How do water filters work?

Home filtration systems generally use carbon, charcoal, or a blend of filter media to remove contaminants as water flows through the filter. Depending on the type of filter, contaminants either get trapped in the pores of the filter or adhere/absorb to the surface of the filter media. In reverse osmosis (RO) systems, the water is usually treated with a pre-filter, a carbon filter, an RO membrane, and a post-filter.

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1. Do I need to filter my drinking water?
2. What issues can a home water filter address?
3. How do water filters work?