Wait, Which Filter Removes Fluoride? Plastics? Animal Poo? : Renegade Health Q & A

Tuesday Nov 15, 2011 | BY |
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toxic water
No one should eat fish from the Housatonic in Connecticut more than 6 times a year! (Kent, CT)

Over the last two segments of my interview with Jim McMahon there have been plenty of questions posted about water, how it should be filtered, where to get it, if a particular filter is good or not and more.

Today, I want to help everyone navigate through some of these questions by answering them directly here in an article.

I’ve picked about 5-7 questions that reflected many of your questions and will answer them to the best of my ability.

So here we go…

Here’s a question from Jenny:

How effective are filters such as Pur which I have used for years?

Hi Jenny, my understanding of the Pur filters is that they’re activated carbon. This means they’re pretty good at getting organic contaminants out of the water as well as any byproduct of a chlorine reaction. They also are able to filter out some metals and other contaminants, but they do not cover the entire spectrum of chemical contaminants or fluoride. In fact, the company is proud that they’re filters leave in the fluoride as you can read here (stated on their website):

“Fortunately PUR classicclear™ Water Filter Replacement reduces lead from your drinking water, while keeping beneficial fluoride in it.”

I would consider this type of filter a start in your water treatment program, but definitely not the goal. Water filtered with the Pur filter is better than tap water, but for just a little more money you could invest in a Reverse Osmosis system or distiller and be sure you’re getting all the nasty stuff out.

Joe Ann wants to know more about bottled water:

How can you find out what kind of bottled water is good?

Hey Joe Ann, there are two considerations to put into play when thinking about bottled water.

First is a quality question. You want to get local, spring water bottled at the source. As we’ve traveled around the country, we’ve found local bottled spring waters throughout the U.S. There’s Saratoga in New York, Mountain Valley Spring in Arkansas, Arrowhead in California and countless others.

So ask around and find out what spring water is closest to you and drink it – but sparingly. I’d prefer you get a filter and drink your own filtered water on a regular basis and avoid the possible plastic contamination that comes with drinking bottled water.

If you find a local spring water that bottles in glass, then you can forget about what I just said. I would have no problem drinking that on a regular basis if cost were not an issue.

The second consideration is the environmental impact. I really like Mountain Valley Spring water because it does come in a glass bottle, but it’s hard for me to buy it here in California regularly, because I know it took a pretty long trip across the country to get here. The same (even more so) can be said about Fiji or Evian or any other imported water.

This is not to say that I don’t use or even sell imported or shipped items. I do. I have an 80/20 rule that I apply to this sort of thing. 80% or more of what we eat or buy is local. The other 20% or so we play with. Believe me, if everyone did just this, our would would be cleaner, more self sustainable and we’d have stronger communities (all very good things.)

So, I think the best approach is to be as local and reasonable as possible. Apply a 80 / 20 rule. For us, when at home, we almost never drink bottled water, but on the road we do and we use the above criteria to determine what we buy.

It keeps us hydrated… and sane.

From Donna about adding chlorine and fluoride back into the water:

Where I live they use reverse osmosis from the ocean but they add chlorine and fluoride. What is the best filter I would need to use?

It’s amazing that they’d do this, since you probably – without the chlorine and fluoride – have pretty decent water.

The best filter, unfortunately, to use here is Reverse Osmosis. Kind of ironic, right?

You can also use a mixed carbon and KDF system, but it won’t remove all the fluoride (though a good amount) and there are other contaminants that can slip through.

The other thing you can do is petition your local government to get this stuff out of your water!

Great question from Tami:

I’ve heard that it’s important to drink mineralized water, can you recommend how to add minerals back into the drinking water?

Tami, this has been a back and forth argument for decades (many years before I’ve even been around) – does distilled or reverse osmosis water need to have minerals added back to it in order for it to be healthy?

I question this theory simply on the basis of how much we rely on water to supply our minerals.

If you drink green juice and green smoothies and eat sea vegetables and other highly mineralized foods, does the miniscule mineral content of water matter?

I’m going to say that yes, it must matter on some level, but in the largest picture it’s relatively insignificant.

You’d never find the amount of magnesium you’d find in the juice of a green leafy vegetable in any natural spring water.

So the key here is to get minerals into your body in all forms, from all sources. Don’t worry so much about the minerals from water, unless you’re not getting any other highly mineralized foods and – always – test so you’re not assuming everything is fine when it really isn’t.

Diane’s got plastics in her tap water:

I can’t find anywhere on the Internet or at the water filters sites where this chemical is mentioned: Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate which evidently is used to soften plastics. I did run a google on our city and that is what it said was in it! What kind of a filter will work to rid this stuff?

To get rid if phthlates or other plastic residues, the best filter is Reverse Osmosis.

Kate wants to know about Eldorado Spings:

Would love to know your opinion on Eldorado Springs Water in Colorado and how safe is the plastic bottle.

Hey Kate, we’ve been to the source in Eldorado. We were a little disappointed to find a machine dispenser there – since we’ve mainly been to natural springs – but otherwise the water is good.

Here’s a chemical analysis here:

http://www.eldoradosprings.com/index.php?action=analysis

If you’re close enough to the spring, I’d suggest getting from the source so you don’t have to buy plastic bottles, but if you can’t I may suggest getting a filter for your tap water since you’re running the risk of ongoing plastic contamination.

I have to admit, when we get water from the spring, we do use plastic 5 gallon bottles. I’ve heard too many stories about 5 gallon glass bottles breaking, etc that I feel they’re more of a liability. At least, when we use the plastic bottles we know when our water was “bottled” and can keep it out of the sun and drink it fast enough to minimize leaching.

More fluoride questions and how to test your water from Dorothy:

Will a Reverse Osmosis system remove fluoride? Also, I live near Toronto, Ontario, where can I get my water tested?

Yes, reverse osmosis will remove fluoride.

For your testing, you can contact Jim McMahon here: http://www.cleanairpurewater.com

Or you can contact National Testing Labs (http://www.ntllabs.com/) to get your water tested.

