WaterMark Certification Scheme and listed on the WaterMark Product Database.
In order to achieve Watermark Certification, the subject material or product must:
- be tested by a recognised testing laboratory;
- comply with an approved specification (either a relevant existing standard or an approved WaterMark Technical Specification);
- be manufactured in accordance with an approved Quality Assurance Program; and
- carry a warranty.