Water filters offer consumers more control on what comes out of their taps than the water companies provide. Although, for the most part there is nothing wrong with UK mains tap water, many people prefer drinking Adam’s ale when filtering out the chemical taste and odour caused by for example, Chlorine.
Filters work by removing a range of chemicals and minerals from potable water such as lead and copper; rust or detritus that builds up in your home’s pipework, as well as the excess of naturally occurring calcites such as calcium carbonite – particularly important around London and the South East where tap water is very ‘hard’. Reducing calcites means less furring in your kitchen kettle, making it last longer too. Filtering is performed by activated carbon granules or blocks where the water percolates through and impurities bind to the carbon. Other methods performing similar actions include UV light, magnetics or reverse osmosis systems, but these are a little involved to cover here.
Apart from buying bottled water (resulting in unsustainable plastic waste) a common way to purify water is via a jug with an active carbon cartridge providing the filtering. The jugs supply around a litre of filtered H2O at any one time, but are readily refilled to drip water though at rates depending on the jug manufacturer. The cartridges need replacing regularly, ensuring they continue to effectively remove the ‘nasties’ such as cryptosporidium from your supply. The jugs are a great way of providing you with the water you want, but… they’re not the prettiest items in a modern kitchen. For anyone wanting a minimalist design, they look incongruous on your sleek, smooth white surfaces! Under counter filter cartridges are an alternative to this.
Undercounter systems offer a constant supply of purified water by connecting directly to the mains. This means never having to wait for a jug to refill drip by drip (if you have ever waited by one just to make a cup of tea when you’re gasping, you will know what frustration is). Cartridges last much longer – from around three to six months. Some undercounter systems mean adding a special tap to your kitchen: A shame when you may have paid to have a nice looking monobloc tap. Luckily, for modern German kitchen designs there are solutions other than feeding the purified liquid to a dedicated pipe on your kitchen sink. Astracast, Caple, Carron and Franke (all available from Alaris – just search our site for ‘water filter taps’) have taps that incorporate filtered feeds. Valve arrangements vary according to model. Some have three valves – hot, mains cold and filtered output, while others have one valve for hot and then a reversible valve for mains cold or filtered flows. Cartridges are typically brand specific, but may have additional filtering materials. Carron, for example, incorporates silver as well as carbon, which further reduces bacteria.
With a wide range of filter taps from Alaris, there’s plenty of design choices too: Modern, single lever handles, graceful swan neck spouts, pull outs and traditional ceramic handled taps. So when you’re ready for some cool, clear, pure water, just pop your glass or kettle under the spout and get your fill.