Jean is confused (and not alone!):

I have studied several types of filters and am now totally confused. They all claim to be the best?

I know your confusion, Jean.

We have to understand that any company marketing a product will pick one of its best qualities and parade that around every publication and website.

It’s just how marketing (and human nature works.)

If you go to a job interview, you don’t start off with, “I’d love to have this job, but I’m not really nice to people on the phone and I have a nasty temper that has caused problems for me in the past.” You start off with your strengths.

So somewhere within that water filter hype is the truth about what each filter does and what its weaknesses are.

Basically, you want to remove as many contaminants as possible within budget (and even then, I’d suggest to find creative ways to save more if the filter you need is out of budget.)

Based on my own research and exploration, the best waters are spring water (tested) from the source, reverse osmosis water or distilled. Each one of these should have minimal to no contaminants and I would recommend them for my entire family – which means I would recommend them to you.

Your Question of the Day: Have any more questions about water? If so, post them below and I’ll get to them this week!

Live Awesome!
Kev

Jim McMahon

Jim McMahon

Jim McMahon is an ecologist and owner of Sweetwater LLC. Jim sells water tests and water purification systems to people throughout the country who wish to experience healthy water in their homes. Jim’s unique approach to healthy water is to speak to every potential customer, review their water report with them, discuss their needs and recommend a water filter or water purification system that will achieve their goals. Jim will review your local water report with you or sell you a well water test and then make a recommendation on how to best treat your water to achieve optimal health.

For articles on a variety of topics related to water, visit Jim’s blog at Best Water Purification.

96 COMMENTS ON THIS POST

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Kim says:

    We were considering a Berkey. Is anyone else using one? From the sounds of this article it seems like RO is the best option instead.

  2. Tom says:

    Just purchased a Kinetico K5 Reverse Osmosis water system, and it is fantastic.

    Fluoride is so terrible for us, that you need a filter to get it out. The fluoride that is added to water is waste product, and is not what they apply to your teeth in a dentist’s office. Also, you don’t absorb fluoride through drinking water.

    Just look at your toothpaste label and see that it recommends calling a poison control center if you swallow too much toothpaste.

  3. nilsholgerson says:

    “I have to admit, when we get water from the spring, we do use plastic 5 gallon bottles. I’ve heard too many stories about 5 gallon glass bottles breaking, etc that I feel they’re more of a liability. At least, when we use the plastic bottles we know when our water was “bottled” and can keep it out of the sun and drink it fast enough to minimize leaching.”

    Thank you Kevin for your Honesty*

  4. Arline says:

    I keep reading that fluoride is poison. How can PUR be good if it retains fluoride?

  5. In my studies I learned that spring water
    is not the purest water to drink.
    Distilled water is acid water and cleanses
    the body more effectively, and keeps the
    electrolytes in balance

  6. Horst says:

    RO and distilled water remove chemicals/toxins and also minerals. From what I have learned, the issue is not that the body requires those minerals, but the water does – without them it becomes more acidic and acts like a vacuum, wanting to dissolve things and will pull minerals out of your body over the long run (not good) – hence adding minerals is a good thing?

  7. D Waterman says:

    The website findaspring.com is a great resource for finding or sharing a place to fill up water bottles. Preferring glass, we use gallon glass jugs from apple cider or purchased at the wine making/brewing shop, and we use wine bottles- they’re an ideal size for taking to work. Cheers!

  8. Magda says:

    I was told by a water filter company that the ONLY type of filter that will remove fluoride is a reverse osmosis filter. Is this correct? Or are there any other options out there for fluoride removal? Thanks so much!

  9. Justin says:

    The ‘Zero’ water filter container system comes with a monitor or gauge to check the water. But I don’t know what the numbers mean, or what its testing! Any ideas? and what are your thoughts on the filter?

    Also what are your thoughts on the Aquasauna under sink filter system?

    Thanks!!

  10. Deb P says:

    Hi Kev! What about the Berkey and Aqua Rain types? We purchased an Aqua Rain as an emergency water purification measure some years back. Their site mentions that their filter system “adsorbs pesticides, various organic chemicals, and chlorine”, as well as protozoa, but does not seem to address chemicals like flouride or arsenic…

    Is there a difference between water “filtering” and “purification”? (ah by chance I just answered that myself by stumbling on it at the Berkey website! http://www.berkeyfilters.com/filtervspurifier.htm)

    Also, what about the abundance of prescription drug leftovers we hear about that are not filtered out through our public utilities?

    Thanks, you guys are awesome!!

  11. Shelly says:

    I thought that Distilled water systems remove all the helpful minerals, AND leave behind residue, because of the system “condensing” it, or just leaving it behind, period. What are your thoughts on Alkalized water systems? Should we be looking at the ph balance of the water as well?

  12. Diana Press says:

    I’ve considered reverse osmosis, but can’t justify the waste of water in that process–something like 3 gallons of water wasted for every usable gallon. That is just not viable in Northern California and other places where drought is a yearly concern.

  13. Steve Baklik says:

    What’s your take on the Berkey filters? Also, I’m curious about “structured water” and how a filter affects this. Thanks!

  14. Evan says:

    There is a product called Adya Clarity that has been all the hype lately. The claim is that a certain amount of this product can be added to anywater and it will bind to all the contaminants and settle to the bottom leaving you with clean pristine water. There are even videos of a Japanese scientist using this product to clean an entire dirty pond. Does anyone know anything about this product? It feels like a scam but then I saw some fairly credible people endorsing it. Any thoughts?

  15. Susie Henderson says:

    Don’t waste water left from your R/O process; collect it and use it in the washing machine or to water plants.

