Water filter in the kitchen
Enjoy filtered drinking water from the tap without worries

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Updated on: 22.06.2021

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Why treat the drinking water in the kitchen again? Even though tap water in Germany is generally considered to be "healthy", some pollutants still find their way into the water cycle.

Substances such as microplastics, hormones, chemicals, pesticides and nitrates find their way into drinking water from private households, industry and agriculture. Such environmental pollution must be taken seriously from two points of view:

  • Many of these substances are neither listed nor considered by the German Drinking Water Ordinance.
  • Even the most modern sewage treatment plants are not yet capable of reliably filtering residues of microplastics, medicines, hormones and nitrates.

Unfortunately, apart from laboratory analysis, there is no way for private households to reliably test the quality of drinking water and check it for polluting substance concentrations. With a water filter in the kitchen, you can counteract this preventively and filter numerous substances out of the drinking water. Here is a small selection:

Ingredients Water

Here you can find important information about the possible substances that can be found in our water. 

What pollutants are present in tap water? Why filter water?

In addition, you will learn in this guide...

  • what types of water filters there are for the kitchen.
  • that it is possible to connect a water filter system under the sink or directly to the tap.
  • why a table jug filter cannot replace a permanently installed water filter in the kitchen.
  • what a water filter for the kitchen costs.
  • and last but not least: the advantages of a water filter in the kitchen.

Water filters for the kitchen: What models & variants are there?

In principle, there are four ways to use a water filter in the kitchen. You can install permanently installed water filters either under the sink, as a table-top filter or directly on the tap.
Alternatively, you can also use a table jug filter to treat drinking water in the kitchen.

We will talk about the differences as well as the advantages and disadvantages of the different variants below.

1. drinking water filter in the kitchen - under the sink

Installing a water filter under the sink has the advantage that the filter system is mounted directly on the substructure, on the cold water connection, and is therefore not visible - at least as long as the kitchen cabinet under the sink remains closed.

There, the water filter is usually connected directly to the cold-water corner valve with a simple pipe wrench. Out of sight, an under-sink water filter in your kitchen thus provides a noticeable improvement in your drinking water.

2. drinking water filter in the kitchen - on top of the table

As an alternative to the undercounter, you can also find water filter systems for the kitchen that are placed on top of the table and installed next to the tap. Handling and installation are simple in principle. A countertop system generally takes up more space, as it consists of the following components:

  • a filter housing,
  • a water tap fixed next to or on top of the housing
  • and a connection hose that is mounted on the kitchen tap.

Table-top filters are therefore flexible and mobile, but require space, as the kitchen sink is extended by a "second tap".

3. drinking water filter in the kitchen - directly at the tap

In addition, there are also drinking water filters that are attached directly to the tap. These water filters require much less space than table-top filters.

The installation of water filter attachments is also somewhat easier than, for example, models for the undersink. You can simply screw most models onto the kitchen tap with your hands without tools.

Good to know:
Since most water filter models reduce the flow rate, it is advisable to unscrew the filter again before, for example, washing dishes, washing vegetables, or for other reasons requiring a larger amount of water. Alternatively, you can use models with a switch-over function, whereby you can activate or deactivate the filter at any time.

Performance spectrum of a drinking water filter in the kitchen

If you want to use a drinking water filter in your kitchen, you should think about exactly which pollutants you want to filter before buying. For many water filters there are different filter cartridges with strengths and weaknesses. Although the performance spectrum is often similar, there are definitely different focuses that may be relevant for you - e.g. because of where you live.

For example, there are special water filters for the kitchen that are very reliable in filtering microplastics, asbestos fibres as well as germs and bacteria (up to 99.9%). At the same time, however, they are less suitable for removing residues of pesticides, medicines or odours and tastes from tap water.

Tip:
Before buying, it is best to compile a list of those substances that you want to filter out of your drinking water. If you live in a heavily agricultural area and are therefore exposed to nitrate1 or pesticide residues2 pesticide residues, you might choose a different model than someone who is looking for an effective water filter against germs & bacteriaor other microorganisms.3 or other microorganisms.

Difference between table can & fixed filters

Incidentally, the performance spectrum of a permanently installed water filter - whether on the undersink or on the tap - cannot really be compared with the performance of a table can filter, simply because the filtration capacity is much lower. The filtration technology differs as follows:

  • The filter cartridges in permanently installed water filters have a core of activated carbon.
  • Conventional table can filters rely on loosely poured activated carbon.

