Removing Fluoride from Water


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Fluoride occurs naturally in some waters, but is frequently added to municipal water supplies because of a widely held belief that it prevents dental caries.

Fluoride is more difficult to remove than most water contaminants. For practical purposes, there are three choices for removing fluoride from drinking water: distillation, reverse osmosis, and filtration through a special fluoride/arsenic reduction medium called activated alumina. Bone char carbon is used in some localities.

Steam distillers remove a high percentage of fluoride, and virtually any good reverse osmosis unit will provide fluoride reduction of 95% or better. Activated alumina, called AAL, removes fluoride well, but requires a relatively large bed and very slow flow rates. Some cartridge makers recommend flow rates in drinking water units of 1/4 gallon per minute for optimum performance.

Because it requires such slow flow rates, AAL is not practical for whole house filtration. In fact, there is no suitable whole house treatment for fluoride removal at the present time. (Whole house reverse osmosis is not a practical solution for most situations.)

Our feeling is that your best choice for whole house filtration is a high quality activated carbon filter. Although activated carbon is not normally recommended for fluoride reduction, it is known that under the right conditions carbon does remove some of the fluoride from tap water. And even if fluoride removal is minimal, carbon filtration makes significant other improvements by removing chlorine, chloramines, the by-products of chlorination, and chemicals in general.

Here are some fluoride reduction products:

Countertop Water Filters — Our Model 77 unit can be purchased with a CFX cartridge, which combines activated alumina with GAC. It's a pretty good fluoride reducer for about 600 gallons between cartridge changes. Double filters, however, are best for fluoride removal. We recommend the double countertop filter with one all-activated alumina cartridge (DI-AAL) and one carbon block.

Undersink Water Filters — Undersink multi-stage filters can be purchased with one AAL cartridge and one or more additional cartridges for taste/odor, heavy metals, and chemical treatment. Especially, see our Enhanced Performance Undersink Fluoride Filter — a unique product which we feel is the best undersink fluoride filter made.

Reverse Osmosis Units — All RO units remove fluoride handily.

Whole House Carbon Filters — No specific claims are made for fluoride removal for carbon whole house filters, but it's the best we can do.

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