  16. AP33 says:

    Hi Kevin, thanks for this article! Wow, I didn’t realize Reverse Osmosis removes fluoride, hm. What do you think about: Berkey Filters? And about Alkalizing systems like Kangen etc.? Thanks! (from Toronto, ON CANADA)

  17. Linda says:

    Hi Kevin,

    I know that getting ‘good water’ can be a difficult question because their are so many varied opinions from the quoted experts and they seem to differ in their opinion. I struggled with this dilemma for years. I ended up driving 30 minutes one way to get my water in glass bottles which was reverse osmosis with the minerals put back in and then it was structured with some kind of magnets.

    When you do further research you find out that reverse osmosis and distilled water leaches minerals out of your body….

    Then I found Kangen Water which is not a new
    revelation as it has been used exclusively in
    over 100 hospitals in Japan for years. And yes
    it is very important to also use a 2, 3 or 4 stage pre filtering system with Kangen Water to obtain the best and healthiest water available. Kangen Water is micro clustered meaning smaller water molecules so it’s able to get into places bulk waters can’t get to and flush out the acidic waste in our cells.
    Kangen Water is six times more hydrating than other waters. The healing benefits are immense not to mention that Kangen Water has been classified as a Medical Devise by the Japanese government. This is all verifiable on the internet. I’m going to stop now as I could go on forever about this wonderful water. I would encourage you and your readers to do additional research on Alkaline, micro clustered, anti oxidant water.

    P.S. I love your shows and just bought your new book ‘Cultured’. I’m loving it!
    Linda

  18. Deb P says:

    Evan, Adya Clarity has been in the news the last couple of weeks after negative reports were released about the product. Matt Monarch has stopped offering it for sale on his site, and has posted his current information here: http://www.therawfoodworld.com/blog/?s=adya+clarity

  19. Michi says:

    Check out what David “Avocado” Wolf has to say about it on his Longevity site. It is very dangerous.

  20. John says:

    Reply to Evan, regarding his question about Adya Clarity.

    The Health Ranger, Mike Adams, published a rather lengthy article on the 3rd of November discussing Adya Clarity (see http://www.naturalnews.com). Bottom line: don’t use the stuff!

    I considered it initially, but only until I found that it came from a site close to the recent Fukishima disaster – I certainly don’t want any more radiation exposure in my life.

  21. Shawn says:

    I just got the Zerowater filtration system from Target. It came with a TDS meter that you can use to test water.
    I’m not exactly sure what it’s testing but I tested several water sources and the lower the number the better.
    -My tap water here is Louisville, KY was 215
    -Water from my PUR filter was 178
    -Gerber Pure that my 21 month old daughter drinks was 85.
    -Nestle Pure Life bottled water was 93.
    -Water from the zerowater filter was, actually 0.

    Do you have any knowledge of this filter, Kevin?

  22. AlanRoy says:

    I distill my water, and then add some pink crystal salt to it for minerals. It also tastes good. Does anyone know of any contaminants that are not removed by distillation? Any other drawbacks to my method?
    Thanks.

  23. Andrew Chin says:

    Hello All,
    An RO water system, based on what I’ve read, will remove about 85% of the fluoride. You need a deionization filter to remove all the fluoride. Custom Pure makes such a filter.

    http://www.custompure.com

    Distilled water is very clean, but it’s slightly aggressive. According to Gabriel Cousens, it will not pull out minerals that are bound into bodily tissues, but it will pull out unbound minerals. Adding a smidgen of unheated salt, like Himalayan salt, added to a gallon of water will raise the TDS to 50 parts per million. This will lower the pH to about 6.8-7.0. pH stands for “potential hydrogen”, so at this pH you will have about 3 hydrogen atoms, giving you H30. Hydrogen is an electron donor, so essentially you have antioxidant water. If you want to get scientific about the TDS, you can buy yourself a TDS meter for about $25.

    Beware of alkaline water systems like Kangen. There appears to be a short-term benefit, but in the long run it can lead to a decline in health. This type of water seems to be especially harmful to the heart cells. The problem with alkalized water is that it’s missing the alkaline minerals. Sodium or potassium hydroxide is used to alkalize the water, and this create a large amount of hydroxyl ions. These ions are inherently unstable, and when the ions loses an electron, it becomes a hydroxyl radical, which many scientists believe is the most powerful free radical. There are no third party studies documenting the effectiveness of these water systems. I believe the only studies that have been done have been done by the companies themselves.

    Blessings,
    Andrew

  24. Joyce Braun says:

    I have RO in my house, but is there a good personal sized one? Brita just came out with a water bottle with a filter built right in that you can carry…. but being Brita I don’t think I want to use it, so I’m stuck with filling up bottles with RO water from home

  25. Bev says:

    For some very interesting information this is a
    Great You Tube in Safe Clean water
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXU6jFXjcnE

    I LOVE my water and this is what I do
    it has changed my life…
    Bev

  26. I n ote Andrew Chin bagging ionized alkaline water. His warning has no basis. There are absolutely no studies that show any ill effect from alkaline water in humans but there are many showing beneficial effects. I note that Andrew includes a link, showing his unstated reason for advising against the enormously successful alkaline water ionizers.
    However he does make one possible point about unstable ions. Electronic water ionizers do excite hydrogen ions to such an extent that they become hydrogen gas and quickly leave the water after exiting the alkalizer. The new non-electric water ionizers create stable hydrogen ions output.

    For anyone interested here is a link to a large number of studies on alkaline water from all over the world.
    http://www.http://ionlife-healthemail.blogspot.com/2011/10/clinical-studies-of-alkaline-ionized.html

    Re fluoride’ there ARE other ways to remove fluoride than RO. Cheaper, easier, less bulky, No need to drill holes in your kitchen bench.

    Finally. take a look at this video and then see what you think about not drinking alkaline water.
    http://alkaway-international.com/alkaway.com.au/blog/the-he-untold-truth-about-alkaline-diet/

  27. Hey Kevin, we get our water in 5 gallon jugs from El Dorado Springs in CO and they do have BPA-FREE jugs. You have to request them, but they are available.

  28. Cathy says:

    I have been using Pur filters but have been considering the Shaklee Get Clean Water pitcher. What is your opinion on it? From their website I do see that it does not remove fluoride but it does seem to remove many contaminants.