If the activated carbon is only loosely poured, the table water filter provides a better taste and smell of the water, but fails to filter pollutants.

As an interim conclusion, one could state: A table water filter is good against limescale, but can neither serve as a nitrate filter nor reliably filter residues of microplastics, medicines or hormones. A good activated carbon filter, on the other hand, can reliably filter all the pollutants mentioned. (Compare also the table above).

Good to know:
The activated carbon filter loses its filtering capacity over time! You can read why in the article "How does an activated carbon filter work? Therefore, a cartridge change is necessary after approximately 4 or 6 months - depending on use.

How much does a water filter for the kitchen cost?

The cost of a water filter for the kitchen depends primarily on whether you want to install the water filter system under the sink or directly on the tap. At Alb Filter, the under-sink water filters cost less than the DUO water filters with switch-over function, which you can connect directly to the tap. The Alb Filter ELEMENT in the undersink version costs #!albactive!#. The Alb Filter DUO on the tap starts at #!albduoactive!#.

How useful is a water filter for the kitchen? 

When asked about the possible benefits of installing a water filter in the kitchen, there are mainly 3 powerful arguments:

  • Enjoyable and safe water is not necessarily automatically healthy. Too many pollutants from agriculture and industry make it through sewage treatment plants and end up in our tap water. In many places, residues of pesticides, chemicals, hormones, medicines and nitrates can be detected in German drinking water. A permanently installed water filter not only creates a taste upgrade here, but also offers purified, filtered drinking water and thus more safety for you and your family.
  • Any concerns that water filters filter out valuable minerals and trace elements in addition to pollutants can be confidently pushed aside: With good water filters, these are preserved!
  • Another big plus of water filters in the kitchen is that you save a lot of money: If you used to buy water bottles and transport them home, you save time, money and waste. Healthy drinking water thus comes straight from the tap.

Advantages of a permanently installed water filter in the kitchen

  • Valuable minerals & trace elements are preserved
  • Effective protection against bacteria & germs
  • Mountable without tools 
  • Can be connected directly to the tap or under the sink
  • Reliable filtering of unwanted pollutants in tap water
  • Reduces waste (if the water is drunk from the tap instead of bottles)
  • Elimination of unpleasant tastes & odours
  • Fits on commercially available taps or faucets

All these benefits can be achieved by installing a water filter in the kitchen once. If you consume less or no water from glass or plastic bottles in the course of this, you save a lot of money and reduce your CO2 footprint: according to a study by the ESU Services Institute4 still mineral water in (disposable) bottles has a 90 to 1,000 times higher environmental impact than drinking tap water.

In any case, buying and transporting plastic and glass bottles is much more expensive than enjoying your own tap water directly and freshly filtered in the kitchen at any time. 

Frequently asked questions briefly explained

Why should tap water be filtered?

Our tap water in Germany is strictly controlled, but the reality sometimes shows serious deficiencies. Some substance concentrations such as drug, hormone, microplastic or pesticide residues are not officially listed by the Drinking Water Ordinance!

What are the benefits of water filters for drinking water?

Water filters are versatile: they can filter microplastics, hormones or medicines (residues) just as effectively as copper or lead. Activated carbon filters are also well suited to rid drinking water of bacteria, germs (e.g. e-coli) and legionella or simply of annoying tastes as well as unpleasant odours.

How dangerous are water filters?

We can only answer this question for our own product: Alb water filters are absolutely safe. Such reports - which usually refer to an article in the Stern magazine5 refer exclusively to table water filters, which have little or nothing in common with our permanently installed water filter systems.

Only with table water filters is there a risk of contamination if the filter medium is not changed in time. This danger does not exist with Alb filters.

You can read more about this here: Why filter water (again)? 

How can you filter lime from water?

To filter limescale from your tap water, you don't necessarily need a water filter. You can simply fill the water into a pot and boil it. Alternatively, you can run the drinking water through a standard coffee filter several times.

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References

  • https://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/natur/nitrat-im-grundwasser-deutschland-droht-strafe-von-850-000-euro-pro-tag-a-1278967.html
  • https://www.verbraucherzentrale.nrw/wissen/umwelt-haushalt/wasser/sind-pestizide-und-medikamente-im-leitungswasser-34837
  • https://www1.wdr.de/nachrichten/rheinland/colibakterien-trinkwasser-aachen-102.html
  • https://esu-services.ch/de/projekte/lcafood/wasser/
  • https://www.stern.de/gesundheit/wasserfilter--die-wahrheit-ueber-teure-filter-und-ihren-nutzen-7652762.html