    Thanks.

  29. Lovisa says:

    Gary Null carries a water filter that removes fluoride:

    http://gnhealthyliving.com/scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct=101

    I drank distilled water exclusively for a number of months and my personal experience was not good. After awhile I started to feel low energy and I noticed my fingernails becoming a bit lumpy and mishapen. I had this water delivered from Arrowhead. One day the guy didn’t have enough distilled and left me some spring water instead and I immediately felt the difference-much better, felt my energy increase and those issues went away.
    Now it is true that my diet and supplement intake was less than ideal and perhaps that would have made a difference in my results,nevertheless I’d say be careful with it.

  30. Melinda says:

    Yikes! I feel more confused than ever after reading all the posts. Am wanting to get my body more alkaline to improve my very health challenged body.

    Can anyone comment on the Cerra Water Ionizing – Alkalyzing Pitcher, which sells for $200.00? So far anything I’ve found would have another “zero” added onto that price.

    Thanks a lot,
    Melinda

  31. Amy Husted says:

    I’m wondering about the ProPure water system myself and which TDS I should buy. Does anyone know anything about it. It says it filters flouride with the flouride filter. I’m hoping someone can tell me some good news. I surely hope I haven’t been dooped.

  32. Jim says:

    I love this community building around water!

  33. Lovisa says:

    Oh, he also sells an undercounter model and various other combinations listed on this page:

    http://gnhealthyliving.com/scripts/prodList.asp?idCategory=39

  34. Hi Kevin! I had thought on this topic very often. My herbalist training swears by using distilled water which is indeed great for detoxing. We bought a distiller and did not like the remaining metallic taste, so we run distilled water through a Brita filter, then occasionally clean the distiller with sulfamic acid and in between with white vinegar. We double-process our water and have found it to be a significant improvement in many ways. In western Montana, we have well water that is very rich in calcite, iron and other heavy metals, and some areas here even have arsenic! Some are also nearby agricultural runoff so water purification is really important. Just changing our water has changed much for us – I remember us having bone/joint issues when we moved here, and that went away almost as soon as we changed the water! For minerals and nutrition, I cannot agree more to get them from plant sources and honestly, I prefer using distilled water to make herbal teas with tonic nutritive herbs, and get more minerals and nutrition that way – the RIGHT stuff! :-) Some people swear by alkalinized water (i.e. Kangen) but I didn’t honestly find it that helpful. I think the next step for us is shower filters, and would love to see a review of the best one(s) to get depending on our particular water issues! Thanks Kevin!

  35. Gabe Hunninghake says:

    Regarding Andrew’s comments.

    I am by no means a Kangen defender (there is a lot to not like them for) but tossing out the idea that “alkaline water” created through electric systems is dangerous and can cause heart problems is a little irresponsible. To my knowledge, there were 2 studies done on rats that did show some calcification. We can’t take that and leap to conclusions. It’s worth further study.

    There are numerous studies hosted on the pubmed.gov website done by university, third party researchers who show the effectiveness. Just search for “electrolyzed reduced water”

    With all that said, I think anything that adds electricity to water essentially creates GMO water. My opinion after spending a few years researching (and finding that the more I learned the more I didn’t know) is that we should use nature as our measuring stick. Natural water sources are what we were meant to drink. The processes they use and the water that would create in a toxin free environment should be what we drink. That’s not RO, that’s not distilled and that’s not created with electricity.

    The goal should be toxin free, lightly mineralized (which imparts some ionization and antioxidant properties and keeps the water from stealing them from the body) and “structured” through a magnetic field. We can do this in lots of different ways…none of which are difficult or expensive. There are non-electric ionizers, we can add minerals, duplicate Dr. Barron’s info on using magnets, etc.

    Thanks Kevin for getting the discussion going. Anyone else notice how water seems to be a lot like religion?

  36. Andrew Chin says:

    Hello Joe Ann,
    If you need to drink bottled water, you might want to consider Starfire Water or Eon Water. These two brands reportedly have a higher osmotic drive, which allegedly increases hydration.

    http://www.starfirewater.com/
    http://www.essenceoflife.com/whatiseon.php

    Another reason why I’m not crazy about RO water is that it’s filtered through a very fine mesh, which destructures the water. Some people find this kind of water just doesn’t hydrate them sufficiently. You can try restructuring it with a smidgen a salt per gallon, and vortexing it with a wooden spoon, but my feeling is it’s still not ideal.

    Blessings,
    Andrew

  37. Tara Bianca says:

    What do you think about the systems like Nikken or Kangen?

  38. Andrew Chin says:

    Hello All,
    Here’s a recent article on alkaline water that might be of interest:

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/09/11/alkaline-water-interview.aspx

    Blessings,
    Andrew

  39. George says:

    In Australia there is the Alkaway company that are selling their brand of ionisers. These allow the operator to choose the alkalinity of the output. In this way the water produced can be used for drinking, or cleaning. I have also heard the argument that reverse osmosis removes too much from the water. A local shop is selling a filter jug that removes a high percentage of fluoride, and a magnet evidently imparts a slight ionisation. These cost $125, and the filter cartridge is supposed to last for 12 months. Reverse osmosis units are expensive and pensioners have to stretch their fortnightly pension ever further as the cost of living increases. I can see a water crisis looming in the future.

  40. barry david says:

    There is one water source that I have trusted for over 15 years.www.ewater.com Fred Van Liew is the “water doctor” and for over 20 years still maintains a 6 month money back guarantee.Unheard of in this industry!He is the trusted authority and can help solve any of your water needs.He has the truth about acid/alkaline water and other water systems.
    Ask him about the Quanta water catalyst and its amazing benefits.Many Blessings,Barry David

  41. Cliffie says:

    Which RO system will remove the most fluoride?
    Our dentist said that the newer, faster ones do not. So it’s better to get an older, slower one? Anyone knows of one that they have tested that does remove almost all fluoride? Better to get one under the counter or a whole house fluoride removal system?

    Carlsbad, Southern Calif. has a mineral spring water place that sells natural alkaline water – is that one good?

    I also heard that fluoride goes into the body by ingesting, and not through the skin – is that true?

  42. Jo says:

    Hi there, I’m in regional Australia, so slightly different water issues than US but for the most part tap water is the same chlorinated and fluoridated rubbish. My question is which is going to provide the best quality water – reverse osmosis filtered tap water or rainwater collected from a ceramic tiled roof in steel tank? These are the options I am researching at the moment. I discovered that my son’s and my eczema disappears when drinking spring water rather than tap water but can’t afford this option long term.thanks for your great work.
    Best wishes, jo

  43. Gini says:

    Does anyone know about Prill Beads? Copied below is some info from the website shown at the end.

    Live Water Prill Beads are an economical and convenient way to enjoy drinking clean, contaminant free water with the qualities and benefits of pure mountain spring water.
    Live Water Prill Beads are made of magnesium oxide which is produced from naturally occurring salts of magnesium found in rich brine deposits located approximately 2,500 feet below ground. The resulting magnesium oxide is ‘prilled’ into small, hard pellets by high temperature firing processes making them ceramic like. A proprietary, energy-charging process is then applied to the beads which gives them their unique energizing properties. Live water prill beads will never wear out or dissolve.

    Prill Beads purify, energize and “restructure” water.

    Water from living water prill beads is pH balanced to 7.4

    http://prillbeadsaustralia.com.au/

  44. Charles says:

    We have the Berkey with the fluoride filters and we love it. The water has no chlorine odor or taste.

    The water just tastes like plain water. We will it with city water.

    We like the Berkey because it uses gravity and there is no need for electricity to use it. If need be, river water or lake water can be poured in and it will make it drinkable.

    We looked into Reverse Osmosis systems and they are pricey for a good one. Getting a RO system is on our radar but for now, the Berkey is working for us

  45. Susan McLean says:

    Would simply appreciate a breakdown of
    levels and costs please:
    or a referral to a quick easy digest resource
    that will answer the questions-

    1)How do we find, buy, install RO? Costs?

    2)How do we find, install a distiller? Costs?

    3)If we go with Brita, PUR, Zero etc for a start, what is best and why? Costs?

    Why do not we not have good enough water
    in the US?

    What is wrong with Kangen?

    I’m a newbie to all this, but it is
    paralysis by analysis; I’ve put off
    doing anything, because I can’t make
    it a part time job trying to understand and compare all the information.

    Thank You!

    Susan in Michigan

  46. Toni says:

    AlanRoy,

    Excellent idea to add the pink mineral salt to distilled water. We’ve been distilling water on the counter for several years now with an American distiller. This is some of the best tasting water, compared to the horrible tap water available; I find I just can’t stomach tap water, and though I LOVE iced tea (with honey) I can only drink it from distilled water.

    In addition, to answer someone else’s question; distilling leaves the residue in the boiling chamber. The steam goes up into the filter and then drips down, pure, into the receptacle. The residue is NOT left in the drinking water itself.

    I would NEVER go back to a filter after using a distiller. A countertop distiller is only about 170.00 and each filter lasts for months. Well worth the money to keep dangerous chemicals and toxins out of my family – to the extent that the water we use can. :)

    At any rate, we got some of the drop minerals to add back, but they didn’t taste good so found ourselves only using it occasionally, and then in a tiny bit of water just to get the minerals back in us. We LOVE the pink Himalyan salt and I can see how a little of that in each bottle will do the trick. Thanks for the idea!

  47. Jean Hart says:

    Great follow-up article, Kevin! Lot’s of scenarios, lots of good solutions!
    I have an R/O system under the sink with 3 filters which takes everything out. I then add 2-3 drops of concentrated ocean minerals (even trace minerals work) every time I draw a glass of water. I’m not a huge veggie person, and don’t have the time or inclination to do juicing. I feel minerals are an integral part of our health and nervous system.
    Thanks for all you do! -Jean

  48. Marcey says:

    Jean,
    Where do you get the concentrated ocean minerals?

  49. rachel says:

    Hi, I thought I had read somewhere that RO units waste a lot of water. Has anyone else read/heard that?

  50. Mary says:

    So Brita is no good???

  51. Cardencopy says:

    Add me to the list of people wanting more information about Berkeys!Please address this!

  52. Leigh says:

    Hi Kevin. Thanks for all you do! I also have an Aquasana under the counter filter system. They claim that they remove all of the fluoride from water except for the naturally occurring type which is found in healthy spring water. Any thoughts there and any idea if this is a good system? I really want to get this right but I am usually more confused than when I started after reading anything about it.
    Thanks, Leigh

  53. Clayton says:

    One of the very best sources for trace minerals is made by Sea-Crop in Washington State. This amazing product enables plants to grow like crazy. I is highly beneficial to animals but is not approved for human consumption because, all due respect – why on earth would humans actually want to get more healthy?

    I was in the water business for nearly 30 years, and then conducted toxic chemical waste destruction research for many years. Do not believe a single word you read or hear from any source that fluoride in any form is good for you – as it is one of the most toxic poisons on the planet. It wrecks your teeth and your skeletal structure. But far worse, it messes up the way your brain thinks and you become far more easy to control if you consume water with that poison in it. Fluoride is also bio-accumulative in the body – easy to get it into the body and not so easy to get rid of it. NEVER use ANY toothpaste with that in the toothpaste, ever!

    Australia finally banned it after many years of tens of thousands of people lobbying to get it out of their water.

    Most structured waters are excellent. Some better than others. Read up on what Dr. Emoto from Japan has done as well and Dr. Patrick Flannigan. Above all check out Clayton Nolte’s site for an excellent and very high quality device he developed to create structured water. I believe it is one of the greatest gifts you could ever give yourself or your plants and animals.

    Be Well!

    Clayton

  54. Humble Bee says:

    I am a big fan of R/O and after a couple days of researching all the different machines and reviews I decided to purchase the brand APEC. They manufacture them themselves, and are they are one of the few brands still made in the USA.

    There are three kinds of membranes used in RO machines, APEC uses the best of the 3 and it will last 3-5 years. The prefilters last 1 year so over time it makes it a better economic choice ($49/year). It is also great because it has a post tank carbon filter that can remove any taste or trace of things that could develop in the tank.

    Over my research of water, (one of my favorite subjects) I do believe that adding back minerals is not only more healthy, it seriously makes the water taste better! One of the most cost effective is the brand “Concentrace.” Some people use 1/4 tsp of Himalyan Crystal Salt per gallon. On top of that, I would keep a water pitcher in the fridge after stirring it into a vortex for a minute. This helps oxygenate and microstructure the molecules. The cold temp will help maintain this. And finally add a bit of lemon to the water for great benefits as well!

  55. Eric says:

    Has anyone heard of the saychelle water filter? Check it out. They claim to filter out everything from a to z including radiation which is between a and z.

  56. Lynn Wagner says:

    If the 2 primary purposes of water are to carry nutrients to the cells and carry waste out of the body, then our goal should be to be as close to H20 as possible, with nothing else, especially inorganic materials. TDS, or total dissolved solids should be as close to 0.0 as possible. Where I live in Milwaukee, WI its between 164 and 190. Go to http://www.BeWell.MyBeyondOrganic.com to find ultra-pure spring water with less than 4.0 TDS.

  57. John Michael says:

    Wow! So many generous contributions! I live in Chiang Mai, Thailand and I am somewhat limited to what is available and yet clean water is paramount for my optimum health. I have had whole house filter when I lived in the USA for my last 15 years and I now have had a Japanese whole house filter for my new house here of 3 years. I also have an under the kitchen sink counter on from Germany (Stiebel Eltron) so my drinking water is double filtered which is essential. Additionally, I have been adding Himalayan Salt to my drinking water daily for 5 years now for extra minerals. Moreover, I keep drinking water in pitchers which contain sliced organic lemons for greater alkalinity. Pure water is almost as important to me as keeping my heart open and having a smile available for greeting friends. Pure water is an investment, not an expenditure!! Trust your intuition! With love, John

  58. Ellen says:

    I drink Polland Springs Distilled water which comes in plastic gallon jugs. From what I have been reading I think maybe it’s OK? Please respond.

  59. Sue says:

    We’ve been using an RO system for about 25 years now. I’m glad we made that investment! In general, how do folks know when their system needs filters to be changed?

  60. Dawn says:

    I’m pretty sure that Charlotte Gerson said that RO will “not” remove all the floride from your water only distillation will do that.

  61. Joan says:

    According to Charlotte Gerson, RO systems remove some of the fluoride but not all of it.

  62. NANCYHRUSSELL says:

    I HAVE HAD AN AQUA RAIN GRAVITY FILTER FOR AT LEAST 15 YEARS AND LOVE IT. I DO NOT KNOW IF IT REMOVES FLUORIDE. I HAVE WELL WATER.

  63. Joanne says:

    I have the Big Berkey with the flouride filter and love it. No electricity required and no water waste. It can go in the camper or car to be used anywhere. The water where I live tastes and smells horrible. The Berkey water has no smell and tastes great. I also use a shower filter to remove flouride.

  64. joseph says:

    Quite incredible that nobody is talking about flowforms …. natures way of purifying and organising water , giving it intrinsic healing energy….. An awesome field of science and nature to understand …. and not hard to make yourself

  65. Andrew Chin says:

    Hello All,
    Whenever you see “studies” touting the benefits of alkalized, ionized water, please keep these questions in mind:

    1. Was the research associated in any way with any company making the product?
    2. Is it an actual study, with a control group in place?
    3. Is it a longitudinal study, testing the health of its subjects over an extended period of time?
    4. Is it from a peer-reviewed journal? If not, it may be of questionable value.

    I am open to the possibility that alkalized, ionized water can be health-promoting, but I haven’t seen any convincing evidence yet. Alkaline water in nature is healthy, but that’s because it has the alkaline minerals like magnesium and silica.

    Some of more ethical companies producing bottled alkaline water will have a warning on their label to not drink more than 8 oz. of their water in one sitting. They realize drinking too much of this high pH water (higher than 8.0) can be detrimental.

    Hello Barry,
    Thanks for the Fred Van Liew link. Very informative!

    Blessings,
    Andrew

  66. Daniel Wahl says:

    Just wanted to tell you I was watching the “Gerson Method” documentary on Netflix yesterday and I saw your email. I just clicked w/o seeing what I was doing and clicked on your link with Gerson’s daughter. Then you mention in this link about Saratoga Springs and I have just started last month getting my water from there. Holy Synchronicity!

  67. Lynette says:

    I noticed number 14 (Evan’s)question about Adya Clarity. Please stay away from this product. It contains high amounts of Iron and Aluminum. Not the good product they claimed.

    Thanks Kevin for all your research and sharing your results, especially being honest about you using plastic bottles to collect water. A product that is hard to get totally away from. LOL.

  68. Ann says:

    I found the link below interesting for those wondering about water ionizers and alkalizers
    Excerpt from https://www.ewater.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=102&Itemid=97
    More recent updates include the fact that ionizers produce Oxygen Hydroxide, not H2O. This is an alkali that irritates the body or immune system, and may explain why these appliances are classified as medical devices by the Japanese Ministry of Health, not household water filters. The ionized water is used in small amounts instead of chemotherapy to irritate the immune system to try to stimulate a response without he hair loss. The artificial alkalizing of fluids may have a short term benefit, however long term it can have very detrimental effects on the body. For this reason avoid even machine ionized reverse osmosis water.

    Even large clouds of electrons are simply not found in Nature, and must be watched carefully when taken over long periods of time. Our body simply was not designed for these artificial excesses.

    Roger Bezanis writes in his “pH Madness” book that acids alkalize the body in Nature. Alkaline water does not alkalize the body, but rather artificially creates an alkaline environment externally from the cells through the fluids. This can and will allow a person to feel good while their health does in fact continue to deteriorate.

    Recently ionizers have been sold with reverse osmosis. Initially I found this desirable, until reality set in that the oxygen hydroxide was still being produced and the “not” water, as Roger Bezanis calls it, was very much an irritant.

    You wouldn’t drink gallons of chemotherapy, would you? Why drink the alkali water in large amounts? Keep your water under 8 pH, except for use short term.

    “PH madness”
    If you drink this water or are thinking about it you must read this book! Make sure you read the comments below!
    http://www.amazon.com/pH-Madness-Roger-Bezanis/dp/0578055929/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1321463063&sr=1-1

    I always recommend distilled water (all stainless steel model) into a glass container!
    I use a gallon glass bottle, I then add 1 teaspoon Redmond clay and a few drops oregano oil, I then leave it in the sun for one day and night to restructure the water, its fantastic! I always have about 10 of these so I never am out of fresh drinking water. For cooking I use the water plain! Been using distilled water for over 7 years, with great health effects, it is very cleansing for the whole body!

  69. Shelly says:

    Hi. Thanks so much for posting this information. I am looking for an effective shower filter to remove chlorine and other harmful chemicals. Are there any that you can recommend?

  70. smita says:

    Just wanted to let you two know thanks for all that you do! For the past few years I have been following your blog and try not to miss it. Your work is valuable to me so I thank you very very much! Love that you two are consistent in your work too :)

  71. Your best source of water is from Natures plant kingdom and the next best source is from a reputable water dealer that uses Glass containers only using a high water purification system RO filtering and Ozone.

    Barry Gourmet & Raw

  72. Elizabeth says:

    I bought a Big Berkey filer a few years ago to use in our camper when we travel. It is an excellent filter with extremely high removal of all the things you don’t want in your water. There is an additional filter you can add to remove flouride if it is in your source water. I bought my Big Berkey from http://www.morethanalive.com when they were running a promotion for 25% off. I will be buying a second one really soon to keep at our house.

  73. Cindy says:

    I give up! I’m with the person who said that they put off doing anything because they don’t have time to do the research. That was me, & then I discovered Adya Clarity, which was supposed to be the best thing ever to clean your water & add minerals to it. Even after buying 2 bottles of Adya Clarity, I put off taking it for months. Then I had to do it right (sarcasm here), so I did supershots for 43 days. About 3 weeks after doing the supershots, I find out that this is probably a scam & I’ve probably been poisoned with iron & aluminum. There is just too much information out there to confuse people. It was so much better when I was ignorant & healthy because I didn’t know any better. LOL!

  74. Gabe Hunninghake says:

    @Andrew. What about alkaline water made with dissolved minerals vs electricity? Lots and lots of studies on pubmed showing the benefits of mineral rich bottled water.

    I agree, there is A LOT of junk spread by companies marketing their high priced systems. Mostly from emotional MLM dealers. But those same standards you suggest should then also apply to RO companies, structured water systems, distillers, etc.

    If choosing the right water was as easy “peer reviewed research”, then we’d all have the same answer. It’s not.

  75. Andrew Chin says:

    Hello Gabe,
    Thanks for the reference. I looked at a few of the studies, and it looks promising. For the short-term, it is likely fine. For the long-term, I’m not so sure. At least the water is alkalized with minerals, so I would think that you shouldn’t have the formation of hydroxyl ions (which can convert to hydroxyl radicals), which I consider highly problematic.

    If you drink this kind of alkalized water, I would drink it away from meals, since you do not want to dilute your stomach acid, which
    can inhibit the digestive process.

    I also suspect drinking this kind of water long-term could overalkalize the body. Acidosis is obviously not good for you. However, acidic foods are not inherently bad, they’re just acidic. Ideally, we need to strike a balance between acidity and alkalinity.

    Blessings,
    Andrew

  76. Cathy (Holistic Pharm D) says:

    I’ve been using a Berkey for over a year now. I did end up choosing the Berkey light. I like that you can see through it and that it doesn’t get dented if bumped on something while cleaning it. Probably should have chosen the regular Berkey, but oh well. I keep it out of sunlight, so hopefully I am not consuming a bunch of plastics nastiness.
    My mom and one of my friends have also purchased one since I got mine. The water tastes very smooth. Now that I am used to drinking Berkey water, I can’t stand even the smell of tap water. Even to brush my teeth, it is nasty stuff.
    I, too, was attracted by the fact that it is gravity fed. No running electricity to it, no running out of water when the electricity is out, etc. The only thing is that you have to manually fill it. I keep mine right next to my sink and dump pitchers of tap water right into it.

  77. mary says:

    All floride is just residue from manufacturing, (poison) whether it is in water or painted on to your teeth! There isn’t any difference. Poison is poison. It was left over from manufacturing and they needed to get rid of it, so someone said why don’t we sell it as something good for your teeth. Psople who see the name think of floride as being florine which is natural. Some of the dentists are still painting kids teeth with it. It is bad for your bones and other things.

  78. Tega says:

    Hello from Australia.
    Thanks for all your information. My partner and I live in Australia on a rural property. We do not have town water and we drink rain water. It is a pristine place surrounded by forests on 3 sides. We collect rain water from a metal roof and it goes into a concrete tank.

    Is there any problem with drinking boiled rain water? Would boiling kill all the germs? How long should we boil the water for?

    Thank you. All the best.

  79. sheri says:

    Hi
    After reading the comments on Kangen water machines, I wish I would not have listened to the sales person and bought one. This was about 3 years ago and I am still trying to pay it off. Would you suggest keeping it on the lowest level, on the alkalinity, which is 8.5 for drinking? Or maybe just use the clean water which is just filtered water? Any other idea?
    Thanks so much,
    Sheri

  80. Tamara Berdichevsky says:

    What do you think about Nikken Pimag Water System…. I just bought it and want to know the truth…
    Please help… I need an answer
    Thanx
    Ta,mara

  81. lizzy says:

    why aren’t the ionizer filters discussed more? According to DR. Robert Young and some others, people have experienced healing miracles just from this water. Is it just a placebo effect? or is it really good.

  82. Geri says:

    what are your thoughts on the aquasana filter?

  83. Dawn Womack says:

    We have been using a berkey for a year now and it works great.We have the additonal floride filters we use it all the time in our house and the filters lasted about 10 months before renewing.Also it doesnt need a power source so will still work in an emergency.

  84. Katie says:

    Oh my… so much information. I use a Berkey water filter with the additional anti-flouride attachments… It is suppose to filter just about anything out and can be used in a crisis situation with dirty water (so they say)… It is a manual system. I have the BPA-free lighter weight plastic version on a plant stand in my kitchen. I get regular tap water and pour it in the top every day or so and it filters through some special filters into a container below. This may be a bit too “manual” for some but it works for me.

  85. Emilie says:

    Water Question:
    What kind of filtration is best for a shower filter? Can you recommend any specific filters?

  86. Maryam says:

    I just read that city supervisors in San Jose Ca voted to START WATER FLOURIDATION. What’s wrong with people?? I’m in Sonoma county and they flourinade the water here. How can I begin a campaign to end it and educate people so they can WAKE UP and lobby for change?

  87. Jeremy says:

    We now use a Berkey Filter with PF-2 fluoride filters and filter all of our tap water through it for meal preparation and drinking. We had a high quality R/O system in our house and after its installation, we found it still let through chlorine, fluoride, plastics and other organophosphates, plus MTBE and arsenic, plus the rubber gasket can get slimy and is expensive to replace.

    Only water filtered by our Berkey filter tests for none of the above. While where we live now our water system is not fluoridated, we still use the PF-2 fluoride filters because they filter out other chemicals as well.

    There is maintenance in that once every month or so, you need to take a scrubbie and get the minerals off the 4 black filters, but the new black filters will last years before replacing and we replace the PF-2′s every year just to be on the safe side as we never really know what will be in the water.

    For a shower filter, we use the filter they have on the Berkey website. Most all of them are the same – apparently there is no full solution for the shower.

    WE travel with our travel Berkey and feel totally safe from the all the junk – including medications – found in tap water.

  88. Scott says:

    Here is a good website that compares many different methods of cleaning up your tap water:
    http://www.reverse-osmosis-water-filter-guide.com/compare-filtrations-methods.html

    I have a water softener to save my plumbing, then an RO with activated carbon pre & post filters (it feeds my frige for drinking water & ice). I then add a high quality trace mineral solution made just for that purpose.

    Then I often add lemon juice to be sure it is alkaline.

    I’m looking into adding an Activated Alumina filter for my shower, but until then I use the old navy trick of wet/lather/rinse to minimize skin exposure.

    Sure is a pain to get back to what nature once provided!!

  89. Sarah says:

    I was wondering about fluoride that’s “naturally occurring” in water. Our county water is not fluoridated, but has “naturally occurring” fluoride. Does that mean it’s already polluted??
    After reading many of the comments here, I am very intrigued by the Berkey systems. We live in FL, so in the event of a hurricane, or power outage from lightning, it would be great to still have access to clean water! Thanks!

  90. leslie says:

    RE: your comment:

    “To get rid if phthlates or other plastic residues, the best filter is Reverse Osmosis.”

    Q: What about home-installed reverse osmosis systmes that have a food-grade plastic holding tank for the water, once it’s passed through the filtration system? The water may sit around for days before being used. How long before the lining leaches out and the water is no longer plastic-free? It’s not a case where one can simply run the tap for a few minutes to get rid of lead that may have settled in pipes overnight—it’s well-nigh impracticable to empty a whole tank before it refills with new water for a host of reasons.

  91. Amy says:

    I currenly use 5 gal. glass Mountain Valley Spring Water bottles, but we are considering getting the 4.5 gal. BErkey becuase ordering the Mt. Valley every 4 weeks is getting pricey! My concern is how does the Berkey filtered tap water taste compared to Mt. Valley. And, since the Berkey is a stainless steal container can metallic tastes be detected: like, similiar to stainless steal water bottles. I LOVE Mt. Valley, it does not have a taste at all like some spring waters (Ozarka, yuck!)

    What are your thoughts: Berkey vs Mt. Valley Spring?

  92. carol says:

    I noticed that this Q was never answered and I’d be interested in knowing:

    What about home-installed reverse osmosis systmes that have a food-grade plastic holding tank for the water, once it’s passed through the filtration system? The water may sit around for days before being used. How long before the lining leaches out and the water is no longer plastic-free? It’s not a case where one can simply run the tap for a few minutes to get rid of lead that may have settled in pipes overnight—it’s well-nigh impracticable to empty a whole tank before it refills with new water for a host of reasons.

  93. Abigail says:

    Does a ceramic filter, such as the ones used in gravity filter systems remove flouride?

  94. bruce says:

    Jim,
    thank you for providing safe information to us.
    Are you familiar with this system ?
    Is it work buying ?
    KTROSYS Anti-Fluoride Reverse Osmosis Filter System.

    Thank you
    Bruce..

  95. Paul Cordasci says:

    We are planning on purchasing a Kinetico K5 drinking water station, mainly to get rid of the fluoride in our city water. Is this a good product, and is there a better way to purge fluoride absent getting the city to stop using fluoride? Thank You

  96. Christie says:

    Hi. What I know is that reverse osmosis is not very effective on removing the fluoride. The water pressure has to be very slow, for the particles of fluoride to be trapped and also has to have the perfect pH. Water sitting in the container for long can create bacteria, and possible chemical leaks into the water. So RO has to be done in the perfect conditions, otherwise it won’t work. Can you comment on this please?

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